Barnes and Noble experienced an outage a couple of weeks ago, due to a cyber attack on their entire online infrastructure. They did not say anything about the downtime, until too many people were reporting it on Facebook and Twitter. The bookseller finally released an official statement and mainstream media, finally picked up on the story.
The Nook services are still not completely restored. Digital books are still not showing up in users libraries on Nook e-readers and apps. None of their NOOK newspaper or magazine services are operational, although they are still charging people their monthly subscription fees. Barnes and Noble is unable to process any NOOK book pre-orders or any titles released since the hack happened. Engineers are unable to restore critical Nook infrastructure anytime soon and it will likely be another couple of weeks, or more, until everything is fixed.
If your Nook library has no appeared, you will have to change your password on the B&N website. Some people have claimed, once they have done this and then logout and then login to their Nook e-reader using the new credentials, the has reappeared. The problem many people are facing is that the Nook servers are absolutely swamped with so many people trying to connect.
Thousands of people continue to call into Barnes and Noble customer service to try and get a resolution. B&N just copies and pastes a canned response stating they are pleased most services have been restored and expect to resolve the pre-order and newsstand issue shortly. There has been no new communication from them for four or five days. I would honestly say it is useless to call Barnes and Noble to try and get new information, CS is just reading from a script.
The downtime of the Nook couldn’t come at a worse time. It went down before Prime Day even launched, and many people fled the B&N ecosystem and jumped ship to Amazon, since Kindle deals were pretty huge. When Amazon was running Prime Day, Kobo also had a Flash Sale on most of their e-readers, and I received many emails, saying some decided to go with Kobo, to support an underdog.
Will Barnes and Noble finally solve magazines, newspapers, pre-orders and peoples libraries being devoid of all ebooks? Eventually. The main reason is Barnes and Noble outsourced Nook firmware and Nook operations to a company in India, around 4 years ago. The time zone difference prevents real time communication between New York and India.
Update: Barnes and Noble released the following statement to Good e-Reader ““NOOK Services were disrupted after a cyber security attack last week. Most functions are now restored, including library syncing, shopping and downloading content, which includes recently released titles. Daily newspapers and magazines are not currently downloading on publication date. We are actively working to restore daily download capabilities, which we expect to be completed over the next several days. Our Customer Service team is available to help any NOOK users still experiencing issues with downloading available content. We are extremely grateful for the patience of our customers during this interruption. It comes at a time when we are investing heavily in the improvement of the NOOK experience and we regret sincerely this inconvenience.” ”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.