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Old 07-06-2020, 11:09 AM   #181
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I can't remember ever seeing a kindle in a store. I'm sure it happened somewhere, but I suspect that the majority of kindle buyers, like me, bought them online without physically handling them first. I bought both my Kobo's that way as well. Yes, there is a percentage of people who have to fondle the merchandise before they will buy it, but I think by this point, in store purchases isn't the driving force for ebook readers.
The only ereaders I’ve bought in store were the nook ST, STG, Glowlight, and I one other one which I returned. I bought in store because BN was nearby and it was easy enough to flag down an employee. I could do a the same with kindle at Best Buy as they’re near enough to me but the employees at the nearest one to me just don’t seem to care. I could be waving a sign saying “I’ve got money to burn” and still need to hunt one down. I’ve bought all three Kobo models I’ve owned without holding them in my hand first. I don’t see that changing unless they are available locally (Walmart is about a 2hr trip one way for me not exactly convenient)
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:53 PM   #182
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I can't remember ever seeing a kindle in a store. I'm sure it happened somewhere, but I suspect that the majority of kindle buyers, like me, bought them online without physically handling them first. I bought both my Kobo's that way as well. Yes, there is a percentage of people who have to fondle the merchandise before they will buy it, but I think by this point, in store purchases isn't the driving force for ebook readers.
When e-ink readers were fairly new, I do think the public needed to see them. Well, at least I know I did. I guess I can't claim to speak for 'the public'.

I do remember seeing Kindles, Nooks and Kobos at various stores. Early on, I remember Target and Best Buy having an ereader section with Sonys, Kindles and Nooks. I remember seeing Sonys (or maybe Kobos) at Borders and of course B&N had the Nook. I thought they were neat, but not for me.

It was using a Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight in the store that made me finally decide to buy one.

Once I was used to the concept, I had no problem buying my Kobo online (the fact that it was $50 for a refurbed one on eBay helped).
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:09 PM   #183
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I do remember seeing Kindles, Nooks and Kobos at various stores. Early on, I remember Target and Best Buy having an ereader section with Sonys, Kindles and Nooks. I remember seeing Sonys (or maybe Kobos) at Borders and of course B&N had the Nook. I thought they were neat, but not for me.
All those.
Kindles have also been at Walmart, Office Max, Staples, and a few independent stores. OfficeMax and Staples. Staples still carries them online and in-store.

And, of course, AmazonBooks and 4-Star stores carry Kindles. Ditto for their popup mall kiosks before the apocalypse.

Radio Shack carried Nooks around the Nook STR era.
So did BAM.

Borders carried both Sonys (from day one) and early Kobos.
They were Kobo's primary US partner starting just before they filed bankruptcy.
(Not the best timing.)

And back in the pre-history, B&N carried both the Rocketbook and the Softbook. After that, they carried the RCA/Gemstar reader.

Over the years lots of B&M retail outlets have carried ebook readers. Even Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:17 AM   #184
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When e-ink readers were fairly new, I do think the public needed to see them. Well, at least I know I did. I guess I can't claim to speak for 'the public'.

I do remember seeing Kindles, Nooks and Kobos at various stores. Early on, I remember Target and Best Buy having an ereader section with Sonys, Kindles and Nooks. I remember seeing Sonys (or maybe Kobos) at Borders and of course B&N had the Nook. I thought they were neat, but not for me.

It was using a Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight in the store that made me finally decide to buy one.

Once I was used to the concept, I had no problem buying my Kobo online (the fact that it was $50 for a refurbed one on eBay helped).
Can't really say that I go to Target, Walmart or Best Buy so that's a pretty good reason I never saw it. I did buy my first eReader in a store, the Sony store (a PRS-500). I bought the Kindle when it came out on line. Pretty much all the screens were the same at the time, and it was a lot more about getting access to the Kindle eBook store since I mostly used the Sony PRS-500, then the PRS-505.

Of course, these days, having physical devices in physical stores isn't really a game changer. Most people who are going to buy an eReader device is likely to be comfortable buying online.

Back when they first came out, B&N had the nook front and center in all their stores. I don't know that it made a huge difference for them, their eBook store was fairly minimal.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:45 AM   #185
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Back when they first came out, B&N had the nook front and center in all their stores. I don't know that it made a huge difference for them...
It worked for me. Seeing the ST with Glowlight in person is what made me buy an ereader.

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...their eBook store was fairly minimal.
I disagree their ebook store was minimal. I found everything I was looking for at B&N.

Now, in recent years, Amazon has some authors signed exclusively and since B&N has strangled the Nook through incompetence and neglect and Kobo is practically unknown, I have seen some indies and small presses that only seem to list at Amazon. So yeah, now B&N's ebook store doesn't compare.

My memory may be fuzzy or biased, but I seem to remember Kindle and Nook being valid competitors up until the model branded Nook Glowlight. When the Simple Touch with Glowlight came out, they really seemed to have some mojo.

When the follow-up Nook Glowlight came out with no SD card and only 512MB for sideloading was around the same time B&N started playing games with changing their DRM and making books harder to download.

At least that's how I remember it. I may be conflating things. But at any rate, that was when I drifted away from purchasing books at B&N, though I do still like their hardware.

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Old 07-07-2020, 01:28 PM   #186
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I agree there was nothing with their book store than.
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:30 PM   #187
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The Nook store was good depending on what you were interested in. They had what I wanted (sci-fi/fantasy), but were generally lacking in things my father was interested in (history, political science). At least from what he said, the Kindle store had a better selection.

Honestly though as long as you can sideload content, and know how to remove DRM the contents of any one store are pretty meaningless.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:01 PM   #188
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Honestly though as long as you can sideload content, and know how to remove DRM the contents of any one store are pretty meaningless.
Which is what keeps my Nook viable.

Let's face it, if sideloading/the ability to remove DRM suddenly went away, we'd all be reading Kindles.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:41 PM   #189
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Which is what keeps my Nook viable.

Let's face it, if sideloading/the ability to remove DRM suddenly went away, we'd all be reading Kindles.
Quite likely. Of course, the vast majority of eBook readers don't side load and don't know how to remove DRM, so they stay with the eBook store that matches their reader, be it Kindle, Nook, Kobo or Apple Books. Of course, a lot of people read on the tablets or phones now.

When I had a nook (I eventually gave it to my sister), the selection was much worse than the Kindle store. I use to go the B&N. I would see a book that I wanted (usually SF&F or history), I would look to see if it was in the nook store. Most of the time it wasn't. Then I would look in the Kindle store. 90% of the time, I found it there. B&N missed out on a lot of sales to me that way.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:36 PM   #190
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When I had a nook (I eventually gave it to my sister), the selection was much worse than the Kindle store. I use to go the B&N. I would see a book that I wanted (usually SF&F or history), I would look to see if it was in the nook store. Most of the time it wasn't. Then I would look in the Kindle store. 90% of the time, I found it there. B&N missed out on a lot of sales to me that way.
That's weird. The vast majority of the books at a Barnes and Noble store (not counting the discount section*) are Big Five books and Amazon and B&N should both have them to this day.

Where I think Amazon pulled ahead is in indies and as Nook lost relevancy small presses stopped paying attention to them.

*most of the books in the discount section, not counting the remainders, are books published by B&N themselves. Some are available as Nook books, but many are not. I think that's because they tend to be reprints and paper rights are easier to secure than ebook rights.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:58 PM   #191
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*most of the books in the discount section, not counting the remainders, are books published by B&N themselves. Some are available as Nook books, but many are not. I think that's because they tend to be reprints and paper rights are easier to secure than ebook rights.
Which is a shame, the leatherbound BN classic covers always tended to be pretty nice. Though I know some of those were very much not in the PD which could be why they never transitioned those editions over.
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:27 AM   #192
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I disagree their ebook store was minimal. I found everything I was looking for at B&N.

Now, in recent years, Amazon has some authors signed exclusively and since B&N has strangled the Nook through incompetence and neglect and Kobo is practically unknown, I have seen some indies and small presses that only seem to list at Amazon. So yeah, now B&N's ebook store doesn't compare.

My memory may be fuzzy or biased, but I seem to remember Kindle and Nook being valid competitors up until the model branded Nook Glowlight. When the Simple Touch with Glowlight came out, they really seemed to have some mojo.
Your memory is fine.
The stores weren't identical but they were equivalent; B&N had an edge in some areas, Amazon in others. Hardware was mostly comparable *after* Kindle's defacto Pearl exclusivity expired. Where Nook fell on its face was when B&N failed to manage the STR generation and ended up with a 3Million unit excess. That kept them from updating the eink hardware as fast as they used to. And the ensuing write-off ate all the profits from their peak, when they controlled 25% of the ebook market vs Kindle's 56%.

Exclusivity is a tricky subject, though, because of how we got where we are: B&N started it when they secured exclusivity for the PEANUTS collections for their first tablets but "conveniently" forgot about it when the Amazon got temporary exclusivity for a handful of DC Graphic Novels for their first tablets.

Amazon tried several inducements with KDP SELECT to secure Indie exclusivity with minimal success before 2014. B&N made no effort and were caught downlisting Indie romance titles which didn't help their rep and when Kindle Unlimited came out what was a trickle became a stream. As of now, 20-25% of all KDP titles are Select exclusives, mostly Indies and small press. (Plus the boycotted APub titles. Different story, though.)

For tradpub-only buyers there should be no big difference since they tend to avoid KU but that's a million-plus title advantage for the Kibdle store. Not much anybody can do to counter KU by now. The time to stop it was at launch. By 2016 it was clear to Indie authors that Amazon's claims of increased discoverability were true; not only did KU reads generate income (unlike permafree) the better Indies saw a significant boost in sales in the books. And since most Indies aren't shy about sharing information, KU has grown bigger than any non-Kindle ebookstore.

There's still a lot of Indies who avoid KU, mostly hybrids with older fan bases, but among newcomers KU is practically mandatory.

Not much that can be done by now; Indies aren't a big enough share of the market to and KU membership contracts short enough no whining can trigger outside intervention. Amazon has been careful to keep it strictly within legal bounds.

KU is simply too big and too useful (for publishers and avid readers) and has too much of a headstart.

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Let's face it, if sideloading/the ability to remove DRM suddenly went away, we'd all be reading Kindles.
Exactly.
This is the challenge the rest of the players face: Kindle hit the mainstream first, kept evolving, and never rested. They've made mistakes (DX!) but their focus on readers and Indies over the BPHs has kept them on track. Add in mistakes from B&N, Sony, and Apple and you get today's market.

Network effects are well-nigh impossible to overcome.
Again, the time to stop Kibdle was 2010 and the means was interoperable ePub.
Once the market went walled garden the game was over.

By now every other ebook player is merely competing for third place, regardless of how good their hardware.

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Old 07-08-2020, 08:04 AM   #193
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That's weird. The vast majority of the books at a Barnes and Noble store (not counting the discount section*) are Big Five books and Amazon and B&N should both have them to this day.

Where I think Amazon pulled ahead is in indies and as Nook lost relevancy small presses stopped paying attention to them.
Correct on both counts.
Kindle's calling card these days are Indies, small presses, and APub (by default--this can't be stressed enough: those are very good books competitors refuse to stock, hurting themselves and helping amazon). Sure, they carry everything else, too, but that's what separates them from everybody else. And it makes then enough money from enough different sources no publisher can push them around. And they know it.

Back before they shut down, Author Earnings did a study of the ratio of Indies, BPH, MID-size, and small press, in the major ebookstores.

Google and Apple were close to 90% tradpub and very high in BPH.
KINDLE was barely two thirds Tradpub and less than a third BPH.

NOOK and KOBO were somewhere in between, with Kobo doing quite a bit better with Indies than Nook.

The numbers made sense: back when it mattered, the only way for Indies to get into Apple was via aggregators like SMASHWORDS and Google stopped accepting Indies a few years back.

Nook still had their bad rep with the romance indies (and, boy, are they legion!).

Kobo is pretty much the only other player that has made any kind of case for Indies "going wide" because of their Overdrive link.

Which is undercut by the libraries "allergy" to anything not listed in the literary journals. (When it came out that SMASHWORDS Indie titles were segregated, "ghettoized" in Overdrive listings, it was revealed the Libraries demanded it. Kinda limits the value of going that route.)

Since Amazon sells over half all books in the US it is safe to say that that 30-40% of sales going Indie, small Press, and especially APub, makes a big difference between stores.

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Old 07-08-2020, 09:37 AM   #194
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That's weird. The vast majority of the books at a Barnes and Noble store (not counting the discount section*) are Big Five books and Amazon and B&N should both have them to this day.

Where I think Amazon pulled ahead is in indies and as Nook lost relevancy small presses stopped paying attention to them.

*most of the books in the discount section, not counting the remainders, are books published by B&N themselves. Some are available as Nook books, but many are not. I think that's because they tend to be reprints and paper rights are easier to secure than ebook rights.
It was fairly early on with the nook. It may sound weird, but that was my experience. It could be that they pulled even a bit later, when I had already given up on them. The Nook came out in November of 2009 about 4 months before the iPad and Apple's book store. That was some 2 years after the first Kindle (November 2007) and 3 years after Sony's PRS-500( Sept 2006). It's not exactly shocking that it took B&N time to build inventory in their ebook store.
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Old 07-10-2020, 02:15 PM   #195
Rbneader
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Posts: 478
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
Which is what keeps my Nook viable.

Let's face it, if sideloading/the ability to remove DRM suddenly went away, we'd all be reading Kindles.
I wouldn't, but most of us probably would.

I really liked Nook, but once B&N's ereader line didn't have any ereaders with a microSD slot I bailed for Kobo, and then for Onyx when Kobo did the same thing. Never regretted it, but if they came out with an ereader with a microSD slot I'd consider it. I like supporting US bookstores and buying local.

The page-turning visual in the Nook tablet app was amazingly realistic, and the screen was excellent. We used those tablets for years.
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