Back when Amazon introduced the Kindle, Barnes & Noble countered with the Nook tablet. In some ways, people believe the Nook is actually the slightly superior tablet but superior technology means nothing. What matters is what people use and most people are not using a Nook.
ZDNet reports that holiday sales of the Nook tablet were less than spectacular. A while back, Microsoft invested millions in the Nook, only to break the deal when it appeared nothing productive would come out of it. With declining Nook tablet sales and declining retail book sales, Barnes & Noble is just waiting to die.
For any authors, the slow decline of Barnes & Noble means fewer distribution points to sell books. The loss of Borders Books already cut the American book distribution network in half. As Barnes & Noble struggles, the future of print book can go nowhere but down. It doesn’t matter how many print books Amazon sells because Amazon alone can’t make up for the loss of so many retail bookstores around the country. When people stop seeing printed books on a regular basis, they’ll start losing their desire to buy a print book in the future.
If the Nook tablet disappears, that’s going to kill Nook Press, the e-book division of the Nook that allows self-published authors to sell their e-books. That leaves Kobo and iBooks as the major weak competitors to Amazon. That means Amazon and to a lesser extent iBooks will be the only places where self-published authors can sell their e-books.
Don’t expect the Nook to survive in the future. That also means don’t expect Nook Press to survive in the future either, and don’t expect Barnes & Noble to last much longer. The slow decline of print books has been obvious for years, so you can either continue denying reality or you can adapt as quickly as possible and move on to the world of self-publishing through Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks.
Don’t mourn the Nook. Focus on the opportunities you still have to sell e-books through Amazon, iBooks, and to a lesser extent, Kobo. iBooks isn’t going anywhere, but Kobo may not last much longer either.
Amazon will definitely last a long time and Apple can afford to keep iBooks going too. The real key isn’t having more distribution points but in focusing on where the customers are, writing the best books possible, and market yourself and your books on your own. The Nook is as good as gone. Fortunately if you’re smart, the death of the Nook won’t hurt your self-publishing efforts in the process.