Barnes and Noble has been working on a massive upgrade to their website for the last two years. The new design gives us a sense on what the bookseller is hoping to sell more of, which are lifestyle products, print and e-books. Unfortunately there are a number of bugs with e-books and Nook that are preventing people from reading and this is resulting in a fair amount of apathy.
When you are looking to buy a new book and haven’t heard much about it, likely you want to check out the first few chapters with a digital sample. Barnes and Noble has an online reading platform called Nook for Web. Sadly, this system is totally broken and has not been revised to work in conjunction with the new B&N website.
Here is what the company has said on their main help page, due to the overwhelming amount of emails and phone calls irate customers are making “On Tuesday, June 30, we updated our BN.com ecommerce website with new features. The NOOK for Web “Read Instantly” function was not updated as part of this rollout. Our technology team is currently working on including the NOOK for Web “Read Instantly” functionality and we hope to have it available in the near future. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank you for your continued support of NOOK.”
Another glaring error is the fact that any past purchases cannot be read online and the Nook Library does not recognize past purchases as being owned. If you click on any e-book you have bought in the past the only options right now is to archive it or purchase it again. If you try and buy it again there are a series of errors that do not allow you to complete the transaction.
It seriously looks like anything related to Nook e-books and digital content is simply not working with the new website. This is a shame because Apple iOS users have to buy digital content on the website, because B&N disabled the ability to buy e-books on iOS so they would not have to pay Apple a commission on each sale. It is also a hard blow to anyone who browses the internet on their PC or tablet in order to read a few samples before making a buying decision.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.