Tuesday, February 15, 2011

B&N Really? eBooks rule and Print... not so much!


Vincent Zandri of New York has a book signing at a local B&N. They order books for the signing. The books are sent out. This all happened one month ago. The book signing is tonight, in fact, right about now.

They email him this morning and tell him they never got books. With more digging we discover they did get books, but the Real ISBN number did not match the one they entered into their system so they sent them back. Hence, no books, no signing.

Did they pick up a phone and call to find out about the mixed up number? No. Did they email someone? No. Did they do it the DAY OF THE SIGNING? Yes. Hmmmmm...

Okay, I get it, sometimes things go wrong, but come on guys. This is yet another example of how B&N really don't get it. They first are hostile to local authors, and now as they see their business going under they open their doors but fail to do the simple things to make even a simple book signing happen.

The color Nook is a prime example that the movers and shakers of B&N have no clue what they are doing. I know I am being mean but if you are in the book business and are up at all on eBooks you know that the only reason a eReader is amazing is the screen. The iPad as a eReader is lame and the sales numbers of ebooks sold on Apple are proof of that.

So what does B&N do? They try to compete with apple with a color Nook. It is small and is not good as a eReader. Really? You are going to compete with Apple who is not even in the same market. You should be worrying about amazon not Apple. But who am I to say? I like glare on my LCD screen, I mean why spend money making a color Nook when you could create color eInk? But that will come from Amazon first I imagine... as they are about to become the new Random House and take over the book world.

So what does this mean to you and me? It means, don't worry about book signings, don't sit for a few hours in a quiet bookstore when you can sell more online as you watch Bones or CSI. You want to make money as you sleep? Publish as a eBook and let B&N know that they should be courting you and not the other way around.


Here is a link for Vincent Zandri's book... I mean eBook.


  1. Sorry to nitpick - fourth paragraph did you mean hosTILE? I don't think they're offering a cheap hotel to authors :)

    I have a Kindle but I'm not up on the Nook so much. My mother-in-law-to-be has one, she said when she ereads on her Nook, it changes from LCD to eInk, which should alleviate a lot of that glare. My Kindle occasionally gets glare, also (and that's completely eInk).

    But for B&N, that is a pretty shoddy story. Of course, a company is only as good as it's weakest teammate - that store manager may not have it together. I'm not sure it's fair to lump them all in ;) One store with a book signing shouldn't color the entire franchise.

    Still, I hope they get it together. I love my local B&N! (and my Kindle - I'm an equal opportunity lover!)

    J. E. Medrick

  2. Right on Aaron...Great post!!!!
    They really don't get it...:)
    Or they just don't care...probably the latter...

  3. Well, Vince, welcome to the REAL world. For some great fun, you should call B&N corporate now and ask them what they really think of lesser-than-large-published authors.

    BTW, they aren't even humoring small press anymore. They're sending those wonderful CRM's that schedule events out to sell to -- wait for it-- LIBRARIES!! That's what I was told by one CRM I talked to. The plan is to do away with them completely.

    Why would they do this you ask?

    Silly question. Everybody knows that the first thing you get rid of when the ship is going down is dead weight.

    Do keep in mind that large chain bookstores were never anything other than an outlet for large publishers to dump the massive number of books they print. Also keep in mind that B&N and all the other large chain bookstores could easily survive, even with technology making e-books a more viable choice, IF they embraced the fact that large publishers aren't the only players ANYMORE!!!!!

  4. I just finished Sweet Dreams last night ( it was like 1am and I think my husband was about to kill me for the light being on), I could but it down. I am getting ready to readDream On. I can't wait to read it and wait for In Your Dreams!! Great books!!!

  5. Oh and as an iPad and Kindle owner I read on my Kindle vs my iPad!! I live in Florida and even riding in the car you can't read to iPad screen cause of the sun!!

  6. Chrystina, Glad you enjoyed the book. If you could leave a review on Amazon that would be great! I am working on the third and it should be out this summer... Cheers!

  7. Sorry you had that experience with B&N.

    But I have to say I have an iPad and it is not lame be any means. In fact, my consumption of books since getting my iPad has increased drastically (several books per month vs. 1 every couple of months before.) I tried out a Kindle at a store and couldn't stand it. I will always buy a book in the iBooks store if available, B&N after that, and Amazon as a last resort. So please be careful about knocking the iPad...people have their preferences and it seems like the best strategy is to market to all the platforms.

  8. Tina,

    I don't mean to knock the iPad, in fact I am going to get one and I think they are amazing. What my point was, is that the iPad is not a eReader, yes it can read eBooks but it is a tablet and therefore does so many other things that the % of people that use it just for reading is slim. I know this from the real numbers in sales of eBooks compared to what I sell on Amazon. It is like 3500 to 1.

    I was knocking B&N for missing the boat with the color Nook. They are fighting Apple for a market Apple is not even in the race for. That was all. I believe selling on all platforms is smart, some just do better. I am glad you are reading more, that is never a bad thing.