This certainly is interesting timing. As Amazon.com accelerates its push into the book publishing business, Barnes & Noble appears to be getting out of it. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Barnes & Noble plans to put its Sterling Publishing business up for sale, perhaps ending its nearly four decade run of publishing its own books.
The Journal notes that Barnes & Noble is “recasting itself as a technology company with emphasis on its Nook e-reading devices.” Barnes & Noble bought Sterling Publishing, which today maintains a catalog of roughly 6,000 titles, in 2003 for $115 million.
Amazon, meanwhile, is attempting to cast itself as both a technology company (with its own line-up of Kindle devices and electronic reading technologies) and a publisher (with a number of new imprints launched in the past 12 months).
Sterling has a strong line-up of titles for children and young adults, an arena where Amazon.com expanded its own catalog. Just last month, Amazon announced that it had purchased rights 450 titles from Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books.
Previously on GeekWire: Apple vs. Amazon: Plot thickens with reports of iBooks event