Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vapor Trails is an EcoThriller for Mystery Lovers and Environmentalists Alike

Guest book review by Jen Boynton

I was eager to read RP Siegel’s eco thriller Vapor Trails (co-written with the accomplished Roger Saillant) because RP is one of our star writers at Triple Pundit. He consistently delivers well written, insightful blog posts that demonstrate a solid understanding of sustainable business and everything that is right and wrong with the way our economy runs. He makes me think. Plus, I’m a sucker for a mystery novel.

A successful commentator on sustainable business news does not necessarily make skilled novelist, especially one who can deliver a juicy beach read like an eco thriller, so I wasn’t sure what I’d get. I’m pleased to announce that all in all Vapor Trails is a very satisfying read from a mystery standpoint, while providing a crash course in sustainability principals that’s accessible for the uninitiated but not boring for sustainability experts.

Vapor Trails begins with the stories of members of the sustainability community from many walks of life descending on a sustainability conference in New Orleans. The cast includes Jacob Walker the anarchist bike mechanic who cycles to the conference all the way from Portland, OR, and Mason Burnside the executive from Splendid Oil who has just been banished to the sustainability department for a PR gaffe involving an oil spill in Ecuador. With such caricatures in place the story starts off with a moralistic tone. Mason gains new understanding about why his company’s work is harmful, which might cause a few readers eyes to roll ever so slightly. The fable reaches new heights as we learn that the conference is actually taking place on the eve of Hurricane Katrina and the characters witness the devastation first hand and must rely on one-another to survive.

Luckily, the relationships between the characters deepen after they leave New Orleans, and they change from caricatures to uniquely motivated characters in their own rights.

The plot also quickly deepens when the thriller component of this “eco-thriller” gets introduced in the second half of the book. Readers are led on a hunt for a member of the sustainability team at Splendid Oil who has mysteriously disappeared without a trace, quite possibly at the hands of executives who’d prefer to sweep his earnest brand of sustainability under the rug. Eco-dangers associated with another Splendid Oil project come to light as the team tries to trace their missing friend. The reasons for his sudden departure will keep even experienced environmentalists guessing, all the while the story and the plot are deep, specific and believable.

The pace of the book quickens throughout, ending in a chase that will keep readers quickly turning pages until the very end.

Overall, this was a very satisfying read for environmentalists and mystery lovers alike and I highly recommend it.

Jen Boynton is Editor in Chief at Triple Pundit.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Barnes & Noble Bankruptcy Index: The Nook Color has new features and apps, but what about the stores?

This week was about the the new features B&N introduced to its Nook Color e-reader designed to make the device more competitive with the iPad and other tablets. What about new design for B&N's stores? Nada, at least for now. Given that B&N is still mostly a store-based retailer, it's not much of a surprise this week our B&N bankruptcy index goes down by half a point.

J
ust a short reminder - As Borders filed for bankruptcy, we look at Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest book chain to see if they will follow Borders and also go into bankruptcy and if so, when exactly.

To do it more analytically we launched few weeks ago a new B&N Bankruptcy Index, which is based on 10 parameters, which receive a grade between 1-10 (1 - worst grade, 10 - best grade). Hence we receive a 0-100 point index scale, which we divide into several ranges as follows:

90-100: B&N is in an excellent shape. Couldn't be better!


80-89: B&N is doing great. Bankruptcy is no longer a real threat.


70-79: B&N could do better and has to be cautious of bankruptcy.


60-69: B&N doesn't look too good and bankruptcy is becoming a more realistic threat.


50-59: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger.


49 and less: Red alert! Bankruptcy is just around the corner and is likely to happen within a short time frame.


We will check the
B&N Bankruptcy Index every Thursday, updating each one of the parameters included in the index and will analyze the trend. You can follow the weekly changes in the index from the day it was launched on the Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index page on our website.
So here's our update for this week (in brackets is last week's grade):

1. Confidence of the stock market in B&N
This parameter will look at the performan
ce of the B&N stock (symbol: BKS) in the last week. The performance of B&N's stock is an indication of the confidence the market has in the ability of B&N to maintain a viable business.

So let's look at last week's figures:

4/20: $10.66
4/27: $9.90
Change: -7.1%


As you can see, B&N's stock fell 7.1% last week
. Just for comparison, Amazon lost 0.9% last week and the S&P500 Index gained 1.3%.

Alyce Lomax was unfavorable to say the least about B&N stock on The Motley Fool with headline saying simply -Run From This Stock! And she explains:

Although Barnes & Noble has been able to pull off sales increases over recent years, its gross profit has dropped to 25.6% in the last 12 months, down from highs as great as 37% in recent years. Same-store sales have falle
n several years running, and the company failed to turn a profit last year. For the trailing 12 months, Barnes & Noble has reported a disheartening $0.81 loss per share. The recessionary climate hasn't made things easy for booksellers, and its falling profit margins suggest that Barnes & Noble's had to offer deep discounts to keep customers coming back.

What about the Nook and
the latest improvements? She's not convinced it can really change the big grimy picture: "The rise of e-books to challenge traditional paper tomes makes matters even worse...This heated competition explains Barnes & Noble's Nook Color enhancements, but such admirable efforts don't guarantee marketplace success."

If you listen to
Jim Cramer, he also recommends to be cautious about B&N's stock: The book store chain operator has a great management team, Cramer said. Even so, it's been very tough for them to compete against Amazon.com. He would be cautious with BKS.



As we can see the stock
didn't continue to rise as it did last week (jumping 15.5%), which shows that it was more likely a more of a one-week event and not a permanent trend. Therefore, our week's grade for this parameter is going down by half a point: 4.5 (5)

2. What analysts say on B&N

Alyce Lomax wrote on The Motley Fool:

Granted, Barnes & Noble has more than a few positive attributes. It's enjoyed a decent success with its Nook e-reader, and the company recently added several innovative features to its Nook Color, including an app store and the ability to access Yahoo! Mail and Gmail accounts. It's also reportedly looked into taking over a few abandoned Borders stores for its own shops. Still, while B&N may be doing better than Borders, "relatively strong" isn't the same as "strong."

Still, we don't see a significant change in the market sentiment and therefore o
ur grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

3. New strategy to regain sales in the brick and mortar stores
Just like Borders, B&N still doesn't have yet a clear and comprehensive strategy that will transform their brick and mortar stores from a liability back to an asset.

First, I want to mention something quite revolutionary that will happen at one of B&N bookstores. This is an update from Forbes:

Yesterday, I received this press release from Loud Crow Interactive:

On Monday, May 2, renowned writer and illustrator Sandra Boynton will become the world’s first author to sign an eBook app for the general public. This historic signing will take place at 7:00 PM at Barnes & Noble’s Upper East Side store, located at 150 E 86th Street at Lexington Avenue, in New York City.

Julie Bosman reported on Sunday on the New York Times on an upcoming campaign of B&N: "The first commercial in the campaign will run on Monday, and a longer 60-second spot will run during “American Idol” on Thursday. Print ads will run in The New York Times and USA Today. On the company’s Facebook page, users will be invited to share their feelings about reading."

Why we put it under brick and mortar bookstores' strategy? Because of the following comment we found on the article:

There are no Barnes & Noble stores in the ads, a nod to the transformation that is under way in the publishing industry. As e-books have taken off, foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores has decreased, a sure sign that more consumers are doing their book-shopping from home. (Or wherever they and their e-readers happen to be at the moment.)

The fact that there are no B&N stores (unlike a campaign from last year, where Last year, "where initial campaign to introduce the Nook Color opened on a picture of a Barnes & Noble store, the camera zooming through the entrance and landing on a Nook Color, while Sarah Jessica Parker narrated the voice-over"), only shows me that while the Nook is on the top of the to-do list of B&N, the stores are at the bottom of the list, if at all.

The fact that B&N work so hard and put their cash into only improving their digital business' positioning while completely ignoring their brick and mortar stores (as we can see clearly in their new ad campaign), is an indication for us they still don't see the launch of a new strategy as a high priority and therefore this week's grade goes down in half a point: 3.5 (4)

4. What B&N is saying about itself
“We really wanted to reach out to all the readers and get the message out about how wonderful reading is. The world changes, technology changes, but people love to read, and we’re giving them the best way to read.” Sasha Norkin, the vice president for digital and channel marketing for BN.com talking on the new ad campaign.

Our grade for this parameter stays the same: 6 (6)

5. Steps B&N is taking It was a relatively busy week with the new improvements in the Nook Color and the upcoming ad campaign. These are good steps, but still insufficient when you look at the big B&N picture and the challenges the company is facing. This week's grade stays the same: 6 (6)

6. Competitors
This parameter will mainly look in
to Borders and how its problems affect B&N. This week Borders, according to Bloomberg, "won approval of an amended executive bonus plan after a judge sought changes to resolve objections from an arm of the U.S. government that oversees bankruptcies. " Our grade stays the same: 5 (5)

7. Financial strength
On February Barnes & Noble published the results for the third quarter. We don't have any updates for this week and our grade stays the same: 7 (7)

8. Strength of the digital business
On Monday B&N announced it "Expands Award-Winning NOOK Color™ Reading Experience with the Most Requested Tablet Features", or in other words (the WSJ's words..) Barnes & Noble Upgrades Nook to Challenge Tablets.

WSJ adds:

The bookseller hopes the software upgrade will make the Nook Color, which has a touchscreen and runs Google Inc.'s Android software, an alternative for consumers who want features like email and games like Rovio's "Angry Birds." Barnes & Noble is also adding the ability to play Adobe Systems Inc.'s Flash video on its Web browser. Priced at $249 apiece, Nook Color is hundreds of dollars less than competitors that include Apple Inc.'s iPad 2, Motorola Mobility Inc.'s Xoom and the Research In Motion Ltd. PlayBook.

And don't forget the Apps! "Users now will be able to purchase and download apps from the Barnes & Noble website, though initially the selection is limited compared with the wider Android store."
Revenues from the Apps? Well, B&N will get 30% of the sale price and the remainder will go to the developer.

The idea was to meet consumers' demand - "Consumers said they wanted tablet-like features," said Jamie Iannone, president of the bookstore chain's digital products division.


Some analysts say it's not Apple Barnes & Noble look at, but Amazon -
"I don't think they're responding to the iPad as much as they're trying to beat Amazon to the same punch," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey.

He's also providing interesting data: "McQuivey estimates Barnes & Noble has sold 400,000 Nook Colors since the device's October launch and said the device's sales could reach 3 million units by year-end. The black and white Nook was introduced in late 2009 and has sold about 2 million units, according McQuivey."

Ina Fried adds another interesting angle on AllThingsD about the implications on the B&N-Amazon competition:

In addition to boosting the Nook Color’s attractiveness against the current e-reader and tablet competition, the move to open up to developers could serve the company well if Amazon makes a move to offer an Android tablet of its own, something many expect it to do. Amazon has already opened an Android app store, has music and video services that work on Android and also last week launched a version of its Kindle reader software that is optimized for tablets running the Honeycomb version of Android. Amazon has declined to comment on any tablet plans.

Bottom line, this is a positive step and our grade this week goes up in half a point: 7.5 (7)

9. Sense of urgency
It looks like B&N still think they have time and are not worried at all, or at least not worried enough to begin doing something with their brick and mortar stores (again, we don't believe more toys in the stores and extra room for the Nook is a winning strategy). If we can learn something from the Borders' case, it's how fast things go bad when your reach a certain tipping point of financial distress or distrust of your stakeholders (consumers or publishers for example). This week's grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

10. General feeling
This parameter will be an indication of our impression of all the materials read and analyzed for this index. Our feeling that things are still not looking too good for B&N hasn't changed this week and
this parameter's grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

This week's Barnes & Noble Bankruptcy Index: 56 points (56.5)

As you can see, this week's index is set at 56 points, which means B&N is getting deeper into the 50-59 zone: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger. It's still not the red zone but it means that bankruptcy is getting closer and is becoming a real threat to B&N. See you next Thursday.

To view the weekly changes in the index visit Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index on our website.

You can find more resources on the future of bookstores on our website at www.ecolibris.net/bookstores_future.asp

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Working to green the book industry!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This week's 10 recommended green ebooks: A Taste for Green Tangerines and 9 other great green ebooks!

We're back again with our weekly ten recommendations on green ebooks!

Just a reminder - Each week we present you here with list of 10 recommended e-books on a variety of green issues - from climate change and conservation to sustainable living and green marketing. Most of these green ebooks are new and were either released in the last month or two or about to be released (but already available as ebooks).

The links of these ebooks are to Amazon.com and I apologize in advance to all the Nook, iPad, Kobo and Sony Reader owners. I hope you can easily find an ebook you'll like on other ebookstores. This is also the place to disclose that we're taking part in Amazon's affiliate program and therefore will receive a small percentage of every purchase made using these links. We hope you don't mind!
You can find all the lists published so far on our recommended green ebooks webpage.

Without further ado, here's this week's list of 10 recommended green e-books:


1. A Taste for Green Tangerines by Barbara Bisco - Black Lotus Publishing Ltd. (April 25, 2011)

2. Tree Talk by Ana Salote - Speaking Tree (April 14, 2011)

3. Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist by Patrick Moore - Beatty Street Publishing Inc. (April 17, 2011)

4. eco+waza by Reina Otsuka - Ecotwaza Co., Ltd. (April 3, 2011)

5. China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th Five-Year Plan by Tan Copsey (Author), Olivia Boyd (Author), Hu Angang (Author), Liu Jianqiang (Author), Yang Fuqiang (Author), Feng Jie (Author), Shin Wei Ng (Author), Linden Ellis (Author), Sam Geall (Author), Isabel Hilton (Editor) - chinadialogue (April 14, 2011)

6. Redesign by 2048: Sustainable Ways to Save Energy, Water, and Money for Existing Homes. by C├ęsar Arizmendi - Amazon Digital Services (April 26, 2011)

7. Sustainable Highways, Pavements and Materials by Kasthurirangan Gopalakrishnan - Transdependenz LLC; First Edition edition (April 25, 2011)

8. Green Bugs by David Nivala - David Nivala (April 13, 2011)

9. Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge by Jeffrey Simpson - Emblem Editions; Reprint edition (April 13, 2011)

10. Confronting Climate Change by Constance Lever-Tracy - T & F Books UK (April 6, 2011)

See you next week!

Yours,

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

SHI & Eco-Libris: Launching Culantro Rojo Organics

I'm happy to update you on a new article of Eylon Israely of Eco-Libris that was published on the spring newsletter of our planting partner, SHI.

Eylon wrote a great article that is focused on Culantro Rojo Organics, Panama’s first organic C.S.A. supplied chiefly by SHI’s farmers, which he established after relocating to Panama in 2008. I see Culantro Rojo Organics not only as an innovative social venture, but also a green initiative that has developed from Eco-Libris and the relationship we established over the years with SHI. I hope we'll see more of such green initiatives incubated in Eco-Libris in the upcoming years!

You can read the article at http://sustainableharvest.org/news-articles/articles/newsletter-articles/partnerships-in-action (The second one from the top).

To learn more on Culantro Rojo visit http://www.culantrorojo.com/

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris
Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Would you pay $5-$10 for author events at bookstores?

GalleyCat reported yesterday that starting in May, Boulder Book Store will begin charging fees for author events and attendees can expect to pay $5 to $10 for admission. At the same time, each ticket will be accompanied by a $5 coupon towards the cost of the book or any purchase the day of the event.

Why? "Owner David Bolduc emailed customers to explain: “Publishers place certain expectations on us when we host events, and so in order to continually attract authors, we must fulfill these expectations. Oftentimes, in return for sending an author to a bookstore, publishers expect us to attract a certain number of people and sell a certain number of books.”"

I tried to understand the logic behind this decision and frankly I don't get it. I can see why a coupon provided to customers attending these events can generate more sales, but I wonder how charging people $5-$10 for an event they were used to attend for no charge would get more people to these events.

My feeling is that if the event is hosting a popular author people would be more willing to pay a fee for the event, but in most cases they won't and the result would be that these events will have less attendance and will generate less sales.

Author events are one of the great added values bookstores provide to their customers. At the same time it makes sense that bookstores would like to make the most out of these events and use them to increase both traffic and sales in the store. Unfortunately I don't think charging for these events is the most effective way to reach these goals.

Wouldn't it make more sense to give a $5 coupon to people who attend these authors events, which can be used within one week only at the store?

What do you think? Would you pay $5-$10 for author events? Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us.

You can find more resources on the future of bookstores on our website at www.ecolibris.net/bookstores_future.asp

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Love Is...A-Z by Elle Febbo is joining the "100 Trees Project" of Infinity Publishing and Eco-Libris

Last June we announced our new collaboration with Infinity Publishing, a leading self-publishing company. Infinity launched with Eco-Libris the "100 Trees Project,"a new program to promote environmental sustainability among its authors.

Through the program, authors that publish with Infinity are able to plant 100 trees for the title they publish. These authors also have the option to add a special "100 trees planted for this book" logo to their book's design, as a way to showcase their commitment to environmental sustainability.

Today we're happy to update you on a new book joining the program - What Love Is...A-Z by Elle Febbo, A colorful and inspiring journey for children through the ABC’s of LOVE. Inspirational and thought provoking, these simple, yet powerful affirmations serve as a reminder that Love is the answer, and that the language of Love is Universal.100 trees will be planted for this full color book with Eco-Libris!

What's this book about? Here's a description of What Love Is...A-Z:

A colorful and inspiring journey for children through the ABC’s of LOVE. Inspirational and thought provoking, these simple, yet powerful affirmations serve as a reminder that Love is the answer, and that the language of Love is Universal. To plant the seed of Love in the hearts of our children, to Love and be Loved, to create kind environments, and empower our youth; this will change the world as we know it today, and set a brighter future for all of our tomorrows.

About the author: Elle Febbo is an Author, International Journalist, Inspirational Speaker, and Social Advocate. Elle has been a leader in Business and Social Charities since 2003, with appearances on radio and television.

Elle survived abuse as a child, and spent years in foster care. She now strives to shed light on the power of Love, Compassion, and Uniting for Purpose, advocating a commitment to the betterment of All, starting with our youth. She passionately inspires the masses to live and work from the heart for a more rewarding, and spiritually accomplished life experience. Elle lives in Los Angeles with her family.


What Love Is...A-Z is available for sale on Infinity's website.

Other books on the
"100 Trees Project":
The Last Original Idea: A Cynic's View to Internet Marketing by Alan K'necht and Geri Rockstein

Buffalo on the Ridge by Deanna Meyer


Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Global Sky's tree planting initiative celebrates the planting of more than 2,000 trees!

In August 2009 we announced here on a new collaboration with Global Sky, a leading call center provider that pledged to plant one tree with Eco-Libris for every call center seat filled as part of their ongoing efforts to unify and share resources around the world.

Their initial goal was to plant 1,000 trees but they quickly surpassed it and this Earth Day Global Sky celebrated the planting of more than 2,000 trees on their behalf so far!


This is not their only step to support the environment - Global Sky offers a 10 percent discount to companies participating in environmentally focused efforts.
Global Sky's clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as progressive entrepreneurs and global executives and we hope many of them will follow suit and take more action to go green.

We salute Global Sky for their efforts and ongoing commitment to the environment! To learn more about Global Sky visit http://www.global-sky.com/

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day - Reason no. 41 on our 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book Campaign

Today is Earth Day, which means it's the last day of our Earth Day campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book, where we shared with you for 41 days 41 reasons provided by reader, authors and publishers in celebration of the upcoming 41st anniversary of Earth Day!

With more than 190,000 trees planted so far on behalf of readers, authors and publishers working with Eco-Libris, it's no surprise that we think planting trees to green up books is a great idea.. But we also want to hear what readers as well as authors and publishers we work with think about it and why they believe planting trees for their books is a good idea.

We got great replies and you can find them all on our Earth Day 2011 page. Today we would like to share with you the last reply, no. 41:

Reason no. 41:
It just makes me happy to know that new trees are planted on behalf of my books. - Kelley

Thank you Kelley for sharing with us your thoughts on planting trees for your books! Thank you also to all the other readers, authors and publishers who sent us their replies. You're inspiration to all of us.

We also want to thank our partners who contributed wonderful prizes, including Strand Bookstore and Simon & Schuster Audio and many more authors and publishers whom we collaborate with. Last but not least, thank you to Susan Newman who designed the campaign's logo. Thank you all!

We had a lot of fun in the last 40 days. We hope that you enjoyed the campaign as well and found it interesting, valuable and hopefully inspiring!

Happy Earth Day!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Green Book of the Week - Two children's books of Eifrig Publishing for Earth Day

In celebration of Earth Day we're reviewing today not one, but two new books released by Eifrig Publishing, a green publisher of Pennsylvania focusing on self-esteem and eco books for kids and also a new partner of Eco-Libris. These children's books that are a great fit for Earth Day, but also a great read for the rest of the year.


Abby's Adventures - Earth Day...and the Recycling Fashionista

Authors: Suzanne Ridolfi and Dawn Griffin

What this book is about:
It is time for the Earth Day celebration, and it seems like all of Abby's great ideas keep turning into chaos. Join Abby as she learns about the real process of turning plastic bottles into clothing and stuns the class with her Earth Day project, while also learning an important lesson of persevering, even when being mocked for her efforts.

This book is a wonderful teaching tool for schools working on recycling/environmental units, with a truly tangible tale of what every child can do to improve the planet.

This beautiful book is printed on FSC-certified coated 60% recycled PCW paper, which means it is saving trees and will last for generations!

What we think about it:
This is a great story, not just for Earth Day, but for all other days. At the beginning of the story, Ryan, one of the kids in the class as k the teacher "What can we do We're just kids" and she replies "We can all help, no matter how old or young we are." This is one of the main themes of the book, which educates kids that everyone, including kids, can go green and adopt greener habits - it's just a matter of awareness and will.

The story line is very interesting and together with the beautiful illustrations it creates a book that is both educational and fun. My 3-year old daughter enjoyed listening to it and kept asking me questions about the story and the ideas the kids had for Earth Day. I'm not sure how much she understood as she's still young but I won't be surprised if next year on Earth Day, she'll also try to make herself a dress from recycled bottles, as I definitely see her growing to be a recycling fashionista, just like Abby!

Well Earth Well Me!

Author: Kenda Swartz Pepper

What it is about:
has been created to empower small people to take little steps to make big changes. What are some of the choices you can make to help create a well earth and a well you? There are many options, ideas, and solutions! Well Earth Well Me!includes 15 tips for kids to maintain a healthy self and a healthy earth. But don’t just stop there, the best solutions are created from within your heart!

This beautiful book is also printed on FSC-certified coated 60% recycled PCW paper, which means it is saving trees and will last for generations!

What we think about it:
Just like "Abby's Adventures - Earth Day...and the Recycling Fashionista", this book is about increasing kids' awareness to environmental issues and showing them how they can do something about them. It's also not just educational tool, but also a fun book, which I believe to be a necessity when it comes to empower kids to do the right things.

The book is also providing a lesson that is also important to parents - the wellness of the planet equals in most of the time our own wellness. Whether it's about eating fruits, keeping trees alive, reducing electricity usage or even keeping our environment clean - in all cases it's a win-win no matter how you look at it.

This book provides a great way to parents and kids to explore together ways to go green and how to benefit both Mother Earth while improving their own well-being.


To learn more about these books and other great children's books of Eifrig Publishing, visit http://www.eifrigpublishing.com/. If you are interested in getting them for their schools, NPOs, or other organizations, please contact the publisher for discounted pricing.

Happy Earth Day!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading

Celebrating the 41st Anniversary of Earth Day with 41 Ways to Green Your Reading

Today we're celebrating the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. We thought how we could contribute to this green celebration and decided to continue a tradition we started last year and present you with a list of 41 things you can do to green up your reading, hoping it would be of assistance to all the eco-conscious readers out there.

We hope you will find this list useful and that you will get back to it whenever you look for ideas on how to make your reading more eco-friendly. So here we go:


41 Ways to Green Your Reading

1. Join your local library

2. Exchange books with friends

3. Buy from local
independent bookstores (if you can't walk or bike there, purchase online)
4. Download audiobooks

5.
Check out BookMooch for friendly book swapping.
6. Buy books that are printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper
7. Try BookSwim, the Netflix-style online book rental service
8. Support book publishers and authors who partner with Eco-libris
9. Read books online by daily email and RSS feed at DailyLit
10. If you're an avid reader,reading ebooks on your e-reader is probably a greener option for you. Don't forget to check out ebook lending services such as eBookFling or BookLending.
11. Join a book club and share your green insights and ideas with other book lovers.
12. Buy used books
13. Rent textbooks or download eTextbooks
14. Donate books you don't want to keep anymore to your library
15. Buy books at
Better World Books, a unique social enterprise and a B Corporation.
16. Look for books on Freecycle
17. Check Indigo's website - They're the only large book retailer where you can filter books that are printed on FSC/recycled paper.
18. Learn more on the debate if eBooks are greener than physical books
19. Support publishers who are members of the Green Press Initiative
20. Use a reusable shopping bag while buying books in bookstores
21. Buy new and used books at Better World Books
22. Look for bookstores where you can print books instantly using their Espresso Book Machine
23. Buy books that are printed using print on demand (POD) technology
24. Support authors who are committed to the environment
25. Check RAN's
Rainforest-Safe Kids’ Books buying guide to learn which of the largest US children book publishers are really committed to protect Indonesia's rainforests.
26. Download individual chapters if you don't want to read the whole book
27. Buy from publishers who have established environmental policies.
28. Prefer bookmarks with seeds
29. Buy books from publishers who provide valuable green information online
30.
Visit bookstores that collaborate with Eco-Libris
31. Buy from publishers participating in our green books campaign
32. Buy children's books from passionate green publishers

33. If you're reading ebooks, look for ebooks on green issues
34. Use twitter and facebook to tell your favorite green authors how you appreciate their efforts to go green
35. Buy from authors who are self-publishing books with green content
36. Share information on green books you read with other readers on Goodreads
37. Support publishers that for them every day is Earth Day
38. Enjoy outdoor reading
39. Follow virtual book tours
40. Read
Rethinking Paper & Ink: The Sustainable Publishing Revolution to learn more on sustainable reading.
41. Plant a tree with Eco-Libris for every book you read!

Happy Earth Day!
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day Campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book: Reason no. 40

We have one more day of our Earth Day campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book, where we share with you 41 reasons provided by readers in celebration of the upcoming 41st anniversary of Earth Day!

With more than 190,000 trees planted so far on behalf of readers, authors and publishers working with Eco-Libris, it's no surprise that we think planting trees to green up books is a great idea.. But we also want to hear what readers think about it and why they believe planting trees for their books is a good idea.

So for 41 days until Earth Day, we publish here the 41 best replies we receive, one reply a day. All replies are gathered and presented on the Earth Day 2011 page.

Reason no. 40:
Planting trees for books makes sense to me as a human being, a mom and a book lover! - Ana

Thank you Ana for sharing with us your thoughts on planting trees for your books!

Ana, just like all the other readers whose replies we'll publish, is winning one of the great 41 prizes we give away on this campaign, courtesy of our partners. Winners can choose their prize from a great list of gifts including audiobooks from Simon & Schuster Audio (such as The Half Life by Jennifer Weiner, Left Neglected by Lisa Genova and Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama) and great books, like Spit That Out! by Paige Wolf and The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz. You can see the full list of the prizes on our earth day campaign's page.

Every day we'll give further details on one of the prizes. Today we present you with the audiobook Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender and Alexandra Zissu.

Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender and Alexandra Zissu - FROM THE COFOUNDER OF SEVENTH GENERATION, the most trusted brand in environmentally friendly household products, comes this indispensable guide to maintaining absolutely everything in the home in a natural, nontoxic way. Jeffrey Hollender leads you through each room of the house with straightforward advice, comprehensive checklists, quick tips, and unparalleled resources while revealing the hidden repercussions of daily routines that most of us take for granted.

From improving air quality in your bedroom to avoiding mildew in the bathroom, from sourcing local or organic food to safely laundering your clothes, Planet Home offers invaluable information for making conscious decisions for your family, your neighbors, and our shared planet home. With additional information on power, garbage and recycling, air quality, and community activism, this book goes a step further to describe how any household is part of a much larger system.

Planet Home offers a unique, comprehensive, educational, and easy approach to helping you and your family lead healthier lives as we collectively protect and maintain our shared resources for many years to come.

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Barnes & Noble Bankruptcy Index: B&N stock is rising, but no one really knows why

This week B&N's stock rose in 15%, but we're not sure if there's a good reason for it. In the meantime, competition on the digital front is getting fierce with new features and money going into competing e-readers. In all, this week our B&N bankruptcy index stays the same as last week.

J
ust a short reminder - As Borders filed for bankruptcy, we look at Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest book chain to see if they will follow Borders and also go into bankruptcy and if so, when exactly.

To do it more analytically we launched few weeks ago a new B&N Bankruptcy Index, which is based on 10 parameters, which receive a grade between 1-10 (1 - worst grade, 10 - best grade). Hence we receive a 0-100 point index scale, which we divide into several ranges as follows:

90-100: B&N is in an excellent shape. Couldn't be better!
80-89: B&N is doing great. Bankruptcy is no longer a real threat.
70-79: B&N could do better and has to be cautious of bankruptcy.
60-69: B&N doesn't look too good and bankruptcy is becoming a more realistic threat.

50-59: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger.
49 and less: Red alert! Bankruptcy is just around the corner and is likely to happen within a short time frame.


We will check the
B&N Bankruptcy Index every Thursday, updating each one of the parameters included in the index and will analyze the trend. You can follow the weekly changes in the index from the day it was launched on the Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index page on our website.

So here's our update for this week (in brackets is last week's grade):

1. Confidence of the stock market in B&N

This parameter will look at the performan
ce of the B&N stock (symbol: BKS) in the last week. The performance of B&N's stock is an indication of the confidence the market has in the ability of B&N to maintain a viable business.

So let's look at last week's figures:


4/13: $9.23
4/20: $10.66
Change: +15.5%


As you can see, B&N's stock jumped 15.5% last week. Just for comparison, Amazon rose 0.87% last week and the S&P500 Index also gained 1.21%.

What happened? Cindy Johnson offered this explanation on The Motley Fool:
Office supply retailer Staples will start selling Barnes & Noble's Nook Color Android-based e-book reader on May 1 in its stores and online for $249. Staples is the world's largest office products company and the second largest e-commerce retailer, with annual sales of $25 billion and 90,000 associates in 26 countries.

But Johnson is a bit skeptic in the explanation that she's offering, mentioning that "the Nook is already available at Best Buy, Amazon, and of course, B&N."

NakedValue also suspects it's something else, although he (or she) is not sure what is it exactly, noting that it might be something bigger:

There is enough reason to believe that Barnes & Noble's big stock move could be the result of something bigger. If so, investors should be prepared for the possibility of follow-up headlines. If the Staples headline is really the sole reason for Barnes & Noble's big move, investors should avoid the stock because the price strength will not last. Not only was the Staples story old, the company is not likely to meaningfully change the prospects at the leading bookstore chain in the country.

Today NakedValue offers another option to be considered:
Barnes & Noble (BKS) may be the stock market's cheapest technology stock with a price/sales of 0.08 and a PEG ratio of 0.59. Sure, the company has a dominant presence as a brick and mortar bookstore chain but the company's surprisingly successful Nook e-reader/tablet gives it tremendous upside potential. JP Morgan estimates that there will be 47.9 million tablets sold in 2011 and 79.6 million sold in 2012. As the market's lowest cost tablet, the color Nook could be worth billions to the right acquirer.

So the bottom line is that no one really knows for sure what happened and why the stock jumped so high in just a couple of days. Therefore we stay cautious and wait until next week to see if this trend is continuing or not. In the meantime, our week's grade for this parameter is going up by half a point: 5 (4.5)

2. What analysts say on B&N

No updates this week. There's no change in the market's sentiment and therefore our grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

3. New strategy to regain sales in the brick and mortar stores
Just like Borders, B&N still doesn't have yet a clear and comprehensive strategy that will transform their brick and mortar stores from a liability back to an asset.

This week's grade stays the same: 4 (4)

4. What B&N is saying about itself
No updates this week and our grade for this parameter stays the same: 6 (6)

5. Steps B&N is taking
Nothing happened this week. This week's grade stays the same: 6 (6)

6. Competitors
This parameter will mainly look in
to Borders and how its problems affect B&N. This week Borders, according to Bloomberg, "is seeking at least $50 million in additional financing as sales trail expectations and publishers demand cash in advance, said two people who have seen the chain’s plans to reorganize. The retailer may risk liquidation without further investment, easier terms from vendors or a buyer, said the people, who declined to be identified because the process isn’t public. Borders already has a $505 million debtor-in-possession loan from lenders led by GE Capital. Those creditors are helping to fund operations in bankruptcy and have priority over others. "

According to Bloomberg "
Annual sales may drop to $1.5 billion, according to court papers, less than half what the chain generated two years ago."

Is it good news for B&N? I'm not sure. It implies of course that B&N can benefit from having a bigger market share, but it also shows the depth of the troubles the brick and mortar bookstores are in and this is still, to remind you, B&N main source of revenues.

Our
grade stays the same: 5 (5)

7. Financial strength

Couple of weeks ago Barnes & Noble published the results for the third quarter. We don't have any updates for this week and our grade stays the same: 7 (7)

8. Strength of the digital business

It looks like the competitors are wasting no time in adding new features and raising money.

Amazon's Kindle Will Offer E-Books From Libraries - As the Wall Street Journal reported "Amazon said Wednesday that it will launch the public-library feature—which gives the Kindle the same library-borrowing abilities as competing e-reading devices such as Barnes & Noble Inc.'s Nook and Sony Corp.'s Reader—later this year. "We think customers are going to love this new library feature," said a spokeswoman for the Seattle-based retailer."

The Wall Street Journal also reported on Tuesday that Kobo closed a $50 million funding round:

“It’s about international expansion,” said Todd Humphrey, Kobo’s executive vice president of business development. He said the company will also use the funding to grow its base in the U.S. and Canada and to improve its product. Overall, Kobo said it has 3.2 million users.

The company said the $50 million investment was led by an institutional investor that it declined to name, and that existing investors–which include Indigo Books and Music and Cheung Kong Holdings–also participated in the funding round.

These steps, following the release of the $114 Kindle are adding to the major threats on the estimated 25% market share of the Nook and hence on B&N digital business. Our grade this week goes down in half a point: 7 (7.5)

9. Sense of urgency
It looks like B&N still think they have time and are not worried at all, or at least not worried enough to begin doing something with their brick and mortar stores (again, we don't believe more toys in the stores and extra room for the Nook is a winning strategy). If we can learn something from the Borders' case, it's how fast things go bad when your reach a certain tipping point of financial distress or distrust of your stakeholders (consumers or publishers for example). This week's grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

10. General feeling
This parameter will be an indication of our impression of all the materials read and analyzed for this index. Our feeling that things are still not looking too good for B&N hasn't changed this week and
this parameter's grade stays the same: 5.5 (5.5)

This week's Barnes & Noble Bankruptcy Index: 56.5 points (56.5)

As you can see, this week's index is set at 56.5 points, which means B&N is getting deeper into the 50-59 zone: Bankruptcy is a clear and present danger. It's still not the red zone but it means that bankruptcy is getting closer and is becoming a real threat to B&N. See you next Thursday.

To view the weekly changes in the index visit Barnes and Noble Bankruptcy Index on our website.

You can find more resources on the future of bookstores on our website at www.ecolibris.net/bookstores_future.asp

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Working to green the book industry!