This is a library blog, but I covered the e-bookstore scene for many years when I owned TeleRead, and old habits die hard.
Now here’s a heartfelt suggestion for the besieged people at Barnes & Noble, in the spirit of the recommendations that Joanna Cabot and my other friends at TeleRead have offered:
Rid your operation of DRM to the maximum extent your publishers will let you, and if they resist, at least make a case for social DRM, so technical incompatibilities aren’t a factor. By itself, that won’t save your company. But at least I’ll have a reason to buy from you despite prices so often higher than Amazon’s.
I’m plugged into the Amazon ecosystem, as well as a cloud with nonDRMed ePubs for my Android machine. And while I could run your reader on my Nexus 10 or iPad, it ain’t so hot compared, say, to the amazing Moon+ Pro Reader that I use with ePubs, while at times enjoying the Amy voice from Ivona. But suppose I could read B&N books with Moon and not have to worry about losing already-purchased titles. “Lose” is exactly what happened to the some of the few DRMed books I warily bought from Fictionwise, the independent bookstore you’ve shut down. The more familiar readers grow with e-books, the more they’ll hate DRM. It’s a great way to keep losing market share.
Please, B&N. While I can’t recall the last time I bought an e-book from you—thanks to the mix of higher prices and DRM—I’d love an excuse to take up the B&N habit. And maybe you’d pick up a second customer as well. My wife owns a Nook HD+, but for now she is using it almost entirely to read OverDrive library books.
Also of interest: B&N-related thoughts from another friend, Nate Hoffelder, at the Digital Reader, as well as Juli Monroe‘s suggestion over at Technology Tell—for B&N to use its stature in the brick-and-mortar-chain world to convince publishers to drop DRM.
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