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Old 07-01-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
L.J. Sellers
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B&N offers free books with upgrade to Nook

From Shelf Awareness:

"Beginning today, customers can bring any e-reading device into a Barnes & Noble bookstore to, in the company's words, "compare and upgrade to a Nook device and receive an instant Nook Book collection—30 free digital titles valued at $315." While supplies last, B&N customers will get a free, 2GB microSD card loaded with the e-books with the purchase of any Nook device.

Early reviews of the offer were less than enthusiastic. CrunchGear noted that the titles include Glory in the Fall: The Greatest Moments in World Series History, 21st Century Crossword Puzzle Dictionary and My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me. "There are some cookbooks in there and a few other interesting titles but it’s not like you’re going to score a complete Stephen King library or anything.... You can also just grab the 2GB card, erase it, and put your own books bought on your previous reader on there, which is what I suspect they’re really trying to offer here."

PaidContent.org also "took a look at the list of e-books that Barnes & Noble is offering free, and it reminded me of the books on a B&N bargain table--titles like AARP Crash Course in Finding the Work You Love, Susie's Sun Signs, and Country Living: The Mom's Guide to Running a Business. Six of the titles are in the public domain, so they're already free anyway. When I totaled the value of the books, I got $263.66. Perhaps B&N is valuing the SD card at $52.... Barnes & Noble's store sales are down, and the company is trying to find ways to lure shoppers into stores."
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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I wasn't impressed. Guess I'll just keep my 4 readers.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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"You can also just grab the 2GB card, erase it, and put your own books bought on your previous reader on there, which is what I suspect they’re really trying to offer here."

That's odd. Can you copy books from your reader onto an SD card, without having to be connected to your computer? (I really have no idea, I have never used an SD card in my reader.)

And if you are moving from another brand to the Nook, how many of those books are likely to work on the Nook? (don't answer that, of course it will vary for each person. But I do think for a lot of people, the answer would be NOT MANY).

eP
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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I like the idea, but this deal just isn't worth it. Unless, of course, all the books on this SD card are ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE NOW books (to you).
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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Wow, really?! That's really low of them. Although I think it's just them trying not to lose any money on book sales. You don't want to sell someone a device with the current 100 best sellers included, because then you miss out on the $10-20 per person you could have gotten from each one who were going to buy a copy of something anyway.

But at least there's SOME reading material in there to start with. You type 'money' in a Kindle search and there's spam galore! Either that or pornographic material... Actually, I'll tell you what happened today: I was looking for Origami books, you know... Clean, fun, paper craft, simple guide stuff... One of the first things that pop up is a book about making erotica origami... Yeah.

The Kindle Store is filled with filth, and that's the only thing I don't like about it. The spam I can handle, but it's having to go through hundreds of sex related stuff when I just want an illustrated book of birds, nature, or whatever. B&N/Apple have better control overall on that stuff because they require so much more from authors to comply with. I'm not saying they need to censor things, but I wish they had more filter options for us to use.

B&N overprices everything though. Which is probably why they say that those books are worth $315. But are they REALLY doing that badly in the first place? My store is ALWAYS packed. I think they need to just get rid of the comfy chairs and tables so that people don't sit there all day to read all day long and put back the books when they're done! Let them go do that at the in-store Starbucks so that people spill their coffee all over and are FORCED to pay for them.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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It always boggles my mind when people whine and complain about things that are free. It's not like they are asking you to "Trade In" your current ereader. But if you were thinking of buying the new nook or a nook color and had a current ereader, WHY NOT take advantage of it. Sure not all 300 is going to be of interest to you but some might or it might get you to read an author you more than likely wouldn't have in the past.

Egads people it's FREE.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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It always boggles my mind when people whine and complain about things that are free....
I believe the problem is that while B&N is giving you a raft of free ebooks, it doesn't sound like anything that people actually want.

I'm not upset by this, but in my opinion this is a poor move on B&N's part. It'd be much better if they included, say, a dozen free / public domain classics and a few good titles from different types of books. I'm far more enticed by $50 in good books than $300 in schlock.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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And if you are moving from another brand to the Nook, how many of those books are likely to work on the Nook? (don't answer that, of course it will vary for each person. But I do think for a lot of people, the answer would be NOT MANY).

eP
Any epubs could be transferred to the Nook.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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I believe the problem is that while B&N is giving you a raft of free ebooks, it doesn't sound like anything that people actually want.

I'm not upset by this, but in my opinion this is a poor move on B&N's part. It'd be much better if they included, say, a dozen free / public domain classics and a few good titles from different types of books. I'm far more enticed by $50 in good books than $300 in schlock.
well titles of what people want are always going to be subjectable to the person especially in books What's a good book to you is not to another.

I love Stephen King, $300 to me would be insane. My wife can't stand him so $300 worth would be wasted. You have to cross all demographics.

and again they are FREE.

It sort of reminds of people complaining when an ice cream store offers free samples and there is always that one person that complains because it's not the full blown sundae of his size and topping choosing.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:25 PM   #10
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Is this a trade-in deal? I see that you "bring in" your old reader but do you surrender it or just show it? Because that makes a big difference as to "how free" the books on the SD card are.

eP
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:02 PM   #11
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I believe the problem is that while B&N is giving you a raft of free ebooks, it doesn't sound like anything that people actually want.
I've always thought B&N would do well with a "trade-in" deal, but it DOES seem like a "you get 50, here's a list of 150 to choose from" would interest customers more than a set one-size-fits-all list.

NONE of those titles seem like anything I'd want, the cookbook and Little Women come free with a B&N account anyway, and frankly I'd find the entire B&N Classics library (PD though it is) to be more compelling of a deal, just because most of them do seem to be pretty nicely formatted.

@Jessica, my B&N has actually removed the chairs and I hate it. The "read-in-store" feature is worthless to me if I don't have a comfy place to sit, and that was potentially a good draw to get me to try-and-buy books from them. They would have made a bundle off me, so it was a mutually beneficial relationship, but they apparently felt the way you do about free-loading customers not being welcome in the store.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:07 PM   #12
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These titles aren't impressing anyone. If they really wanted to improve sales they would at least offer quality books that everyone wants.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:39 PM   #13
Jessica Lares
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@Jessica, my B&N has actually removed the chairs and I hate it. The "read-in-store" feature is worthless to me if I don't have a comfy place to sit, and that was potentially a good draw to get me to try-and-buy books from them. They would have made a bundle off me, so it was a mutually beneficial relationship, but they apparently felt the way you do about free-loading customers not being welcome in the store.
Oh yeah, I get the need to look into a book before buying, but it's one of the reasons they're diminishing. You don't take your kids to a store to sit down and read. You know? It's a place of business and they only exist to gain that profit, and if parents are taking their kids and telling them to pick out books and whatever to read to them and putting them back afterwards, it's not benefiting them.

That area is always a mess. Books are always all over the place. And actually I remember this lady I know who actually blogged on this topic too. They're as bad as the Apple Store pretty much.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:43 PM   #14
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Is this a trade-in deal? I see that you "bring in" your old reader but do you surrender it or just show it? Because that makes a big difference as to "how free" the books on the SD card are.

eP

You just show it. You still keep your ereader.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:51 PM   #15
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Eh. I don't see the point of getting your knickers in a knot over this; for some, B&N can do nothing right. B&N is essentially offering a free SD card with their reader, as CrunchGear noted. For someone on the fence, it might be what makes them decide it's time. If you were going to buy one anyway, why not get one now and get the SD card?

I agree that a few more of the B&N Classics titles would have made the come-on more attractive because the list does cause a big eye-roll, but it's no different from the junk that most of the ebookstores tout as free. Anyone who's been around ereading for even a short while knows how to parse "free ebook".

I'd rather not have the nuisance of erasing the SD card, but it's still something extra that really does have some value. For free.
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