3) Establish exclusive distribution deals with leading publishers and authors. Since Barnes and Noble has a strong online presence, the strongest brick-and-mortar store presence, and a strong presence in eBooks and eReaders with its Nook device, the company has an opportunity in a less-competitive environment to forge signature, exclusive publishing deals with leading authors and publishers. Want to read Nora Roberts? Come to Barnes and Noble, online or to a store, because that's the only place you can find those works -- is one example. Barnes and Noble doesn't have many deals like that, yet. But the company will have to forge such exclusive relationships into the future to survive, much less thrive.
4) Move away from costly superstores, expanding with more small, community-oriented niche stores. With less overhead, the Barnes and Noble name will do well in high-population, high-net worth communities that don't have any bookstore at all. The company does not need a superstore in such markets, but lower-overhead niche stores that focus on diversified product, customer relationships, and value-added propositions such as paid author events and books sold at prices above the deep discounts Barnes and Noble has employed in recent years, reducing important margins.
5) Gain more eReader market share by setting the trend instead of merely following Amazon's lead. Amazon is the eReader, eBook industry leader, and for good reason. That company has been setting the tone in digital books from the start. But Barnes and Noble now has the clout as the only remaining national book publisher to change that trend, if the company can act proactively, leaping ahead of Amazon to the next big thing in eBooks. Barnes and Noble already has a strong brick and mortar presence with college bookstores, and the company does well online with textbooks. But Barnes and Noble got trumped again recently when Amazon announced its new Kindle Textbook Rental program. Barnes and Noble needs to set the trend, not follow the trend, if the company is going to survive.
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