Thursday, January 7, 2010

Need an e-book? Use Amazon!

Update: The Wall Street Journal reported today that Barnes and Noble cut its outlook....I view this as an admission on their part that I am correct!

While I don't really want to get in the habit of endorsing companies which aren't paying me to do so, the following e-mail correspondence with Barnes and Noble speaks for itself. Feel free to share all or part of this post with your families, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers. To set the scene, I attempted to purchase Nurtureshock (a terrific read) as a Barnes and Noble e-book....After they declined my purchase because I was not PHYSICALLY located in the US/Canada, I tried to reason with them....

Original Message Follows:


Dear Barnes and Noble folks,

You recently canceled my order for Nutureshock because I am not physically located in the US. It is true. I received a Fulbright Distinguished Teacher Award and am conducting research in Israel until April, 2010. I wished to download Nurtureshock to the same device I have downloaded the other e-books I have purchased from BN. My credit cards remain the same, I will be returning to the US, I continue to pay my bills, and my passport remains American. I am not engaged in nor do I intend to share my BN library in any deceptive practice. I am lecturing about education and parenting to Israeli educators. A friend recommended NurtureShock and I wanted to read it prior to engaging in a distance learning Webinar where it will be discussed. Please consider my request and continue to allow me access to my Barnes & Noble account while I am travelling and conducting research.


Paul Monheimer

Fulbright Distinguished Teacher

To their credit, BN responded the next afternoon....

-----Original Message-----

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your request.

Unfortunately, our eBooks licensing agreements prohibit us from distributing eBooks outside the US and Canada. We are unable to make exceptions, even to US soldiers and teachers currently abroad. While we are working on alternatives for our customers, we must be sure we do so in a way that does not compromise our ability to sell eBooks at all.


Sales Audit Agent

Barnes and Noble


Clearly BN was in over their head. So, I replied....

Dear Sales Audit Agent,

How unfortunate for Barnes and Noble. While waiting for your response, I downloaded the book from Amazon. It is an exciting read. I highly recommend it. Amazon seems to have a much better e-book licensing agreement which I will now recommend to my friends and blog followers. While I have been a long-time customer of Barnes and Noble dating back to my teenage years, it is clear you are no longer a market leader in the e-book field.

Please feel free to contact me if you are ever able to again serve valued customers traveling abroad. Do you really suppose all those iphone/android/nook/kindle/new tablet device readers are going to support your totally unsatisfactory e-book business model? Perhaps you really should just stop selling e-books altogether and send your customers to Amazon instead. That would save them the trouble of going through what I did.

Bottom line....if you are going to travel and you can't think of all the e-books you might want prior to departure.....use Amazon. It just works and sends the books to where ever you are...what a global concept.

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