Recent best-seller lists for magazines on the Nook Color bear this out. Magazine top sellers include US Weekly, Shape, Women’s Health and Every Day with Rachael Ray. Men’s magazines like Maxim and Men’s Health rounded out the top 20 late last week, but they were the outliers.
On the surface, the reason for the strong performance of female-oriented publications on the Nook is relatively straightforward. Generically speaking, the iPad and other tablets are men’s toys, while the Nook Color and other e-readers are more popular with women. According to data from Forrester Research, 56 percent of tablet owners are male, while 55 percent of e-reader owners are female. Women also buy more books than men do — by a ratio of about 3 to 1, according to a survey last year by Bowker, a research firm for publishers — and are therefore more likely to buy devices that are made primarily for reading books.
Not only have the terms of selling magazines on the Nook Color been comparatively easy to negotiate, but the process of creating electronic versions of magazines is also far easier and less expensive than it is to create an iPad edition. Publishers need only send a PDF of their latest issue, and Barnes & Noble takes care of the rest.
“As soon as a magazine is ready to send its pages to the printer, they send them to us,” said Jonathan Shar, Barnes & Noble’s digital newsstand manager. “It’s very efficient, and that’s part of our strategy. We knew that was important to publishers.”