This extremely dense -- and mostly anecdotal -- article outlines the demise of B&N due to Apple's iBookstore capturing more and more of its marketshare.
The only way most indie authors can gain access to distribution into Apple's iBookstore is through Smashwords. Apple makes the process extremely difficult to upload e-books directly into its store. Extremely difficult is putting it mildly.
That said, if you have a Mac (you need a Mac to upload to Apple's iBookstore -- yes, the first of many, many, many hurdles) and love to control every aspect of your books' distribution (like we do), we think it's absolutely essential to avoid Smashwords and attempt to control the upload process directly into iBookstore yourself.
Not only can you literally upload your book and have it available in about 24 hours (we've heard it takes weeks and months when using Smashwords to distribute to Apple), you also have control over all royalty reporting and YOU (not Smashwords) are listed as the publisher within Apple's iBookstore.
I haven't had any serious delays with Apple. Usually it take maybe 2 weeks from the first upload, and that is a vetting process on Apple's end. More often it takes less time and after the initial upload, changes usually happen within a day. B&N, on the other hand, takes longer. But the key issue for me is that my book is only converted once, so I only have to check it once. My next updates/next book, I am going to start uploading the Smashwords mobi file to Amazon and hopefully nix a couple of format issues I've seen.
I just signed up for the expanded distribution channels on Createspace and found that they are now free, so I signed up for all of them. They say my trade paperback should be in the channels in 6 weeks. Good to know. I have to reformat my SF titles before I sign them up.