August 1st, 2016
This post examines the latest quarterly financial reports from the big 5 book publishers and tries to draw some conclusions from the data. The big 5 are, of course, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. These companies are often seen as emblematic of the state of traditional trade book publishing in the…
July 6th, 2016
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone — W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues, 1936 The big news about Barnes & Noble is that after twenty years of battling with Amazon they have finally made a competitive move that Amazon cannot match. Barnes & Noble, with 640 bookstores in 50 states, is giving self-published…
June 9th, 2016
The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that employment in the book publishing industry dropped by over a quarter (25.7%) since spring 2006 and nearly a third (32.5%) from its peak 20 years ago.
April 27th, 2016
Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble, is 75-years-old: no one can accuse him of leaving his job early. Barnes & Noble is today at a crossroads, its digital business a shambles. But no one can accuse him of giving it less than 100%, and not just once.
April 18th, 2016
Netflix released its latest quarter earnings report today. In a Letter to Shareholders (PDF), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings described the competitive landscape the company faces. In doing so he framed the challenge faced today by all publishers, certainly all book, newspaper and magazine publishers. I’ll quote directly: