B&N to shed publishing arm

American book chain Barnes & Noble is reportedly seeking bids for its publishing arm Sterling.

The bookseller acquired Sterling in 2003 for $115m but is now looking to shed its publishing business to concentrate on its technology and digital arms, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited its source as people familiar with the situation.

The American newspaper also said increasing pressure from Amazon had forced B&N to shed Sterling, which focuses on non-fiction, children’s books, crafting, cooking and self-help imprints, among others.

Speaking at the Publishers Association's International Conference recently, Theresa Horner, vice-president for digital content for B&N, said the retailer’s e-reading Nook device would be available in the UK in the "not too distant future".

Barnes & Noble has been publishing books since the 1970s.