Barnes & Noble on the Block

Wise business decisions (or business people) focus on things that can be change and can be changed, while investing little time on those that cannot.

Barnes & Noble went on the block earlier this month, perhaps a good example of wise business, especially in a time when others in the book industry continue to push the proverbial boulder up the mountain. According to Forbes, “The New York-based company, which has struggled along with other brick-and-mortar booksellers under economic pressures and the technology shift away from paper books, said it could sell its famous chain…”

I enjoy the experience of a physical book store as much as holding a real book, and that will never change. But hardcover books are rising on shelves into luxury item status. In the wake of the Kindle, iPad, and digital wave, traditional publishers and brick-and-mortar stores will continually be challenged with creativity amidst this rapid change. Consumers are moving in the direction of digital downloads, as in the music industry where CD’s have been in large part replaced by iTunes and other less expensive digital downloads. While many among the traditional side of the publishing industry are fighting to keep e-book prices commensurate with perceived author value, this trend increasingly allows self-publishing authors access to reader markets at a more competitive price point.

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