let's make a deal
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 10, 2013 12:45 PM
Shares of Barnes & Noble soared 24 percent after it was reported Thursday that Microsoft is considering a bid for the retailer’s Nook e-book business.
Microsoft is reportedly offering $1 billion for the Nook brand and the digital assets of Nook Media on top of their $300 million investment last year to develop Nook content for Windows 8 tablets. "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” said Microsoft president Andy Lees at the time. "We're on the cusp of a revolution in reading."
But the revolution stalled as the Android-based Nook has been a money-loser for B&N, not helping America's biggest bookseller compete against Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 21, 2012 01:13 PM
Journalists have long cursed the rise of digital as being the death of long-form journalism. Who has time to sit down and consume 20,000 words on one topic when there is a vast array of bite-sized stories to feast on? In this era of "tl;dr," how can one devote so much time to a single issue when there are slide shows to click through, polls to take, and endless YouTube videos of cute cats and other animal antics to enjoy?
While many news organizations use all manner of digital wizardry to create more engaged news consumers, the term applies much more perfectly with those who actually sit down and consume those long-form stories that require a paper to devote one reporter’s time and energy over an extended period, a luxury not many publications can make in these tightly budgeted times.
The New York Times, though, is thankfully making the effort and taking a chance on some of its readers settling into their favorite chair with their e-readers and tablets and digesting a story that may take them a good hour to read and watch. The paper has partnered with Byliner.com, a site dedicated to bringing such content to readers, to create short e-books that will sell for $2.99 a pop.
The first project of this original series, “Snow Fall” was just released on NYTimes.com to great acclaim on social media and is based on an article that John Branch wrote for the Times. It beautifully, interactively and dynamically — yet horrifically — tells the story of 16 of America’s top skiers and snowboarders who got buried in an avalanche in Washington state last year and is reminiscent of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 29, 2012 11:39 AM
In a defensive and offensive move, two major European media companies, Bertelsmann and Pearson, are combining their book publishing divisions, Random House and Penguin, exponentially increasing their reach and scale in light of prodigious growth from e-books and digital retailers.
"Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers," stated Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino in a press release.
The merger seals Random House’s leadership as the largest English-language consumer book publisher worldwide, and parent Bertelsmann will have the majority share at 53%. And no, web wags, it won't be called Penguin House or Random Penguin.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 26, 2012 03:13 PM
In a serious challenge to Amazon's latest Kindle moves and Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble has introduced the two newest tablets in the NOOK family of e-readers: NOOK HD ($199) and NOOK HD+ ($269). The New York Times sees B&N positioning the first HD Nook tablets as "iPad Lite," and call the retailer's new "video service for the Nook color devices similar to the iTunes store and includes movies and TV series from Disney, Viacom and Warner Brothers."
According to B&N's press materials, NOOK HD is "the lightest and highest resolution 7-inch HD tablet ever. NOOK HD+ is the lightest Full HD tablet with a brilliant 9-inch HD display that magazine and movie lovers will adore. Enjoy incredible reading and entertainment like never seen before – all starting at just $199."
They're available for pre-order at nook.com and in-store on Nov. 1st; AP took a look at how they stack up here.
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 26, 2012 11:05 AM
We’re not at Hogwarts anymore, kids. As J.K. Rowling prepares to release her first non-Harry Potter book, The Casual Vacancy, on Thursday, her publisher, Little, Brown, has announced more than one million pre-orders and a two million book print run for the highly anticipated title.
Her first adult novel is poised for a record-setting debut. "It's one of the biggest releases of the 21st century. I think 99.9 percent of us (in the industry) are predicting it will go straight to number one," commented Philip Stone, charts editor at The Bookseller magazine, to The Telegraph.
Patricia Bostelman, VP Marketing, Barnes & Noble, told USA Today that The Casual Vacancy could be the biggest book of the year. "We're very optimistic about this book. She's a gifted storyteller and very skilled at creating characters and creating worlds.”
Whether Rowling can cross over from the magical realm of Harry Potter — conquering the young adult book market, selling 450 million books and earning almost $900 million, not to mention movie and ancillary sales — to an adult novelist, is the next million dollar question.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Dale Buss on September 21, 2012 04:19 PM
Enough is enough, Walmart seems to be saying. That's why America's largest retailer no longer will sell Amazon's Kindle tablets after the store chain runs out of its current supply.
Enough of what? Although Walmart said little in its official statement about its decision, it's clear that more and more bricks-and-mortar retailers are resisting "showrooming," in which their physical, tangible displays on their expensive physical, tangible real estate turn into a mere testing ground for consumers who then turn on their heels, walk out of the stores without buying a tablet there, and order them online.
Most of Amazon's Kindles — which began as e-readers but now can stream a wide variety of digital content — are bought online from Amazon. Target said in May that it would stop selling Kindles.
Also, Walmart had had enough of Amazon's perceived tricks such as what the online retailer did last year during the annual holiday fistfight between the retailers (and eBay): promoting a smartphone app called Price Check that allowed users to compare Amazon's prices to those at stores by scanning bar codes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 5, 2012 01:02 PM
Supermarkets have become major players in the retail sale of books, movie and TV DVDs and music and are now buttressing their position in digital consumption through vendor acquisitions.
As Amazon and Barnes & Noble reach across the pond, preparing to launch more services and devices in the UK and Europe, Tesco is stepping up its own territorial imperative with the $7.2 million purchase of white-label digital bookseller Mobcast. "The acquisition further strengthens Tesco’s digital entertainment offer, following the purchase of movie and TV streaming service blinkbox in 2011 and personalised internet radio service WE7 in June 2012," the company commented in a press release.
According to Mobcast, e-Book sales via portable devices are projected to reach nearly $10 billion globally by 2016, three times expectations for 2012, with close to 30% of e-books purchased on tablets, 15% on smartphones and 55% on e-readers. And while Tesco accounted for 10.7% of UK entertainment sales this spring, Amazon gained a 21.1% share according to British trade journal The Bookseller.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 3, 2012 01:27 PM
Fresh off her global Olympics cameo reading an excerpt of “Peter Pan” to the bazillion viewers who gaped at the London 2012 Games Opening Ceremony, author J.K. Rowling now gets to turn her attention back to her own magic-fueled kid-lit fantasy that ended up spanning a few generations: Harry Potter.
Rowling earlier this year announced she's writing a book for adults, her first foray beyond the Potter Empire that has kept her busy since Harry hit bookshelves back in 1997. Moving on from Potter publisher Bloomsbury with the move, Rowling stated, "The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life."
The last Potter book came out in June of 2007, and the last movie last year, but Rowling can't quit Harry — not just yet.Continue reading...