Saturday, September 20, 2014

B&N's latest bone-headed decision

I have no idea how widespread this news is outside my usual reader/book blogging sites, so I figured I'd mention it here. A few days ago Barnes & Noble made the bone-headed decision to remove download links from the "My Nook Library" section of their site. Nook Books can now only be downloaded to Nook apps or devices - no more downloading to your computer and sideloading.

The best theory I've heard is that they're trying to protect against piracy. Way to go, B&N! Treating your paying customers like potential pirates sounds like a great way to do business. Dear Author's Thursday News post has more info, including workarounds (that may not necessarily work).

I've owned a Nook ever since I took the plunge and began buying and reading e-books. Despite this, I've only ever bought two e-books from B&N, because the site makes it impossible to see what has DRM and what doesn't. I had been considering breaking down and buying some Tor e-books from B&N, because I knew they were going to be DRM-free. Also, B&N seemed like the best place to get M.C.A. Hogarth's e-books after she made the decision to remove her stuff from Smashwords. None of that's going to happen now, because I'm firm in the belief that I should be able to download any e-book I buy to my computer and back it up. You never know when a retailer will go belly up, taking with it all your purchases. Considering that B&N seems determined to go out of business as quickly as possible, I'd especially insist on the ability to download and backup anything bought from them.

I still have three of Hogarth's books and several short stories that I haven't yet read. After that, I have to figure out what to do next. My choices seem to be 1) buy from Kobo after checking first to make sure the files are EPUB and not KePub, 2) buy from Amazon and hope the files convert smoothly to EPUB, or 3) give up and accept that I won't be reading any more of Hogarth's books. Crud.


  1. *pops up cheerfully*

    Did you ever figure this out? If not, you can email me and we can discuss free review copies. :)

    haikujaguar at gmail!


    1. Oh, hi, author whose works I have read and generally enjoyed! *blush*

      Thanks for asking, but I've figured out a good alternative. :) I've switched to buying your stuff from Kobo. They've even made some improvements since I wrote this post - the product pages are now really good about saying what kind of file they're selling (which is something I asked BN about several times but that they never implemented).