Barnes & Noble reportedly seeking buyer for its Sterling Publishing business as it attempts to position itself as a technology company focused upon its Nook devices

LOS ANGELES , January 5, 2012 () – According to people who are familiar with the matter, Barnes & Noble Inc. is selling its Sterling Publishing business, The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 5.

Barnes & Noble purchased Sterling Publishing, which publishes mainly nonfiction books, for approximately $115 million in 2003.

Barnes & Noble has been publishing its own books since 1970.

Faced with competition from online retailer Inc., Barnes & Noble is attempting to reposition itself as a technology company, focusing upon its Nook devices—including the Nook e-reading device and the Nook tablet—and sales of electronic books.

Lorraine Shanley, the president of the consulting firm Market Partners International, predicts that other publishers may be interested in acquiring Sterling, particularly as "Sterling has a lot of specialty titles that appeal to non-bookstore retailers. In a world where the traditional book market is eroding, there are thousands of other places where you can place these books. The question is what price the business will fetch. The market is very different today."

For the quarter that ended on Oct. 29, Barnes & Noble reported a loss of US$6.6 million. During the same period the previous year, Barnes & Noble reported a loss of $12.6 million. Sales for the quarter also decreased by 0.6% from $1.90 billion to $1.89 billion in comparison to the same time last year.

The primary source of this article is The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York, on Jan. 5, 2012.

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