Barnes and Noble Nook Tips for International Users

The Barnes and Noble Nook line of e-readers are fairly popular in the USA. The company has one of the most vibrant ecosystems in the world with over half a million kids books, cookbooks, comics, ebooks, and much more! One of the drawbacks is that international consumers will run into complications buying content.

How to Setup an Account

The easiest way to register your Barnes and Noble account is to do it from the company’s main website. It is much easier to use your PC, laptop, or MAC to enter all of the fields for your billing and shipping address. If you are an international user, we have detailed instructions below.

How to Buy eBooks outside the USA

Barnes and Noble has a system where you need a USA billing address in order to purchase content. This is applicable to its e-ink readers like the Simple Touch, but also for the entire line of tablets. The bypass for this is fairly simple, you just need to enter a fake USA billing address and use your own local credit card. B&N never sends any digital confirmations in the post, and only relays it to your email account. You can simply Google for an address for an art gallery or shopping center.

How to Buy Apps and Video on the Nook HD or Nook Tablet

In many international markets, you not only have to have a USA billing address, but a USA credit card as well. This will allow you to rent movies from the new Nook Video System that comes bundled on the Nook HD and Nook HD+. This is a fairly complicated problem because most international users do not have a credit card registered in the USA. The main way to solve this problem is to get a Visa Giftcard. You can purchase them quite easily through a number of sources, including Shop e-Readers.

How to get USA eBooks on a UK Account

If you live in the United Kingdom you now have access to the UK version of the Nook store. This allows you to make purchases of content using your own address and credit card. If you are a prior Nook user that used the USA version of the store, you are in for a rude awakening. The databases for both stores are completely different, resulting in purchases from the USA store not carrying over. Many users have claimed that their libraries are completely blank when they use the Nook UK store. If you have already purchased a number of books, the best solution is to download them to your PC  to transfer the books over. If you are a new user, you simply want to register a new account.

How to Buy Nook UK Books in Other Countries

The UK version of the Nook Bookstore has a ton of content that you won’t find on the USA version. It has a ton of content that is regionally restricted such as magazines, newspapers, and bestsellers. Many people living throughout the world are from the UK but living in different countries, or you might just want to buy some books. The best solution is to use what’s known as a VPN. This basically uses third party software that installs onto your PC and masks your IP address. There are plenty of them online, we recommend HideMyAss Pro VPN, Hotspot Shield, or AlwaysVPN. Some of these are free, but most have low monthly rates. The main benefit of using a service like this is you can change your own local IP address so Barnes and Noble thinks you are connecting from within the UK. Most of these companies have solid instructions on how to setup and use their service. You can then simply connect your Nook to your local WIFI network and access the UK version of the store.

How Do I Transfer Books from Kobo to the Nook?

You can purchase eBooks from other online bookstores that sell it in the EPUB format. This means you can shop with Kobo, Smashwords or any other company. You need to use a program called Adobe Digital Editions. We have a number of video tutorials on our YOUTUBE Channel that teach you how to do this with all of the different Nook e-Readers and Tablets.

I Live in Canada, Do I Have to Use a USA Billing Address and Credit Card?

Many people are actually unaware that you can download a number of free classic books or titles from independent publishing companies. In Canada, Barnes and Noble does not hinder the downloading of any titles that are flagged as free. Books by major publishers are not available unless you follow some of the instructions outlined above.

Can a Nook Tablet or Nook HD Be Used to Run Other Apps?

Over a year ago, Barnes and Noble disabled the ability to install your own apps to the entire line of tablets. It seemed the company was not fond of people loading in the Amazon or Kobo official apps to buy books. Right now, there are two ways to install  your own apps. One method involves rooting your tablet, which is often fairly complicated. There is a great tutorial HERE on how to do it. The other method is to buy an SD card from N2A Cards, which gives you a Google Jellybean experience. This does not void your warranty in any way and actually allows you to do some amazing things. Rooting your tablet actually changes it, so you don’t get to enjoy the unique UI B&N has developed. When you insert the N2a card in your Nook Tablet or Nook HD, it actually boots it from the OS on the SD card. If you remove it, you get the default Nook experience. This is useful because you can install any app you want from the Good e-Reader Android App Store, and use many additional apps not found on the official B&N app store.

Michael Kozlowski (5208 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about electronic readers and technology for the last four years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to international events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a myriad of others. If you have any questions about any of his articles, please send an email to

  • Oxtent42

    >>How Do I Transfer Books from Kobo to the Nook?
    you purchase books from any other online bookstore, they are
    incompatible with the Nook. B&N uses its own version of DRM for ePub
    content. This results in Adobe Digital Editions not being able to
    transfer ownership of the books bought from Kobo, Smashwords, or any
    other company. You will have to strip the DRM yourself from purchased
    books to make them compatible, but this poses a myriad of legal

    This is INCORRECT.  All Nooks are completely Adobe DRM compatible and can read epub and pdf books from Kobo, Sony or any store that sells Adobe DRM'd books. It's the Kobo and Sony devices that have refused so far to update their Adobe software to read the available B&N DRM. 

  • Good E-Reader

     thanks we fixed it, we got some wonky information from some of our freelancers!

  • Vanesa

    Very helpful and great tips! Thanks very much! Thumbs up.

  • Robert

    Really great, helped me muchly.

  • Faye

    HI I got a Nook as a christmas gift, but i live in Australia. I put my billing address as my friends one and i still cant purchase any ebooks? what can I do now?

  • Andrea

    Helped me so much :) I thought i was going to go crazy knowing I couldn’t get anything from B&N nook books :)

  • Bababa

    You need to be in the States to purchase books. But, you don’t need to be in the States figuratively. You can use some services like VPN to trick the system that you’re in the States. I did that, and I’m able to buy tons of books from Nook store. From my computer though.

  • Peter

    My partner bought her nook a while ago from is the USA version and she followed the instructions to register..then we realised everything was in $. We re-registered on the UK version (different email address) nothing has changed…still $ and USA ‘version’ of books and this right? can we change it to £ to get UK books and magazines only? Help please!

  • alex

    problably change the firmware by yourself. then you get the uk-shop. (but don’t know if you will lose books you purchase in us-store)

    btw. what is “a nook” – my anwser relates to nook simple touch reader eink (2nd and 3rd gen)
    -> check out xda developer site