Browsing Tag

barnes & noble


Bad news about Barnes and Noble

Dammit, B&N, are you people trying to shoot yourselves in the feet? Because it sure looks like you’re hunting for bigger and bigger guns to do just that.

Spotted on Dear Author today: news that Barnes and Noble secretly partnered with Author Solutions to sell print on demand and other services to self-pub authors.

Why is this a problem? Because Author Solutions, as detailed here by David Gaughran and here on The Digital Reader, Author Solutions has a terrible reputation in the writing community. And they are in fact being sued for their practices of upselling useless marketing crap to authors who sign on with them.

What particularly pisses me off about this is Gaughran’s description of how all Nook Press users are at risk of having their data handed to Author Solutions.

I was already cranky at B&N for taking down the Download buttons off their portal on the web site for Nook users to get to their libraries. But as a Nook Press author, I am deeply disturbed by this news, enough that I will seriously be considering removing Faerie Blood and Bone Walker from Nook Press, deleting my account there, and using Smashwords to deploy to B&N in the future.

Fellow indie authors, I urge you to get up to speed on this development, and to stay far away from B&N’s Author Services, and from Author Solutions in general.

Ebooks and Ereaders

B&N and Kobo stomping on user ability to download books

I’ve been noticing lately that Kobo has been stomping on the ability to download certain books from user libraries–and at first I thought this was simply a passing glitch. But then I started noticing it happen on books where it was particularly puzzling, i.e., releases from Which are DRM-free and which should not have any restrictions whatsoever upon them.

I saw this happen when I tried to pre-order John Scalzi’s Lock In, and when I sent Kobo’s CS people cranky mail about this, they told me something that made no damn sense whatsoever: that because the book was in epub3 format, that meant I couldn’t download it. I’d also noticed it happen on a free book from Tor–Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Lady Astronaut of Mars”.

Reasons why this made no damn sense:

1) A book’s format does not dictate whether you can download it. All downloading is is copying data from point A to point B. If there’s something that’s getting in the way of the data moving, that’s DRM or some other form of restriction.

2) I was able to go over to my B&N account, go find Kowal’s novelette, and download the exact same thing in the exact same format with no problems whatsoever.

So I sent Kobo additional cranky mail about this, and was told that if I wanted the book in another format, then I should complain to the publisher. And that pissed me off because the CS person didn’t understand that I wasn’t complaining about the format–I was complaining about the inability to download the thing onto my computer so that I could keep a backup copy of it around. Which I should have been able to bloody well do as I wished, because it had no DRM on it.

Meanwhile, though, B&N has trumped Kobo completely on this, because according to this post on The Digital Reader, now B&N has removed download links for ALL books in user accounts. Apparently, they’re stopping support for sideloading, according to what the poster was told in tweets.

And this just makes me crankier. Dammit, B&N, I started buying ebooks from you because Amazon was pissing me off. And Kobo, I started buying books from YOU because B&N was pissing me off, and additionally, because I wanted to support moves to partner up with independent bookstores.

But if BOTH of you are going to start denying users ability to download their damn books, all this is going to do is drive me off to find out whether Google Play will let me do this. And it’ll make me way more interested in buying books directly from publishers and from authors as often as possible.

Dammit, all I want to do is buy books, keep master copies on my computer, and put them on devices to read when I want to. This should not be difficult.

And yet.