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Nook - why so confusing for UK owners.

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29 Dec 2012, 11:46 AM
Post: #1
Barnes and Noble really seem to have made a hash of the Nook in the UK. It must be incredibly frustrating for a novice Nook owner.

Today B&N sent me a $10 credit to buy a book with as an introductory gift. Great I thought, lets have a look on barnesandnoble.com and see what I can buy. I spent a while finding a book and then when I finally did, it told me that I needed a US billing address and credit card (despite the $10 credit which was more than sufficient to buy the book I wanted)

OK, so I go on to http://uk.nook.com (hard enough to find as it is, seeing as there are no links to this anywhere or the B&N website) to look at UK books. This is nigh on impossible thanks to the useless website, but I eventually find what I'm looking for, but yup, you guessed it, no credit in my account.

What a stupid thing to do to new nook owners - send them on a wild goose chase for a $10 credit they can't use....

Did you try setting it to Wumbo?
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06 Jan 2013, 09:52 PM
Post: #2
I totally agree - B&N seem to have a strange way approaching the UK - the website is difficult to find and stay on (keeps sending you back to the US) and, it may just be me but the selection is dire - a TOTAL of 95 fiction titles? Maybe I just failed to understand their site layout but no matter what I did I could not find any more books.

I have an android tab, not a nook device and only entered the nook scene due to having an old account on the now defunct US fictionwise site - apparently my library from there is being transferred to nook -no sign of it yet however. Based on my current experience I'll stick with the Kindle app and the hundred thousand plus books available from Amazon.
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06 Jan 2013, 10:13 PM
Post: #3
Actually there about 2 million books in the UK store - not that you would know it - they don't seem to understand the concept of discoverability.

Try going to http://uk.nook.com/ and click in the search field at the top right and then hit [Enter]. You will get about 2 million results. Click on the "Books" link in the left filter column to start narrowing down your search. Intuitive or what?
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07 Jan 2013, 08:33 AM
Post: #4
The Uk Site is appalling
A tip for finding free books for your Nook not just classics
Have the uk and the us nook store both open on PC or tablet. The US site has drop searches for free books and also special Friday freebies ( something else uk customers not privileged to.). Search the free books on the US site, if you find any you want look up the same book on the uk nook store. I've found most of the time it's free here too.
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08 Jan 2013, 12:46 AM
Post: #5
Just received an email from Barnes & Noble offering "Best Selling Books - only $1.99". Beside the headline is a picture of the front cover of "The Light Between Oceans" and clicking it takes you to the Nook store where you can buy it... for $9.99.

To be fair other books shown in the email do appear in the store for $1.99, but I was wondering why I got this email when I had registered a Nook in the UK. The answer appears to be that the Nook store back-end is a bit confused over where my account is based. I had originally created a BN.com account before the Nook and store had been launched in the UK. When I bought the Nook Simple Touch I registered it using my existing account. Now it appears that the Nooks sold in the UK are region-specific (it knows to go to the UK store for example) but my account details with BN.com don't appear to have any location details. So I suspect that BN.com is assuming that I'm in the States but my Nook knows I'm in the UK. This is consistent with my appearing to have separate US and UK document libraries. (Incidentally Amazon had similar problems when it introduced its Cloud Player.)

Given the region-specific nature of publishing books this is a rather surprising web application design error for an international bookstore to make.
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10 Jan 2013, 04:31 PM
Post: #6
It seems that many retailers, Amazon included, are terribly US-centric. (Clearly some are more so than others.) I know that the US is currently the biggest market for ebooks but that will change and retailers need to get a clearer understanding of the global nature of the business which is evolving.

I am surprised at how clunky other sites are when compared to Kindle. It's ease of use for the customer which will sell books. (Having said this my wife has just bought a new book from Kindle and it hasn't come up yet. She's muttering to herself as I type.)

I'm glad that Kobo, Nook, Sony and Apple are around to compete with Amazon. Let's hope the problems outlined here improve. (Wife still having problems but this is the first problem she's had with Kindle.)

Happy New Year everyone.

Martin Lake

blog: http://martinlakewriting.wordpress.com
twitter: @martinlake14
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11 Jan 2013, 09:41 AM
Post: #7
Fascinating! My beef with Nook was that it is impossible for Uk indie writers to publish on their site and now it seems they don't even want UK readers to read books! Just buy the ereader. It is a reminder of how US centric it all is. Ridiculous. It's one of the reasons I went with Kobo in the beginning. Didn't like Amazon's approach to paying taxes (as a publisher you have to sign up for US Tax and if you do print pub you have to order proof copies from US - with hefty postage rates!) and Kobo (at the time) were true Canadians. Even though they've now sold out to UK they do allow publishers to be paid IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY IN STERLING. It's just a shame I don't ever SELL any ebooks on Kobo because the site is so woeful. What does this tell us? That we in the UK really aren't an important market. That indie publishers are an even less important market and that Amazon have the pile em high, sell em cheap and just treat everything as PRODUCT to be sold. There's something of a gap between the concept of just ruthlessly flogging 'product' and actually doing something GOOD with digital publishing. I wish I could believe that ANY of the big companies actually cared about the consumer or the ebooks rather than the bottom line and the shareholders. Ah well...

Cally Phillips

http://www.callyphillips.co.uk
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11 Jan 2013, 10:52 AM
Post: #8
I think at least Kobo have the excuse of being a relative newcomer in terms of selling books, so I'm sure things may improve in time, but as for B&N, there really isn't such an excuse.

The only other hope is that companies have been jumping the gun in a rush to launch competitive hardware and that the actual purchasing and publishing side of things is yet to catch up. It does sound rather a poor business strategy though and you have to wonder how much profit is in the eReader hardware - Amazon almost sell Kindles at a loss.

Did you try setting it to Wumbo?
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12 Jan 2013, 07:26 PM
Post: #9
(11 Jan 2013 10:52 AM)Lou Wrote:  I think at least Kobo have the excuse of being a relative newcomer in terms of selling books, so I'm sure things may improve in time, but as for B&N, there really isn't such an excuse.

B&N have been selling books since 1873 and in fact I think that is a reasonable excuse...

Throughout history new media has been a disruption that has been vigorously resisted by the established media. For example:
  • Attempted restrictions on Gutenberg's press by the Catholic Church and Islamic Religious authorities.
  • Attempts to control the introduction of Piano Roll players by the music industry in 1908.
  • Resistance to the introduction of video recorders by the movie and TV industries in the 1970s.
  • Attacks on the music cassette in the 1980s - remember "Home Taping Is Killing Music"?
  • Not to mention the more recent attacks by the music industry on the CD and MP3.
  • And now of course it is Hollywood v. streaming.

I bet there were Egyptians who campaigned against the introduction of the papyrus scroll in 3,000 BC...

Given such a history it is actually refreshing to see an old media company trying to compete in the digital environment rather than just trying to ignore it or positively fighting against its introduction. They may not be making too much of a success of it at the moment but at least they are moving in the right direction.
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14 Jan 2013, 10:01 AM
Post: #10
I agree with you regarding it being good to see a dinosaur keeping up with the times, but what I was driving at is that a company with B&N's experience should really understand how to sell to other territories effectively and also how to build a ebook store that is geared towards pushing books to the people who want to read them in the same way that Amazon do.

Did you try setting it to Wumbo?
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