Ominous future for Nook readers and Barnes & Noble

When Erica plays "Baby Roulette", Brent wins either way

When Erica plays “Baby Roulette”, Brent wins either way

Picture is only related in that I’m presently working on the Brent Allen universe a little right now.  But, the main thing I’m writing about is the ominous happenings in the Barnes and Noble world.  B&N has been a nice little company to me – not as worked up about censorship as Amazon, with a nice online editor and a reasonable amount of control over your stories’ presentation.  Unfortunately, not many companies can realistically expect to survive when producing hardware competing with Amazon, and thus Barnes & Noble has announced today that they’re splitting off their Nook division in March.  The link below shows what’s going on:

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-barnes-noble-cuts-nook-loose-20140625-story.html

Overall, this concerns me in that it represents a further tightening of Amazon’s velvet fist over the e-Reader market.  A future where Amazon is able to become a sole arbiter of access to the mainstream readers is utterly bleak for erotica authors.  They throw a new category of erotica under the bus every six months or so, whenever they need to look good for worried soccer moms who somehow think their copies of “50 Shades of Grey” represent something morally superior because there are no tentacles (or whatever other kink) involved.  The issue I have with that is that Amazon just about has a strangle hold on readers’ willingness to purchase content.  It’s easy, it’s quick, and you can sign in and read your book with a nice polished user interface whether you’ve got it on your Kindle, your phone, or your iPad.  If you want to buy a book that isn’t on Amazon, you’ve got to go browse another online bookstore, work out how to get it onto your device, etc.  This sort of thing presents no barrier at all to an IT professional, but let’s be realistic about how much of the market the lack of convenience cuts out… it’s a lot.

I’d be much happier in a world where Amazon still had vibrant long-term competition – and Nook spinning off to die alone (probably) signifies pretty much the end of Amazon’s realistic competition in the eBook market.  Sure, there’ll always be the fringe sites, and I’ll always list my stories on them.  But honestly, I just don’t see any of the fringe sites really getting enough momentum going to challenge Amazon again.

Incidentally, this is the link to my previous post on both Sony and Diesel shuttering their stores… http://haramiru.com/2014/03/two-online-bookstores-closing-up-shop-this-month-and-free-story-updates/

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