Barnes & Noble exclusive editions give the struggling company an advantage

The company has experienced success with its 'exclusive editions' program, in which B&N will release versions of popular tween and young adult titles with never-before-seen content.

Barnes & Noble has released exclusive editions of novels such as 'The Fault in Our Stars' and 'Allegiant,' with B&N saying 'Fault' has sold the best of any of their exclusive releases.

What does Barnes & Noble have that Amazon doesn’t?

When it comes to young adult and tween novels, B&N is in possession of exclusive content from authors like John Green, Veronica Roth, and Cassandra Clare. 

The bookstore chain began its “exclusive edition” program several years ago but has recently experienced a great amount of success with the publication of special editions of such works as “The Fault in Our Stars” by Green, which B&N released with new content that included a new book cover and a question-and-answer session with Green, among other new material. According to B&N teen book buyer Brian Monahan, “Fault” has performed the best of any exclusive edition that the company has released.

“[It] catapulted the program into the next stratosphere,” he told Publishers Weekly.

B&N just released a new edition of Green’s novel “Looking for Alaska,” which was originally published in 2005. Other books that have received the treatment include “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio, “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth, and “Clockwork Prince” by Cassandra Clare.

While the new material in an exclusive edition can include Q&As like the one with Green, authors will sometimes supply work set in their fictional world to B&N for inclusion. For example, “Clockwork” includes a never-before-seen letter from one male character, Will, to his love interest, Tessa, and “Allegiant” has journal entries written by protagonist Tris’s mother. New content could attract fans of the books.

Mary Amicucci, B&N vice-president of children’s books, says publishers have been enthusiastic about the idea and that the company has received unsolicited ideas for exclusive editions.

“Everybody has seen it as an incremental opportunity,” Amicucci told PW. “It’s not cannibalistic.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.