Saturday, August 01, 2009

Free e-Reader, Free e-Books

I got an email on Friday (and a lot of you probably got the same one) from Barnes & Noble. After our recent discussion of Barnes & Noble competing with Amazon for e-readers, I found the email quite interesting.

B&N not only wants you to buy e-books from them; they want you to come to their stores to do it. They’re now offering complimentary Wi-Fi service in all stores -- no fees, no charges. As they put it:
With complimentary Wi-Fi service in all stores, Barnes & Noble is like a home away from home. Stop by. Enjoy a cup of coffee or a light meal in the café. And be sure to bring your laptop or smartphone so you can check your email and browse eBooks in our new online eBookstore.
Oh … to sweeten the enticement, they’ll let you download the FREE (all caps is theirs) B&N eReader app, which they say will work with iPhones, BlackBerries, PCs and Macs.

And! ... if you download the eReader right there from your computer as you read their email, you’ll get free eBooks.

Okay, clearly this was a sales pitch. Big time. But are all sales pitches bad? When we talked about this B&N vs. Amazon thing, some of you thought it was a good idea, especially since B&N’s e-reader seemed compatible with more versions of e-books. So, will you take advantage of this offer of free eReader software and free books and free WiFi in their stores? I’m thinking about it … I like books and I do like free.


  1. If I had a laptop...

    My husband has an I-Touch, but don't know if he'd be willing to download anything.

    But besides that, I think it's a great sales pitch! Free vs. $300... hmmm....

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. I downloaded the e-reader and the free books, mostly just to see how the whole thing worked.

    Eh. Wasn't impressed. Of course, this was for my laptop--and I'd rather read a "regular" book than lug around six pounds of circuitry and read on a screen. I do that enough as it is.

    But I'll definitely keep my eye on developments. As a writer, I'm quite interested in "how" people read, in addition to what they read.

    A Million Bloggin Monkeys

  3. Since I do have a Kindle, but don't have a smartphone, I won't be doing this. Reading a book on my computer doesn't appeal to me. I will probably take advantage of the wi-fi the next time I visit my parents, though.

  4. Interesting they decide to stop charging for wi-fi once they want something from us.

  5. I'll take advantage of the free wifi, for sure. Cup of java and my laptop, hangin' out in the cafe area? Yessireebob.

    The Old Silly

  6. Except I cry, laugh or get flustered when I read romance so I wouldn't want to read ebooks in a public place.

    Bargain with the Devil

  7. I wouldn't mind trying out the free wi-fi, except it means lugging my incredibly heavy laptop to the store. But if the free wi-fi is available throughout the store, not just in the cafe, then, whoop-whoop, you'd have access to research books and coffee. (Did I say that? Using the bookstore as a library? Not me!) On a not-so-silly note, I wonder if the B&N e-Reader allows you to bookmark. Surely it does.

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  9. I, on the other hand, like the e-reader. It's a bit different but easy enough to use and I can read from the comfort of my home.

    As for free WiFi, YES! Our B&N serves Starbucks coffee, so it's magic.

  10. Do you have the B&N e-Reader, Weronika?

  11. The good news is that Amazon lowered its Kindle price some $40 in response to the B&N publicity push. The consumer is going to benefit from their rivalry.

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  13. You're probably right, Jean. I seriously doubt Amazon will give up the fight.

  14. Problem with the B&N plan seems to be in having to go to the stores to take advantage of this. Since the closest one to me is over 100 miles, I don't think I will be going any time soon.

    But, as Alan pointed out, all of these new avenues for reading e-books will potentially be good for the authors in the long run. I hope. :-)

  15. Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth.

    Mainly because, if you do the stink will make your eye-brows fall off.

    B&N aren't the real competitor to Amazon yet. If anything, they're fighting a rear-guard action against an over-whelming force.

    Ten years from now paperbacks will be about as popular as buggy whips and pagers.

    The major players are half-heartedly trying to stake a claim for the hearts and minds of future consumers. Right now, they have no idea what will become popular. What Internet meme has survived ten years? Five years even.

    I have had a Sony Reader for about six months. I have yet had to buy anything off their store and everything on it is legal. Consider that business model.

  16. Oh your description of B&B, sitting with coffee and wifi, made me soooo envious. I wonder if they will come to Cyprus one day?

  17. Hi,

    It is interesting post on Free e-Reader, Free e-Books.

    These days, internet marketers who write ebooks have a very good opportunity in making money online. Not only that, if you write free ebooks focused on the niche that you are specializing in, you get to cement your expertise in your industry. There is a wide range of topics that you can write about. You just need to focus on a certain "specialty topics" so that it will be easier and faster for you to be recognized in your field.

  18. I have an iPhone and the bn ereader. I've also used the free wi-fi.

    You'd don't have to use the BN wi-fi to download the books any Internet connection will do. I'm not sure how that false story got around.

    I very much doubt BN decided not to charge for wi-fi because of the ebook. I think it was strict competition. Where I live so many places offer free wi-fi. I choisexmy lunch spots based upon it. BN started with the whole wi-fi before most places and it drew but no one wants to pay for it these days. I'm not sure why it's taken them so long to get it.

    Yes you can bookmark, highlight, and take notes.


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