Meanwhile, at Barnes & Noble: NOOK books out of UK, financials are “in the groove” (of vinyl records)
NOOK Bookstore is no more for the UK
I have readers in the UK (and in many other countries…hello, world!) and I have readers who use NOOKs (B&N has been inconsistent with the capitalization).
That’s one reason I wanted to share this
However, it’s also instructive for e-book users everywhere.
According to the post, Barnes & Noble is discontinuing their NOOK E-book store in the UK on March 15th …(there is something about that date…the Ides of March and all. “Et tu, B&N?”).
You won’t be able to buy NOOK books in the UK through the website, the Android app, or on your NOOK devices.
Before the end of May, you’ll have to follow instructions to migrate the books on your account for which you have already paid in order to be able to keep them.
Migrate them where?
B&N is working with supermarket Sainsbury’s.
That’s the instructive part.
I’ve said many times that I think the odds are higher that my descendants will have access to my Kindle store books than to my roughly 10,000 p-books (paperbooks).
I’ve been asked, when I say that, what happens if Amazon goes under?
I find that a pretty unlikely scenario. I like their corporate philosophy of Price, Discount, Service, and I think they are making some growth-oriented (and sustainability-oriented) moves generally.
If they did, though, I’ve suggested that someone else would buy our accounts. They would be very valuable. That doesn’t mean that everything would be the same…we might start paying for storage, for example.
This case, though, does appear to illustrate that.
I don’t expect Sainsbury’s to start selling e-books, although they might, and they might partner with somebody.
If they don’t, how do they make the money to pay for storing and managing the books?
Ads, perhaps? An annual fee? Not sure…
“Books? Oh, yeah, I think we still have some…”
Speaking of Barnes & Noble, they just had 3rd quarter financial results reported.
It wasn’t good, but it was less bad in some areas.
So, do literature lovers have reason to cheer the nation’s largest bookstore?
Well, if you count coloring books… 😉
As was made clear in this
B&N’s loss offsetting gains came in things like toys and games…and vinyl records.
Are they on their way to becoming a booklessstore? 😉
The post goes on to talk about the relative strength in independent bookstores. I agree with that. Barnes & Noble has been contracting. Indie bookstores have been growing.
The article also says, “The company’s results come at a time when bookstores may be making a comeback and e-books, which have been perceived as print killers, are losing popularity.”
That second statement is one I would like to see defended…and not by the stats they quote from the Association of American Publishers.
My guess is that more e-books are being sold…it’s just that AAP-reporting publishers may have a diminishing percentage of that market.
Indie publishers, and Amazon’s traditional publishing, may be growing rapidly enough to reduce the tradpubs (traditional publishers) share.
I also wanted to note that Barnes & Noble lost a lot less on the NOOK this time…but I think that’s not because the NOOK is rebounding, but because it is getting towards the bottom of bleeding out. The less you have, the less you have to lose. Let’s say that you have 100 units of something. It falls off 50%, so you’ve lost 50 units…that sounds terrible. If you continue to lose 50% a year, it only takes three more years before your loss is less than ten units a year (100 to 50 to 25 to 12.5 to 6). So, you could report, by counting your losses (not the percentage), that your loss rate in the last year (you lost 6) is much better than that first year when you lost 50…you only had 12% of the loss. It doesn’t change the trend, though.
Will B&N drop NOOK books in the USA?
I don’t see that happening right away…when they came into the USA, the market was more fluid than it was when they came into the UK. That enabled the NOOK to gain a stronger market share in the USA than in the UK.
If they do make that decision, though, I do think someone would be likely to buy the accounts (Kobo might be a suitor, but it also might be just an investment group of some kind).
Is the loss of the NOOK books in the UK good or bad for Kindle owners?
I think it’s bad…I like competition, it tends to drive innovation.
Not terrible, and not surprising, but I don’t think it’s a benefit.
I expect B&N to stick around, but with fewer books in them until they become like vinyl records…
What do you think? What’s the future of B&N in the USA? Do you worry about what could happen with your Kindle books in the future? How does the presence of NOOK books in the USA affect Kindle owners? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.
Update to a post from yesterday: my new post comparing the five (counting the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick separately) Amazon Alexa devices…
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