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Announcing the B&N Nook Membership Program*

*A purely fictional club that exists solely in Joe's imagination

If you saw our earnings announcement yesterday you realize we need to get creative in a hurry. Flat Nook performance in a rapidly growing ebook world just isn’t going to cut it. That’s why we brought our brightest minds together and created the exciting new Nook Membership program.

Here are the specifics:

  • $49 annual fee — Before you start complaining we want you to know that you can apply that $49 to the price of a new Nook each year. That’s right. That $139 Nook with GlowLight now only costs you $90 when you join. That’s $9 less than the other guy’s K***** Touch, and theirs doesn’t come with the nifty light. And since we want you upgrading to a new device every year you can always apply your membership fee towards your next Nook device purchase.
  • Print book trade-in — This is the feature you’ve been waiting for. Bring your print books into any one of our locations and we’ll exchange them for Nook editions. It’s a terrific opportunity to free up some space around the house and move your library onto your Nook. All trade-ins will be donated to local libraries and charities so there’s a feel-good aspect to this as well.
  • Unlimited lending — It’s your book. Why shouldn’t you be able to lend it out as often as you’d lend a print book? Enough of the “lend once, 14 day max” limitations! As a member of the Nook club you’ll be able to lend your book to other members as often as you like and for as long as you like. We’re even setting up a lending discovery site where you can see if other members have books you can borrow.
  • Exclusive access to pre-release content — The publishing industry is giving us a 2-week jump on the competition. That means every new publication will be available exclusively through the Nook store for the first 2 weeks. You want that new book for your K*****? You’ll have to wait, my friend.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now, before the publishing industry changes its mind about all these great features!

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OK, it was all just a dream. I mean, why in the world would publishers allow B&N to trade in their print books for ebooks? We want some revenue from that conversion, darn it! And there’s no way we’d ever grant exclusive access to one retailer. That’s insane.

But what if we could? If it helps prevent one retailer from establishing a monopoly position shouldn’t we consider options like this? Tell us what you think.

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  • Otto_D

    The only way it would make sense for somebody to take print book trade-ins for credit against purchases of ebooks would be if that somebody (the club, in your case) were using his own money.  So in your scenario, your club would have to buy the ebooks to sell them, and sell the print books to bring in income.  Perhaps there could be workable arrangements for doing that, where publishers offer their ebooks to sellers at a preferential price for some reasons, etc.

    • jwikert

      My assumption is that the publishers would allow B&N to give trade-in customers the ebooks. Sorry that I didn’t explicitly state that in the original article. In order to provide more competition in the ebook marketplace I was suggesting that publishers not charge B&N for the trade-ins. So does this result in lost revenue for the publisher? Possibly, but only for those customers who were really going to pay for the e-version when they already own the print version. There’s probably also some tax write-off benefit the publisher could realize from this.

  • BR Kingsolver

    Since it’s in everyone’s interest to slow A***** down, I can see the publishers buying into this. Unfortunately, B&N has proven very slow to understand what’s going on and counter the competition. As an author who publishes on both, I can tell you that the tools and advantages on the dark side are far superior. As a Nook owner, I lament this.

  • mb

    I’d much rather prefer that B&N:
    -Offer well formatted epubs (I’ve had several that just didn’t display correctly on my Nook Color).
    -Correct published epubs with errata and automatically ship them to my device.
    -Reduce price of all epubs to the mass market price.
    -Add a blasted shopping cart to their epub purchasing experience instead of making me approve each and every purchase
    -Offer more information about the epubs I’m looking at on the Nook Color screen (Just bought 2 epubs for $11 each that were too short to cover the subject adequately. Total letdown and a waste of $22).