Death to eBooks?

In a surprise move, (Nasdaq: BNBN  ) has stopped selling eBooks. The online retailer is in the process of e-mailing its affiliates to let them know of the program's demise this week.


One would think that a virtual bookseller would embrace the eBook format like a scrawny bookworm would a willing supermodel. With unlimited inventory and immediate delivery, it's a dot-com's dream before we even begin to touch on the huge margins associated with digital delivery.

If bricks-and-mortar chains are down to instant gratification as the sole selling point over cheaper online options, eBooks are the ultimate argument ender.

The digital format has also created a cottage industry through such online marketplaces as Clickbank, which give authors, regardless of pedigree, the ability to peddle eBooks with the viral incentive of giving affiliate marketers huge commissioned royalties.

So why did the site give up so soon? The eBook is too young to die. As a matter of fact, many of our own research products like Hidden Gems and the new Income Investor take advantage of digital distribution to get our freshest stock ideas delivered to subscribers right away and in a cost-effective manner.

While the early eBooks got slammed by complaints of the eye-straining consumption process, that's not the case these days. Reader software by companies like Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) and Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE  ) have taken the "eeek" out of the eBook.

While Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) is best known for its shipped goods, it still sells eBooks. At a substantial discount to its printed counterpart, some of the cost savings achieved through digital delivery are passed on to the end user.

With Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) as's majority stakeholder, one has to wonder if the company is missing the high-margin potential of the medium or if the sales just aren't there. Or, for the budding conspiracy theorists out there, is simply refusing to promote a niche where its parent company can't partake or one that promotes a level playing field in an arena where publishing house suppliers are used to the advantages of size?

eBook fans would like some answers. Unlike its warehouse-shipped forefathers, an immediate answer would be welcome.

Will dropping its eBooks catch on? Will Amazon follow suit? What are the prospects for these companies as we head into the holiday shopping season? All this and more -- in theAmazon discussion board. Only on

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 499098, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/25/2016 6:58:27 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 9 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,223.03 77.32 0.43%
S&P 500 2,151.33 10.17 0.47%
NASD 5,309.83 52.43 1.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/24/2016 4:00 PM
ADBE $110.81 Up +1.78 +1.63%
Adobe Systems CAPS Rating: **
AMZN $838.09 Up +19.10 +2.33% CAPS Rating: ****
BKS $10.90 Up +0.15 +1.40%
Barnes and Noble CAPS Rating: *
MSFT $61.00 Up +1.34 +2.25%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****