NY-based Barnes & Nobles will release the fifth version of its e-reader this spring. A B&N spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the device, but, according to CNET, the device might be a part of the Nook’s overseas launch. Also, according to statements from CEO William Lynch, the company is experimenting with the design of its brick-and-mortar stores. It might have smaller stores, without dedicated DVD and music sections but continue to sell movies and music in the store.
This news comes as a result of a recent New York Times article on the affect of e-books on the publishing business, as the Times notes that Barnes & Noble, once viewed as the brutal capitalist of the book trade, now seems crucial to the publishing industry’s future. Not many NY publishers want e-books to dominate print books, the article says and the big enemy is Amazon, who wants to cut out publishers, who are viewed as the middleman, by publishing e-books directly.
The article also takes a closer look at Lynch, who came to the bookseller from IAC/InterActive Corp. three years ago, and in that time has forged good relationships with NY’s publishing industry. Publishers don’t want the book stores to close, asLynch says the stores aren’t going anywhere, pointing to a robust holiday season. Lynch has suggested that Barnes & Noble share price is undervalued because stockholders don’t understand the value of the Nook technology.