Color me skeptical

I've gone back and forth on Barnes & Noble's prospects, but some news came out recently that really is making me down on the whole Nook business.

Namely, Pearson (owner of Penguin) is taking a five percent ownership share in the Nook business.

It's not just that I think Pearson is making a host of dumb decisions lately. Or that I think their rationale for doing this (securing better distribution for their educational materials?) is basically nonsensical, or that I think they're really shoring up Barnes & Noble because they're hoping nothing will ever change in bookselling.

It's also because Barnes & Noble also announced that holiday sales sucked for the Nook business (which, it should be noted, includes both e-books and e-readers), and that the company is going to miss its numbers. According to Publisher's Weekly, twice as many Nooks sold this Thanksgiving weekend than last--which parallels Amazon's report of stronger Kindle sales that weekend--but still, Barnes & Noble is not going to meet their revenue projections. (And I know it's not been a great holiday season for retailers in general, but Amazon isn't saying that they're going to miss their numbers.)

I've mocked Barnes & Noble for being rather creative in how they present themselves to the market, and I think you see the fallout from that sort of creativity here. Either Barnes & Nobles projections were bullshit designed to keep investors from running away, or the company has been doing a horrible job selling e-books and e-readers. Or both.