Sunday, August 08, 2010

Barnes and Noble is For Sale. Any Buyers Out There?

Over recent months, I’ve written a few blogs about new trends in publishing that include the explosion of e-books and independently published books. Both of these publishing options are taking a significant bite out of profits previously enjoyed by traditional publishers and bookstores, so it wasn’t a surprise to read that Barnes and Noble is now selling its 720-store chain. To say that this is rocking the already battered traditional publishing world is a bit of an understatement. It’s clearly another part of the ongoing upheaval that started several years ago but which has escalated over the past three years, due in part to the 2008 recession.

In an article by Julie Bosman in the New York Times, the reasons for the sale also include growing competition for Amazon and Apple, plus a decline in the number of book buyers. Of those still buying books, more consumers are changing where they make their purchases. Rather than search out a bookstore, many choose to purchase a discounted book while shopping for other items at their local WalMart, Target, or Costco. Also, a growing number of peopke are ordering books from online sources.

Certainly, Barnes and Noble has its own online store and has created an e-reader to keep up with the times, but has this maneuver occurred at the expense of their traditional stores? The article says there are potential buyers for the chain, but the price tag is $700 million, and who wants to invest that much in a tumultuous industry that appears to be in a long-term state of flux? To read the whole article, go to

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