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Friday, January 6, 2012

Nook tablet outsells Simple Touch

From Publishers Lunch

It's already another fascinating year for Barnes & Noble, which surprised Wall Street with a number of post-holiday announcements. The success of their Nook Tablet, "which has exceeded expectations," came at some cost to their less expensive eInk device, "with a shortfall in the expected sales of NOOK Simple Touch." They say "the company over-anticipated the growth in consumer demand for single purpose black-and-white reading devices this holiday." Primarily as a result of that Simple Touch shortfall, BN reduced their guidance to investors, projecting fiscal year sales of between $7.0 billion and $7.2 billion, EBITDA of $150 to $180 million, and a loss per share of between $1.40 to $1.10 a share.
I personally find this depressing, as it means that people want gadgets with distracting apps, which in my candid opinion is no way to read a book.  Most serious readers I know don't even want to be interrupted by an oldfashioned phone.

The good news is that B&N holiday print book sales rose by 4%.  Overall, however, it doesn't look good for traditional publishing on paper.  Print sales tracked by Nielsen Bookscan declined over 9% in 2011.

Trade paperback sales declined 6 percent. Hardcover sales were 7 percent lower. Mass market sales declined the most, down 24 percent.

Adult nonfiction declined only 3%, while adult fiction dropped 18%, reflecting the continuing growth of ebooks. Juvenile books declined 5% overall.


Shayne Parkinson said...

It's interesting how very successful the Nook Tablet has turned out to be. Perhaps more so than B&N at first expected!

Just to share my own experience: I have a Tablet myself (not a Nook), and I do find it a very useful multi-purpose device. When I'm reading on it, I'm just reading, not playing with apps. Other times I might use it to write notes, check my email, update our grocery list... or even as a phone.

I've also noticed lately that many of my emails from readers have a note saying "Sent from my Nook" (or Kindle) appended automatically. I think what sometimes happens is that the person finishes the book; clicks on the link at the end that takes him or her to my website, which has family trees, notes on New Zealand history, etc, as well as my email address; then from there sends me an email. It's quite an interesting process to get one's head around!

World of the Written Word said...

That's really interesting, Shayne. My first thought is that you have much better self-control than I do. I read some books online, but only on the computer and I am constantly leaving the book to checks facts, see what other people have said about the same topic, or send emails telling people what I have just read. The book seems to fade into the background, somehow.

I do have a question. I like the look of tablets, but do your eyes hurt after an hour or so of reading? I've been assured that black on gray -- like the basic Kindle -- is easy on the eyes. But I do so love colour.

Many thanks for sharing this. Fascinating.

Shayne Parkinson said...

I'm not sure that it's so much self-control as a certain obsessiveness of nature. :) I tend to get caught up in what I'm doing, and lose the world around me. But you're quite right that being constantly connected makes it much easier to get distracted.

I'm a bit prone to eyestrain at the best of times, and my eyes do get tired if I spend a long time with the tablet. I haven't had more than a quick look at e-ink readers, but by all accounts they come much closer to the paper experience.

I still find paper easier for long periods of reading, and I've seen suggestions that paper (and quite possibly e-ink) is better for bedtime reading. But the tablet is such a useful multi-purpose device! Decisions, decisions...

World of the Written Word said...

Thanks for that. My eyesight is terrible, so no matter how tempting a tablet is, I am giving a lot of thought to it before spending money. I like booksonline on the computer because it is like reading a book with the added advantage of being able to search. Is that possible on the tablet?

Shayne Parkinson said...

Yes, take your time - and then be prepared to find the week after you buy whatever you choose that it's dropped in price/there's a newer-better-faster model/something completely new has arrived. :-)

Things like search capability depend on what e-reader software you choose - many are available at no charge. Something else to decide...