The Barnes & Noble Story

Stripping Covers off The Hunger Games

How 7 Billionaires are Deciding the Future of Book Publishing in America

Stripping Covers off The Hunger Games tells the inside and up-to-the-minute story of the seven billionaires whose investment decisions control Barnes & Noble’s future, and through Barnes & Noble, the future of bookselling and of book publishing in America.

You watched the destruction of Borders bookstores as the money men took over. Nearly 20,000 jobs and 500 bookstores gone. Seven wealthy men have taken over Barnes & Noble: Len Riggio, John Malone, Ron Burkle, Daniel Tisch and Jeff Bezos, each in starring roles. Michael Milken, Bill Clinton and Ashton Kutcher appear in supporting roles.

Stripping Covers off The Hunger Games goes behind the scenes at Barnes & Noble, behind the scenes with seven billionaires, behind the massive lawsuits, and strips the cover off an industry in crisis. These billionaire horse traders fly around the world in private jets while Barnes & Noble’s part-time baristas fret about their health benefits – their average pay is $8.08/hour.

In February a Barnes and Noble manager stripped covers off 100 copies of The Hunger Games. A staff member posted on an online bulletin board wondering why the manager ordered The Hunger Games paperbacks returned to the publisher for credit. Was it because Barnes and Noble, desperate to compete with Amazon, wanted to promote only the ebook version of this huge bestseller, with a hit movie just around the corner?

Stripping Covers off The Hunger Games shows how the explosive growth of ebooks is destroying a publishing industry ill-prepared for rapid change. Seven billionaires see a huge opportunity here, a chance to save a fading business or even better, to build an successful new one. But is this a battle only Amazon can survive?

Journalist Thad McIlroy has poured over the court records, the financial documents and thousands of news clippings to uncover a story that’s never been pieced together before, the true story of the future of book publishing in America.

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