For those who’ve been worrying about whether or not your local Barnes & Noble will be staying open, the latest news does not bode well. While it’s not about their brick-and-mortar stores, it is about their entrance into the tablet world. As reported in articles in Digital Book World as well as Publisher’s Weekly, the company will continue to design e-readers, like their Simple Touch and Glowlight lines, but will create a partnership model for color tablets.

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If you already have a Nook, you don’t have to fear that it’s completely obsolete. As of now, B&N will continue to service what already exists. They will also continue to offer digital content as well as continue their designs in e-readers only. But for color tablets, they are intending to partner with a third-party business for development.

It was reported that Microsoft could have considered purchasing the Nook tablet business, but that rumor got shut down quickly. What may have slipped by and is more concerning to me is that Barnes & Noble dropped their Nook app for PC and Mac use. For those who enjoy the portability of e-book files to multiple platforms, this may come as a surprise and disappointment. Searching under the Nook tab on the B&N website, the link to download the app for the computer is indeed gone, and looking on Apple’s App store, the Nook app is no longer there.

There has been a lot of movement with B&N on the self-publishing author side as well. They changed their publishing platform of Pubit to Nook Press with the intent to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Direct program. While their numbers don’t quite equal what Amazon offers, on paper it looks like a smart change. But with so many changes happening all at once, are they all indicative of a death rattle?

If you wanted a Nook tablet, they’ll be on sale now through the holidays. We may also see a movement of Nook content with more sale items. It looks like the company is moving towards a focus in digital content, which may mean the end to the physical stores. No one wants to see such a big contributor of books to disappear, but it looks like the company is making big decisions in order to still be around.