Barnes & Noble's Nook Nightmare Stars Amazon and the DOJ

This article by Brad Stone originally appeared on Bloomberg Businessweek on 1/9/14. It’s a worthy read for authors or publishers releasing books for the Nook platform.

Let’s boil down Barnes & Noble’s (BKS) Nook nightmare into a handy juxtaposition concerning the price of the digital version of Donna Tartt’s gripping new novel, The Goldfinch.

Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle price: $7.50.

Barnes & Noble’s Nook price: $14.99.

There are plenty of reasons for the stunning decline of the once-promising Nook. Barnes & Noble has found itself unable to compete with the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Amazon in the broader arena of multipurposed tablets. The New York-based retailer has also been undermined by the continuing migration of its customers from physical stores to online book-buying and by the desire of its risk-averse institutional shareholders to support deep, profit-draining, long-term investments in new frontiers.

Even that doesn’t completely account for the dramatic upending of its Nook business. Barnes & Noble today reported gruesome numbers—a 60 percent drop in its digital division, to $125 million, from its sales in last year’s holiday period. (Sales in its physical stores fell 6.6 percent from the previous year.)


Click here to read the full article on Bloomberg Businessweek.