Would You Switch to Nook if B&N Gave You a Nook GlowLight for Free?

Nook GlowLight

Barnes and Noble has been getting a lot of bad press for a long time, especially when it comes to anything related to the Nook portion of their business because it’s always losing them a ton of money with each quarterly report.

Most of the problems are of B&N’s own making, like making it so users can no longer download their own purchased ebooks for backup, changing DRM keys, taking away the Nook Cloud Reader with no warning or explanation, partitioning Nook software to only allow a small amount of sideloaded content, suddenly discontinuing international Nook ebookstores, screwing up the Nook customer forums, and plenty of other things to tick off customers.

Nobody really knows if Nook ereaders and Nook ebooks are going to be around for much longer, including the people at B&N.

The Nook has basically been in limbo for the past few years. For a while everyone thought B&N was going to spin Nook off into a separate company, because that’s what they said they were planning to do, but then earlier this year they announced that would not be happening.

Nobody at B&N really seems to know what to do with Nook or have any ideas on how to fix the problems. B&N just brought in a new CEO, but after all the damage and neglect that has been done, it’s hard to see there being much of any hope for Nook moving forward.

I got to thinking that most people knowledgeable of the situation probably wouldn’t even be interested in getting a Nook GlowLight for free if it meant they had to switch to using B&N’s Nook store for getting ebooks and other e-content.

Think about it. A few new to ebook readers might jump at that chance, but how many Kindle and Kobo users would really want to switch to B&N as their main store in their current unpredictable state even if a free Nook GlowLight was on the line.

Totally hypothetical: What if B&N would give you a $99 Nook GlowLight for free, but contractually you had to buy like 2-4 Nook books each month? Would you do it?

Obviously lots of people would jump at a free Nook tablet, but they have too many other functions. When it comes to the E Ink Nook, it’s a different story. The fact that it doesn’t offer any unique features whatsoever, and the fact the hardware is somewhat outdated, I doubt B&N would have much success gaining new customers even if they were giving them away. That’s a big problem.

24 Responses to “Would You Switch to Nook if B&N Gave You a Nook GlowLight for Free?”

  1. I wouldn’t do Business with B&N even if they paid me, let alone by simply giving me a cheap outdated Nook Glowlight. As you mentioned, they have too many issues and the forecast is too unpredictable.
    Expensive and limited e-book store with so many obstacles. No thanks…
    I was really hoping Walmart would jump in and save the day but that doesn’t look likely. We need more competition stateside to awaken Amazon from their 6″ slumber.

  2. Count me as mystified by the hostility towards B&N. You know who is losing money … in fact who has never recorded a single penny in profit in their entire existence? Amazon. Their entire business model is built on buying market share.

    I manage to download all the books I purchase from B&N, so I don’t think it’s really that difficult. Though I get the feeling that, regardless of vendor, the infotainmant industry is moving towards the idea of keeping your content “in the cloud”.

    The biggest advantage of using B&N is that you can read a large sample – typically the first 60 pages or so – of any book for free to help decide if you want to buy it. I’ve bought (and equally important, NOT bought) many books after reading the first few chapters.

  3. I didn’t want to get a Nook Glowlight when B&N was my primary ebook store. I now have a Kobo and a Kindle. I was a huge B&N fan, but no more.

  4. I’d ask an analogous question, circa early 1990s:

    Q: Now that B&N has just open their huge bookstore across town, would you commit to buying 3 books a month from Mom & Pop’s independent bookshop if M&P gave you half off of one book each month?

    A: Of course not. I like shopping in that big, upscale, super-stocked, totally eclectic bookstore across town. Its all about the expanse of the offerings and the customer experience.

  5. I love my Barnes and Nobel Nook simple touch reader… I think it’s the right size and it was fun loading Linux on and messing around with it. I never got the glow one though.
    I could never get past the idea of them selling an ebook at the same cost as a regular paperback book and never will… I don’t expect ebooks to be given away either, but I can say I never bought an ebook from B&N.

  6. “Nobody at B&N really seems to know what to do with Nook or have any ideas on how to fix the problems. B&N just brought in a new CEO, but after all the damage and neglect that has been done, it’s hard to see there being much of any hope for Nook moving forward.”

    It’s amazing the hostility you show at Barnes & Noble, a company that has spent many years and hundreds of millions of dollars investing in eBooks. Considering they have gone against a company that invests over 100 times as much,and uses one part of the company to subsidize another, it’s very hard to compete. Yet you seem to be able to speak for Barnes & Noble?

    Since you consider yourself a reporter of the industry, why don’t you interview Barnes & Noble directly, although, if I were them, I’d probably not do it because of your total lack of objectivity and hostility to a company struggling to provide an alternative to a monopoly.

    The company has tried different models to stay relevant, and you criticize it for being flexible and creative?

    Because Barnes & Noble is less of a competitor Amazon prices for eBooks continue to go up.

  7. my first ereader was the SONY Touch edition, but the first reader i made a lot of purchases on was my Nook HD. i supported B&N simply because i hate the Kindle, but the moment B&N took away the download option i was gone. i currently have a Kobo Aura H2O and i love it.

    If B&N offered me a free reader i’d take it, but if i was required to buy books from them… then no thanks. i will never buy ebooks from them again (physical books yes however).

  8. The downfall of B&N is not necessarily due strictly to their ebook store or content but due to the piss poor incompetent level of management. They also didn’t due themselves any favors launching a poorly designed and implemented Nook Glowlight that was already outdated before it was released. I believe Nathan is strictly laying out facts here unbiased. I personally hate Monopolies and would love someone to step up to Amazon as competition breeds innovation which is something Amazon is sorely lacking these days on the Kindle front. Unfortunately that won’t be B&N and not because anyone hates them but because of the way they treat their customers.

  9. Both of my Nook readers stopped working less than 2 years after purchase with no incidents of mishandling. So nope, no thanks.

  10. I used to cheer for BN, but no longer. I did NOT like Amazon. I have since found that my customer service and the stores to be horrible. I have had the experience at more than a few in my travels to deal with really stupid people. Uneducated employees with terrible manners.

    I purchased a few of the Nook products and have found the support of them to be terrible.

    I feel cheated because I tried harder to support BN than they did to support me!

  11. I LOVED my Nook Simple Touch when it came out, and Barnes and Noble! Eventually the battery went bad on it and they replaced it on the spot when I took it to my local store – even though I hadn’t purchased the additional extended warranty! My USB ac adapter also went bad a couple months later and they just handed me a new one, no charge!

    Fast forward a couple years to 2015 when I bought a new Nook Glowlight (after my previous awesome Nook was stolen!!) and added the extra warranty this time. Two months later I accidentally killed it with water, took it to the store, and they wouldn’t replace it!! Actually what happened was that they fiddled around with it to “make sure” it was dead, even going so far as to call tech support in front of me, who made them try to hold the power and nook buttons in different time interval combinations for 10 minutes before finally giving up and transferring them to a different department which gave them the OK to replace it in store for an almost happy ending… Except that when they got the new replacement Nook out to give to me the manager decided to show up and put it back in the shelf while telling me “sorry, we aren’t supposed to do that anymore, not even with the protection plan warranties, you’ll have to use the 1-800-the-book number and do it through the mail. I got in trouble last time doing that for another customer!”

    Now I have a Kobo.

  12. Honestly, no, I wouldn’t take them up on that hypothetical proposition, and this is coming from someone who has two Nooks and a soft spot for B&N because my first proper e-reader was a Nook. I feel that they are trying to constrict their customers too much, I’ve had screwed-up ebook orders with them in the past, and I just don’t trust the decisions that the company is making at all. . . it has been a good run, but I’m doing most of my reading on a Kindle device, and will be looking to Kobo for my next purchase.

  13. No! Tempting as that may be, it is like hooking up with your ex. It was good at one time, but there was a reason for leaving in the first place.

  14. For a device that does so little and that binds you to a marketplace, I’d actually expect to get the hardware for a very little price and to create revenue by buying the media or services for it – as it works with cell phones.
    I thank B&N for the old Nook Simple Touch, which is an awesome device – even with its original software, unrooted and unenhanced. But everything after that went downhill. A marketing idea based on free devices is half-baked at least, the new Glowlight can’t half compare against any old reader. B&N: Get a decent Asian Android device like a T68, brand it a bit, leave it open for the fiddlers, put a starter kit of 25 books on it, and we just *might* talk….

  15. “For a device that does so little and that binds you to a marketplace ..”

    You’ve just described all the different varieties of Amazon Kindle.

  16. Without reading this, I just deleted all the books I had on B&N and told them to close my account. I found this AFTER I sent that message. Why did I tell them totally delete me? Several reasons. Here is a couple.

    For a free ebook, I had to give them my credit card information. Never hand out your credit card info to anyone you are not actually purchasing from. I don’t care who it is. But I had an account with them because I bought ebooks through them at one time so I handed it back over.

    I went to download free ebook. No sign of Nook for PC. FINE. I do find what they want me to use. I go to install. YOU MUST UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 to install this. How do I put this? F….. NO. I’m looking at $500 for a free ebook? Seriously? I run Windows 7 because I didn’t buy into the 8.x crap. I gave up XP when they pried it from my bloody hands.

    I had their app on my tablet. It was more annoying than helpful with a lousy little reading interface and a horrible store interface. When they changed that is when I left them the first time. Just… NO.

    At this point, their future since they don’t listen to the way their customers use ebooks and show as much insight into ebooks as the Big 5 does, is doubtful. Any money spent there may well be lost money because you cannot download your ebooks so unless one plans on throwing that cash out the door, I wouldn’t buy there.

    I don’t care what they give me free. It is an inducement to spend money which may be lost if they go belly up like Borders did. And frankly, their readers are bad. My one friend, a die hard Nook fan, moved to Kindle this year and even with Kindle’s problems, loves it and the ease of books on it. To quote her, the new Nooks were like fighting a war.

    B&N is intent on suicide but I don’t have to be part of it. I’ll eat the lost content I have through them but I’m not even getting free ebooks from them anymore.

    So hate Amazon all you want. The sad fact is B&N is on the way to killing itself. Might as well use the book money to light your fire for the BBQ. Or better yet, go to Brooklyn Public Library and buy a membership for 50 bucks. They respond to requests to purchase books very well and their collection is to die for.

    • “For a free ebook, I had to give them my credit card information.”

      How is that in any way different from getting your free book from Amazon?

      “No sign of Nook for PC”

      Google is your friend. It’s not hard to find Nook For PC.

      “I had their app on my tablet. It was more annoying than helpful with a lousy little reading interface”

      Seriously? I’m starting to think you’re just making this whole thing up. I have both the Kindle for tab and Nook for tab ereader apps, and the Nook one is the better of the two, both as an ereader and an eshopper.

      • Amazon doesn’t do a credit card check for a free book; B&N does. B&N will hold up delivery of a free book for updated data and Amazon won’t.

        • Amazon requires an Amazon account to download their free ebooks, and your Amazon account requires a credit card. I just tried this out myself.

          I went to their web site and attempted to download a free ebook. (It doesn’t actually say “free”, it says the price is $0.00) You don’t get a “Download” option, you get a “Buy it” option where the prize is zero. If you attempt to ‘buy’ it for a zero price you are then prompted to sign into their web site. That requires an account, and the account requires a credit card – which is exactly the same process you go through in downloading free ebooks from B&N.

    • I just bought a Nook Glowlight for $99 at my local store. I don’t know how it could function any smoother. You buy the book online, hit the Refresh button and boom, you’ve got books.

  17. I continue to buy AND download books on my B&N Galaxy Tab 4 without difficulty.
    I had two earlier Nooks and recently gave my Nook HD (this was the BEST eReader) to a close friend.
    Would’ve gone for an Amazon version, but I wanted to buy Japanese language books for my wife, but the Copyright laws wouldn’t allow it outside of Japan. So, no sense to switch.

  18. I like the hyphenation, the smoother front-lighting and the lighter weight of my Nook. But I read my Kindle. It was always a hassle to download library books. Now it’s a hassle to download free books. Why should I purchase books for it rather than the easier-to-use Kindle? The Nook’s just gonna sit and look pretty.

  19. Loved my nook glowlight but with the newer version not having an card slot. I shall not be buying anymore as I have quite a library of books. Way too many to stick into the minimal amount of space they allow.

  20. There’s no way I would shop from B&N again unless they changed their ways. I detailed why back in March when I totally gave up on them. https://westfargomusings.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/goodbye-bn-youve-driven-me-into-the-arms-of-another/

    The new Glowlight is so crippled for what I want to use it for (read my eBooks, regardless of where I purchased them from) that my best option upon getting one would be to gift it to someone I didn’t like very much.