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The Battle Between Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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I need help with the following question after reviewing the followings articles related to recent developments in book retailing.

Trachtenberg, J. A. (2014, Feb 27). Corporate news: Barnes & noble posts profit as digital device sales tumble. Wall Street Journal.
Gelles, D. (2014, Feb 22). Barnes & noble receives conditional offer. New York Times.
Krug, N. (2012, Oct 31). Amazon books getting no shelf space. The Washington Post.
Herther, N. K. (2012). THE E BOOK WARS amazon versus the rest. Searcher, 20(4), 20-23,26-30.
Turner, K. (2012, Feb 05). Independent retailers turn page on business. McClatchy - Tribune Business News.

Develop a report in terms of the following guidelines based on the articles listed above and other supplemental articles. A well-written report should have a brief introduction, headings or subheadings, and a brief concluding comment. Note that you should use some keywords as headings or subheadings such as "Facts Recap," instead of a sentence or a question.

1. Briefly review the facts on the battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble reported in the articles.
2. Was Amazon wise to get into publishing in addition to its very strong position in retailing new and used books? Explain your answer.
3. If you were a popular author of children's fiction (with a successful past relationship with a traditional publisher) and your agent (another member of the book publishing channel) asked you whether to approach Amazon regarding the publication of your latest project, what would you say? Why?
4. Would it matter if you were working on your first book and had no previous relationship with an editor or publisher? If yes, why would this make a difference?
5. Considering traditional and contemporary distribution channels, and with the continuing decline of its e-book sales, how would you recommend Barnes & Noble compete with Amazon in the future? Do you think acquisition is a feasible solution for Barnes & Noble? Why?

P.S. Please provide appropriate references for statements and/or quotations next to the statements and/or quotations itself, apart from the references that you would provide at the end of your response as well. If you're just going to respond with outside references only, then please DO NOT respond. Also, please DONOT provide references which I cannot access (especially from sites which need membership to view the referenced page).

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Solution Preview

Battle between Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Amazon is the largest online book seller in the world. Barnes and Noble is the largest "brick and mortar", or regular store, bookseller. There was a dispute between them, actually a dispute between Amazon and other regular bookstore chains, over distribution methods for Amazon's new e-books. Because of it, bookstore chains have closed, and a struggle for influence began, as Amazon carried its insistence on selling its e-books in the way that it sells its regular books online - with an emphasis on its own profits, and the disputes escalated. The Department of Justice got involved in this dispute, as did the American Bookseller's Association which represents 2000 bookstore chains. This is a description of the difficulties involved when old distribution methods clash with new ones.

Facts Recap

Many independent retailers are closing down due to lack of sales, but others are holding their ground and even flourishing. The reason for this is that successful independent retailers are moving into sales areas that "offer services that other retailers don't", as Meg Smith, membership and marketing officer for the American Booksellers Association states. The Association represents 2000 independent bookstores, and is in a good position to monitor trends in that industry. Ukazoo Books, for example, is a Maryland-based bookstore that began online in 2002, but owner Jack Revelle "saw that there was a need in the community for a bookstore that had books that are of a little bit lower price level." He now owns four "brick and mortar" stores in northcentral US, selling mostly used books for $6 and under.
(Kate Turner, 2/5/2012)

In 2011, Amazon began to work on a book publishing division. A problem in this move is the loss of control of the intermediate methods to deliver e-books online - called "disintermediation." Amazon is accustomed to use its power as a major book retailer to make special exclusive deals and discounts with the book publishers, but that is becoming less of an option. For example, a deal that Amazon made with regular bookstores for its customers to pick up Amazon's exclusively published book purchases there, effectively denied the bookstores the ability to collect sales taxes. The American Bookstore Association reprimanded Amazon for this move.
Barnes and Noble, a giant brick and mortar bookstore chain, even refused to carry the Amazon published titles, saying "Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner." Two other large bookstore chains, Canada's Indigo and Books A Million, did the same. (H.K. Herther, 2012)

Amazon published books are becoming more and more ...

Solution Summary

This is a discussion of the difficulties involved when Amazon tried to get involved in the publishing of e-books, and when Barnes and Noble bookstore chain resisted Amazon's efforts to employ the wholesale model of retail sales, as opposed to the agency model.