Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good news for eBooks,
bad news from Borders

Barnes & Noble reported that it sold more than ONE MILLION EBOOKS on Christmas day, and could have sold more. B&N’s servers were overwhelmed by the traffic and couldn’t keep up with the demand.

B&N also reported that eBooks now outsell pBooks on its website. Earlier this year, reported that eBooks exceeded the sale of hardcovers.

Bob Dylan has important advice for writers who resist eBooks:
“Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.”

B&N may find it hard to pay the rent for all of those big bookstores with the revenue it gets by selling magazines, bookmarks and coffee. Of course, eBooks don't need physical bookmarks.

And an iPad update: Each Hyundai Equus comes with a 16GB WiFi iPad containing the car’s owners manual.

Again: “the times they are a-changin’.”

OTOH, Borders Group Inc. said Thursday it is delaying payments to some publishers, a sign that its financial troubles are worsening. The nation's second-largest bookstore chain by revenue, behind Barnes & Noble, said the delays were part of its efforts to refinance its debt and that it had notified the publishers with which it is seeking to restructure payments.

Borders also said "there can be no assurance" that its larger refinancing efforts will be successful. The news came just weeks after the company said it was trying to obtain new financing to avoid violating the terms of its credit agreements early in 2011.

"As part of this potential refinancing, Borders has determined that it is necessary to restructure its vendor financing arrangements and is delaying payments to certain of its vendors," Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said.

In its latest third quarter, Borders reported a wider quarterly loss and said its borrowing capacity was cut after a third-party review that lowered the estimated value of its inventory if the book store chain had to liquidate it.

Borders shares fell to $1.03 after hours, from a close of $1.16. (info from AP & Reuters)

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