This is a much-needed Nook feature review.
While B&N have been overselling limited Nook features like LendMe they have strangely not mentioned that the Nook supports both Library eBooks (via OverDrive) and ePub books from the Sony Reader Store.
At the moment, this means little and does not tilt my Kindle Vs Nook Review in favor of the Nook.
However, Nook’s support of both Library eBooks and Sony Reader Store eBooks is pushing us in the direction of the Kindle Vs the World.
Nook Feature Review - Support for Library eBooks
A lot of libraries use a system called OverDrive – it’s a yearly subscription and it uses Adobe Digital Editions to manage library ebook loans.
- You get eBooks on a 14 day loan and they expire automatically. No returns, no extensions, no fees.
- After that 14 day period you cannot check out the book again.
- This works on Sony Reader and they promote it as their Library Finder feature.
- This works on the Nook but B&N are strangely silent about it.
- Wonder how Publishers feel about this.
How you can get Library eBooks on to your Nook -
- Get membership at a Library that supports OverDrive.
- Log-in to the OverDrive system from the Library website and check-out the eBook you want. Range is pretty limited except in Seattle and New York libraries (which are less limited).
- Download the books in ePub or PDF format.
- Start up Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your PC.
- Plug-in your Nook and activate it in ADE.
- Transfer the files to your Nook via ADE – It will not work otherwise.
- The Library eBooks show up in your My Documents Folder in the Nook.
Thanks to this Nook forum thread at BN (top post) for directions.
How significant is Library eBooks Support?
At the moment – not much.
The perception you can read library ebooks is huge – However, most libraries have very few books and you have to wait for them just as you would for physical library books.
There are also often formatting issues with library eBooks – choose ePub over PDF whenever possible.
People who buy the Nook for this feature are going to be a bit disappointed. Do check your local libraries to see the range available.
Down the line – there’s a lot of potential.
Nook Feature Review - Support for Sony eBooks
Now that Sony has switched over completely to ePub and Adobe Digital Editions, you can access ebooks bought from the Sony Reader Store on your Nook.
- Make sure you have version 3.1 of the Sony Reader software.
- Log-in (or create an account) and buy and download whatever title you want.
- You will have to re-download your past purchases to get them in Adobe DRM ePub format.
- Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your PC.
- Plug-in your Nook and allow ADE to activate it.
- In ADE import the eBook files in the Sony Reader ‘My Books’ Folder. The Folder is at \Documents\My Books\eBook Library .
- Now drag these eBooks to your Nook.
This Nook forum thread (3rd post) had instructions.
How significant is Sony Reader Store support on the Nook?
It has zero significance at the individual level because Inkmesh research found -
- Of the top-selling 11,604 ebooks Sony Reader store had the absolute lowest price on zero eBooks.
- Sony Store matched the lowest price on only 441 titles.
- In comparison the Kindle Store matched the lowest price on 75% of titles.
- B&N was a distant second in terms of lowest price.
So Nook supporting Sony Reader Store ebooks doesn’t really help. It might be perceived as a small advantage – It isn’t.
The exception is if you migrate from a Sony Reader to the Nook – then you can migrate over your library.
The real significance of Nook supporting Sony Reader Store eBooks is that it shows the direction in which the Kindle’s competitors are going.
Kindle Vs Rest of the World (AKA Kindle Vs Adobe)
Publishers and competitors are beginning to realize that the Kindle has the lead and is running faster than anyone else.
That means a lot of interesting moves -
- Publishers pushing back eBook release dates.
- Google supplying every Kindle competitor with 1 million free books. Internet Archive just made 1.8 million free titles available in Kindle format so that’s countered.
- B&N and Sony collaborating with Adobe and moving to a common format i.e. ePub.
The format wars and platform wars are merging into one simple contest – the Kindle Vs the rest of the World.
Will Amazon open up the Kindle?
Let’s not paint it in terms of good and evil – In any market the #1 company wants a closed system and the losers plead for the greater good and openness.
It’s more of a strategy question i.e. At what point will Amazon feel they must open up the Kindle to Adobe (DRMed ePub, PDF) or risk losing market share.
Not in the Next 6 months
Kindle has too much of a lead and Amazon has no reason to let another company dip into its eBook revenue stream.
It helps that Nook made a mess of its release and its software and Sony was sold out of the Daily Edition.
Library and Sony Store eBook support on the Nook means little.
- For all the claims that Library eBook support is significant it isn’t – there just isn’t enough range at libraries.
- Openness and buying from any store means nothing if 75% of the time the Kindle Store has the best prices.
- Kindle Store also has the best range plus Internet Archive and Gutenberg supply over a million free kindle books.
Nook’s library and Sony store support is not a big deal. It’s just a feel-good feature.
Nook’s potential real advantage + what would force Amazon to open up the Kindle
There is, however, one real advantage Nook could have – if B&N does what Sony has done and introduces eBook portability.
- A book in Adobe format DRM ought work on any device that supports Adobe Digital Editions.
- If B&N does what Sony did then its eBooks will work on any Adobe DRM compatible eReader.
- That would be more portable than having eBooks in Kindle format.
That would become a tangible, significant advantage.
It would be perceived as a big deal because -
- The Press will paint it as a big deal.
- Openness is politically correct.
- There is a real benefit i.e. your eBook purchases will work on any reader that supports Adobe DRM.
That’s what this Nook feature review is really about – pointing out the one way in which Nook can snooker Amazon into opening up the Kindle.
If that happens and the Press figure out what it means – Well, within a few weeks the Kindle would get an update and it would then support Adobe DRM (perhaps in PDF, perhaps in ePub). A victory for Adobe DRM, not one for openness ;) .