Jan 2 – Jan 8, 2012 Edition Barnes & Noble to Sell Off Sterling Publishing

AUTHORLINK NEWS/January 5, 2012—Barnes & Noble has put its Sterlington Publishing business up for sale, a move that will end its decades-long involvement in publishing its own books. Barnes & Noble has been publishing since the 1970s and expanded its efforts in 2003 when it bought Sterling Publishing for about $115 million.

According to The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, January 5, 2012), in the face of stiff competition from Amazon, Barnes & Noble is now recasting itself as a technology company, emphasizing its Nook e-reading devices and Nook tablet. The sale would allow Barnes & Noble to focus on its core businesses.

Sterling publishes about 6,000 titles, in both print and e-book format, mainly nonfiction titles including books on gardening, cooking, crafts, puzzles and games, as well as children’s books. Sterling’s catalogue includes 500 books in the Barnes & Noble Classics and its Library of Essential Reader series.

Barnes & Noble consolidated a separate in-house publishing business into Sterling in July 2009 and laid off a small number of employees.  

Last month, Barnes & Noble posted a loss of $6.6 million for the quarter ended October 29, compared with a loss of $12.6 million a year earlier.