Barnes & Noble: Buy A Nook, We’ll Give You Some Lame E-Books


Credit: Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), which is struggling with lower in-store sales, has a new promotional offer: Bring an old e-reader into a store, upgrade to a new Nook, and…we’ll let you rummage through our e-book remainder bin for free.

Starting tomorrow, when customers show a bookseller their old e-reader and buy a new Nook, they’ll get a free 2 GB microSD card loaded with 30 e-books, while supplies last. While B&N is promoting this as an “upgrade” program, shoppers don’t get money off a new e-reader–only the e-books, which B&N values at $315. The company also requires shoppers to show an old e-reader (not just buy a new Nook) to be eligible for the promotion.

I took a look at the list of e-books that Barnes & Noble is offering free, and it reminded me of the books on a B&N bargain table–titles like AARP Crash Course In Finding The Work You Love, Susie’s Sun Signs, and Country Living: The Mom’s Guide to Running a Business. Six of the titles are in the public domain, so they’re already free anyway. When I totaled the value of the books, I got $263.66. Perhaps B&N is valuing the SD card at $52.

Barnes & Noble’s store sales are down, and the company is trying to find ways to lure shoppers into stores. Earlier this week, it announced a promotion where Nook Color owners who own the $2.99 Angry Birds app can come into the store and get a free Mighty Eagle character.


Elise Dee Beraru

The trick is you must buy a Nook at full price to get the deal, throwing in a used reader you probably spent $300-500 for, like the REB 1100. B&N won’t discount the readers, won’t discount the downloads for their Frequent Reader members. I would rather keep my Rocket and my REB for nostalgia sake before trading it in on books I wouldn’t even buy on the remainder shelves. There are plenty of 99 cent books available for the Kindle to make this a bad deal.


Well said, Mike!  Well said!  Someone obviously must be a fan of scamazon, to write such a loaded article.

Mike Cane

>>>Six of the titles are in the public domain, so they’re already free anyway.

What you’re missing: B&N is also a publisher.  Their public domain titles aren’t just a Gutenberg dump with minimal formatting (if at all!).  They add extra content and thus add value to them.  Second, have you seen the people they target in their TV ads?  Some of those titles are right up their alley.  What, did you expect free William Gibson and Stephen King?  Maybe for Xmas. (That last bit was snark, btw)

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