Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nook in Free Fall

I heard about the news a week or so ago, but I didn't believe it. No, I that's incorrect. I believed it, I just didn't care at all.

Nook as a whole has dropped nearly 40%  and about 50% of the year. Taken with the information that Nook has been decreasing year after year, this is terrible news for the company. Nook ebook sales dropping 30% is what authors should be interested in.

Personally, I've always been suspicious of selling well on Nook. I've noticed sales dropping every year, and talks of going wide, while Nook does nothing to assist self-published authors, always ring hollow.

The benefit of having wide distribution is that it takes in revenue from all retailer, so the sum is more than its parts. So when one of the parts is sickly, the sum is smaller, and that helps no one.

Don't take this to mean I hope for Nook to go out of business. I hope for the opposite. Nook returning as a power player in the ebook marketplace would be a great thing for all authors. It inspires competition, which would mean more features and options for self-publishing authors.

The news that Barnes & Nobles was splitting Nook off into a separate company was a good move. Sadly, B&N are taking too long for this change to occur.

My personal hypothesis is Barnes & Noble never knew what they had in their hands with Nook. They're a paper selling business. If they got too far in bed with indies, no doubt the big publishers would have felt scorned. So they really didn't compete, and by no surprise, they didn't win the ebook war.

Barnes & Noble is only interested in its store business. I remember hearing once that if a customer walks into a store, they have a 70% chance of leaving with at least one item. This is the reason they bring in coffee, and stock toys, and music, and movies, and other novelty items. These are all items to bring people to the store.

Nook needs people who understand digital business, because it behaves in a completely different manner than retail. If Nook can get the right people, and hopefully not be left too far in the dust by that point, things can turn around for the company and for the brand.

There were a few good ideas Nook implemented that seemed hobbled by inept management. And that doesn't appear to be changing fast enough. Let's hope for the best. Options are always great. Great options are even better.