Round up #244: nook drops Windows app, bookstore sales down
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Bookstore sales down 6.9%
According to this
bookstore sales in the US dropped 6.7% year over year for January (per the Census Bureau).
At the same time, the overall retail sector rose.
Quite simply, this is not a good sign for bookstores. What changed in 2013 that could be seen as an exceptional accelerant? Borders has been closed for longer than that. E-books aren’t new (and the growth rate for those have slowed).
I suppose that one could argue that they’d been coasting on reserves, but seriously, most bookstores don’t have a year’s worth of reserves.
I think this is a genuine indication that people are going less. I know, I know…no surprise to a lot of folks.
Speaking of that slowing e-book growth rate, this
has an interesting hypothesis (along with some other intriguing infographic stats…I’d suggest you check out the article).
One of four possible causes given is that the Association of American Publishers (AAP) data, which is what most people use, doesn’t track e-books published by indies.
If the marketshare of indies is growing significantly, that would make it appear to the AAP that the growth rate slowed, when it may not have done so.
Looking at the USA Kindle store bestsellers, there are certainly books from tradpubs (traditional publishers) on there (The Divergent Series Complete Collection ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)) helps with that at the top), but there are also indies. I’ll have to look at that again to see if the sands have shifted.
Margaret Adams on why dystopian fiction is popular
I recommend this
about people’s fascination with dystopian (negative futures…or at least, negative societies) literature.
Atwood (MaddAddam ((at AmazonSmile))) does a nice job of putting the genre in historical perspective. This isn’t a new phenomenon, bred of economic difficulties for millenials (and the generation after).
As regular readers know, I tend to be optimistic about the future. Take a look at almost anything tangible in our lives and look back, oh, a short two hundred years. Life expectancy? Opportunity for women and minorities? Literacy rates? Infant mortality? I know that some people see a moral decay, but that’s a bit of a different question. Was an individual likely to suffer more physical misfortune two hundred years ago than they were now? Go back three hundred years or forward from my original point one hundred years (to 1914). That’s how I see the trends.
I don’t think dystopian literature becomes more popular, necessarily, when people actually believe the world is getting worse. Wouldn’t one expect that utopian literature might become more popular in fantasy/science fiction at that point, as an escape?
That might be an interesting study…
Classics or not, ya gotta sell ‘em
Looks like I might need to get familiar with this site!
The post has what they claim are genuine covers (and I’m leaning towards that being true) of “pulpish” editions of classic books.
The pictures are great!
I also like the copy on this one…which book would you guess this is describing?
“This unusual book may shock you, will make you laugh, and may break your heart — but you will never forget it”
Would you believe…Catcher in the Rye?
nook discontinuing Windows app: Microsoft Consumer Reader to work with that format?
According to this
Barnes & Noble has filed an amendment to an earlier statement. B&N won’t need to make a nook app for Windows, and will help with the “Microsoft Consumer Reader”.
What is that?
Hopefully, something that will do better than when Microsoft had the .lit format!
This may be something that Microsoft does that gives an app that will read your nook books and your Microsoft Word documents…heck, why not PDFs and text files, too? The astonishing thing is if they could pull anything else proprietary into it…Kobo, Kindle. I can see that as a possibility, believe it or not.
That wouldn’t have Microsoft selling the content, so it wouldn’t hurt there.
Amazon/Kobo could negotiate payments which might make it worthwhile.
Right now, you could have both the Kobo app and the Kindle app on one device…would it be that much worse for the two companies if, instead of two apps, you had one?
I think this is pretty unlikely, but it’s just something that occurred to me…and I don’t think it’s impossible.
What do you think? If Microsoft makes it so you can read nook books on a Surface (or other tablets), is nook hardware doomed? Why do people love dystopias? Do you read them? Are bookstores on an inevitable slide, or will they hit a plateau…and possibly even grow? How much are indies skewing the stats? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.