What’s Going to Happen to Nooks Now that B&N has Been Sold?


Nook Glowlight 3

In case you haven’t heard the news, Barnes and Noble has officially been sold to the same company that owns the Waterstones chain of bookstores in the UK.

James Daunt is expected to run both Waterstones and Barnes and Noble now. He managed to turn things around for Waterstones, the largest bookstore in the UK, but can he do the same for Barnes and Noble?

One big question that comes out of all this is what is going to happen to Nook tablets, Nook ereaders, and Nook books?

The Nook portion of B&N’s business has been doing poorly for years. B&N has reportedly lost more than 1 billion dollars on the Nook. At one point Microsoft tried investing in Nook and ultimately lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Given that, this new company, Elliot Advisors, may feel that the Nook part of the business is too risky.

One important factor to note is Waterstones used to sell ebooks before Daunt took over, and now they don’t.

There are basically three ways things could go down.

1. They could decide to put an end to Nook hardware and Nook ebooks and focus solely on the paper book market.

2. They could keep things going the same as they are now, which means they’ll mostly put Nook on autopilot while using a passive marketing approach and continue to make no improvements or do anything to bring in new customers.

3. They could start putting more attention into Nooks and try to grow the ebook side of the market more, give people a reason to trust Nooks again.

Either way this could be a big turning point for Nooks moving forward. Hopefully it doesn’t spell the end of Nooks.

14 Responses to “What’s Going to Happen to Nooks Now that B&N has Been Sold?”

  1. …if they want to survive, they have to start thinking International. Part of success of Kindle and Kobo is their international presence with Kindle exclusively attached to Amazon e-book store but being accessible practically everywhere and Kobo having special international e-book catalog and cooperation with domestic e-book sellers at some markets (France, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Turkey…).

    And B&N with Nook… the web-site is denying access to it if you are not in US physically, and guess what happens to a traveling person with Nook when trying to download the book when abroad.

  2. Riggio was never really fully on board with digital and it showed in how they ran the Nook program. I can see them not selling the hardware anymore but I do hope they keep selling ebooks.

  3. My hope is they will sell Nook to Kobo. I doubt they’re going to keep Nook either way since Daunt seems to be totally opposed to ebooks.

  4. How does someone lose money on ebooks. I understand not making money, but how would you lose money. There isn’t an ebook inventory is there?

    • There’s server costs, hardware and software development costs, and losses on unsold hardware… probably upfront payments to content providers.
      I’d say advertising expenditures, but when has B&N ever advertised the Nook line?

    • They have everything under control now, and they actually make a small profit. In the past they designed and made not only their own e-reader but their own tablets, and they got steamrolled in that market. The ‘lost’ money is past-tense.

  5. I hope they wind up handing Nook ebook customers off to Kobo. It would be nice to have access to my Nook ebooks without being treated like a criminal all the time.

  6. Hopefully the new division gets sold over to Apple which will hopefully announce a new E-reader soon

  7. I highly doubt Apple will ever get into the e-book market.

  8. Nook Glowlight 3 firmware updated last night. Much more responsive with faster page turns. Redesign of library and bookshelves.

    App Version 50.0.117/5.0.5.35

  9. I turned on the Glowlight3 last night with the WiFi enabled and the start screen showed an announcement NEW update available. My install came via wifi. I could not find a download like for side loading the new firmware. The reader is MUCH faster in all operations. Also a much more
    refined set of bookshelves and indexing options.

  10. I just recently bought a Nook Glowlight plus.For $219, including 3 yr service. I have 4 books on it . What will happen? Will I be able to transfer to an Amazon eReader? Will I be able to read my 4 book overseas?

    • You can read anything you’ve downloaded anywhere, but as it currently stands Nook books are locked into Nook hardware and apps. No one knows what will happen to Nooks moving forward but Amazon certainly has no play in the game. New ownership may elect to sell the ebook business to Kobo and transfer customer accounts over to them like they did after taking over Waterstones in the UK, but that all remains to be seen.