Indie News: Where B&N is falling down in competition with Amazon

I’ve been all over the spectrum when it comes to deciding whether I like Amazon or not, but I’m at the point, now, where I feel like that if people don’t want Amazon to out-compete them, they have to provide me with something better.

The reason I don’t go to WalMart is that I don’t like the shopping experience.  But with Amazon, that’s not a problem.  Over Christmas, I picked up a Prime membership, so shipping really isn’t a problem anymore, either.

On the ebook front more specifically, I recently switched from B&N to Kindle (the el cheapo version).  Why?  Because they overcame my last real objection:  not being able to check out library books via their device.  Yes, I would rather have the freedom to download books in the .epub format, but…it’s not a deal-killer.  I have no problems using Calibre, as it turns out, and I have the Nook app on my smart phone, so it’s not like I’m going to miss out when it comes to my existing Nook library.

Why am I switching ereaders?  I love the Nook Touch layout.  But it’s the second time the screen on my Nook died, on two different models, with two different less-than-optimal help sessions dealing with both to no avail.

But David Gaughran says it better:

An informal survey of my Nook-owning friends reveals that many of them regularly use Amazon’s website to discover books they want to read then switch over to BN.com to purchase the Nook version. Given the increasing amount of titles exclusive to Amazon, Barnes & Noble should be worried about this phenomenon (indeed one of those Nook owners has already indicated that their next e-reader will be a Kindle for just that reason).

Why aren’t they using Barnes & Noble’s own website to discover new novels? A quick tour around solves that riddle. It’s clunky, it’s slow, and browsing for books is a painful experience.

More here.

This is absolutely, positively true in my experience.  Again and again I shopped for things on Amazon…only to have to turn around and download it from B&N.  My wish list for future ebook purchases?  Also on Amazon.  And I can’t tell you the number of times that my kids’ ebooks started to increase in sales on B&N…only to bottom out the first day of the next month, when TONS of other indies were screaming about lost sales.

I plan to keep publishing on B&N via PubIt!, but I won’t give them my loyalty any longer.

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1 Comment

  1. With each new iteration of devices it becomes more difficult to justify a dedicated reader. I have Nook, Kindle, Kobo, BlueFire (which imports the stuff I got a few years back for my SONY reader, iBooks, my Goodreads app, several thousand songs and 300 more useful apps on a single device that I’m never without. One can be had nowadays for about the same price as a basic Kindle and a Nook color. Even less a generation old on the refurbished market.

    (Of course, I have all of those things on my smartphone too, but I’m an old fart and that’s a small danged screen.

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