Category Archives: opinion

On Mourning the Passing of Barnes & Noble

36d04ea[1]a guest post by Rich Adin

After this week’s news that Barnes & Noble has lost money yet again, I decided that perhaps I should begin thinking about writing B&N’s obituary. After all, I am a B&N member and I buy a lot of books from B&N and I will miss it when the last store and website is finally shuttered.

But I was told not to don my mourning clothes yet. B&N has a plan. Great, I thought, until I realized that the same people who have brought B&N to its knees are the ones with the plan to save it. Not very likely. Continue reading

Does Thomson Reuters Really Engage in Piracy Under the Cover of an Opt-Out Clause?

A story crossed my desk this morning that has me wondering whether the third largest publisher in the world has a policy of engaging in piracy.

One Indian tech blog I follow, Medianama, reported this morning on an email they got from Thomson Reuters. According to their post, Thomson Reuters said that it would take their non-response as permission to copy and distribute their articles. Continue reading

Is Kindle Unlimited Good or Bad for Authors – Six Viewpoints

question-markIn the two days since Amazon officially announced their ebook subscription service, everyone and their cousin has posted an editorial on the question of whether KU is good or bad for authors.

Being neither an author nor a publishers, I sat out the debate,  but as I looked over the links I collected for tomorrow’s Morning Coffee post I realized that had an excess of links for this one topic. And even though I have no opinion either way on the question, I can see that I am in the minority.Here are 6 different takes on this question, including a couple which address the point from unusual tangents. Continue reading

The Problem of Reinventing the Bookstore

books1[1]Bookshops are the platypus of the retail world. Not only are they part of an industry with a unique obsession with and attachment to its products, but they are also one of the types of retailers which are the most susceptible to losing business to online competitors.

Like music, the discoverabilty of books often works better online than in stores, and that has the potential to make booksellers as redundant as music stores (which have closed in record numbers both in the US and around the globe). Continue reading

What I’m Reading On – June 2014

Kobo_Arc_colors_610x529[1]This Sunday morning finds me in between trips.

Having just gotten back from BEA 2014 yesterday and leaving for SID Display Week (a screen tech conference) tomorrow, I thought I would take a few minutes and post a “what’s in my gear bag” type of post.

In addition to my laptop and rarely used iPad 2, my main reading devices at the moment are a Kobo Arc (2012) tablet and a Kindle Fire HD (2013). For reasons which I will explain at the end of the post, I am mainly reading on the Arc. Continue reading

A Once-in-a-Century Opportunity to Re-invent Publishing, and Books

The working title for this article was, “These Days, Monopoly is Just a Board Game.”

I started to argue that Amazon wasn’t and isn’t a monopoly, but then I also managed to argue myself out of becoming an Amazon Cheerleader. Since I was looking into anti-trust statues and case law (spoiler: it’s dry) we’re going to wade into that half of the post first. But stick with me; I hope by the end I’ve also convinced you of the promise of that over-ambitious title up there. Continue reading

B&N’s Past Tablet Failures Don’t Bode Well For Their Future Plans

Yesterdaynookshd[1] Barnes & Noble reported their 5th straight quarter of shrinking digital revenue, with the latest quarter costing them another $61 million EBITDA. This represents not just a single quarter, but the latest quarter in 4 years of B&N losing money on the Nook.

So far as we can tell from publicly available info, after nearly 5 years Barnes & Noble has not made a profit on their digital investment. In retrospect that was  a bad investment, but I’m not sure that the same can be said at the time. Continue reading