The London Book Fair opened Sunday of this week and as I predicted last week, Barnes & Noble is there recruiting publishers. You can see one of their meeting rooms at right, which is located near the B&N sponsored App Zone.
The Bookseller got their hands on one of B&N’s contract templates, which B&N sent out to UK publishers in the weeks leading up to the London Book Fair. It sounds much like the contract I saw some time back, and it grants B&N the “non-exclusive, worldwide right to make e-content available for sale”.
The contract goes on to specifically state that B&N’s potential partners would also have the right to sell the publisher’s ebooks under the contract. The exact phrsing is that the contract covers “e-content stores operated by Barnes & Noble, including but not limited to Barnes & Noble.com and any e-content store operated by Barnes & Noble on behalf of any third party anywhere in the world, and e-content stores operated by or in conjunction with a third-party retail partner of Barnes & Noble.”
There’s no mention of who that 3rd party retailer might be, but all eyes turn to Waterstones.
Me, I’m going to pick the unlikely but not impossible Tesco as my leading candidate. Why? Mainly because I’m tired of hearing Waterstones all the time. We’ve been hearing that Waterstones would be B&N’s UK partner for over 6 months now. I figure if that were going to happen they would have closed the deal by now and held a big fancy press event. Thus it’s not Waterstones.
On the other hand, there is a good chance that instead of being crazy like a fox I’m simply being crazy. Only time will tell.
In any case, we’re bound to see new content showing up in the Nook Store in the US, no matter whether B&N signs a UK partner. That’s the other less obvious goal that B&n is pursuing at the London Book Fair.