Check out this article: Amazon is Gutting Barnes and Noble. And this one: Barnes & Noble sells fewer Nooks, retail revenue falls.
If you don’t feel like clicking the links, they basically say that Nook sales are falling and indications are that B&N is having a hard time holding onto its market share in ebooks.
Amazon, as the market leader by far in ebook sales, has already shown a propensity to push people around. Imagine what will happen if they’re the only game in town.
If I have a choice (and sometimes I don’t because Amazon has a bigger library), I buy from Barnes and Noble. I own a Nook, not a Kindle. In fact, I am a fan of B&N in general and think that their stores offer a good shopping experience.
Their online platform, not so much. I often find myself searching for books and recommendations at Amazon before going to the B&N website to make the purchase.
Amazon has mastered the art and science of selling books. Their website isn’t just a place to shop but a social network all its own. I don’t see B&N doing anything to counter, or even match, Amazon’s strategies. Why aren’t they doing any of the following:
- Offering incentives for people to leave reviews
- Offering incentive for authors to publish at B&N exclusively
- Encouraging social use of the B&N website
- Incorporating some kind of Goodreads-type functionality to help you find books you might enjoy
Case in point of their “if we offer ebooks people will buy them without any more effort on our part approach” — I used to pay $25 every year to them for “membership.” In exchange, I received a 10% discount on all my purchases. That made the math pretty simple for me. If I spent more than $250 a year there, it was a good deal. Otherwise, it wasn’t.
My wife and I easily spend that in total, so why do we no longer pony up for the membership? The discount didn’t apply to Nook books.
Self Publishers need someone to step up to offer competition to Amazon, but I’m not sure B&N is ever going to be that company.