Stuck in Barnes & Noble’s PubIt! Processing Hell? This way out!


As you may recall, we ran into some issues with Barnes & Noble selling the Nook version of our new book Lily Does Sweden. Notably the B&N stated “24-72 hour” processing time to put the book on sale extended to . . . one week, two weeks, three weeks . . .  and counting.


At first we thought it might be the content. However, after a bit of a research, turns out a lot of people were having their books stuck in processing limbo for weeks on end.  Not something B&N really wants the world to know, so not something they posted prominently.

The recommendation from B&N on the Support Boards was simply to go in and redo the setup and upload of the title as if it were a brand new book.  According to a few people, who have had success with redoing the title, the redo seem to make the B&N system kick the first version out for sale.

We know. So weird!

Lily Does Sweden was “redone” today. (No, we never stop working!) So, with any luck, it will be up for sale as a Nook this coming week. We’ll keep you all posted as to whether this method really works or not.


In the meanwhile, if you’re on Goodreads, sign up for the Lily Does Sweden book giveaway. We’re giving away two autographed and personally inscribed trade paperback copies this month. There you can also download and read the first two chapters of the book.

Or, drop over to Indra’s WP site A Seat At The Feast and check out the TOC and the first chapter, which is on the Lily Does Sweden Page. If you like what you read, $1.99 on Nook, Kindle, or other epub retailers. Trade paperback ($14.99) is already available on B&N and Amazon as well as other retailers.


Free Book Fridays, with the Nook

Some of you are trying to create an ePub out of your current manuscript. We get that.  If you want to look at how ePubs look through a Nook, you can actually download software to multiple devices, including your PC or Mac, and view the books there.

Barnes & Noble offers a Free Book Friday with Nook.  If you sign up for a Nook account, really just a way to buy books more than a device if you don’t have one, you can start creating a library of free ebooks and books they offer for free on Fridays.  The books will remain in your Nook library perpetually, stored in an archive, if you desire.

Should you buy a Nook, you can use those books in your library on the Nook. However, if you don’t, you can still read your Nook ePub materials on your computer, or other device,  by downloading Nook software — similar to Kindle. To create your account, you will have to give them a credit card, even if the only books you want to collect are free.

The virtue of starting a Nook account and library is that you can use your collection to see how an ePub book is structured. You might be surprised by what you see. Something you’d expect to find in the front of a printed book, such as copyright info, is today typically in the back of many Nook ePubs. Not sure if that shift is to keep readers from thinking about the IP law involved or just a convenient way of cutting down on the front matter.

Anyway, in case you were wondering, we were at Barnes & Noble looking at Nooks today. There are 3 versions, all very interesting with a lot of cool features.  But a major complaint would be no real selection of fonts, and no ability to upload fonts to the Nooks.  This is always disappointing to people who derived a great deal of pleasure from the typography.

The tablet Nook is the largest of the three, holds the most books, runs the longest without recharging, costs the most, orients both horizontally and vertically, which is helpful, and is able to display PDFs.  But it’s very heavy and the battery incredibly strong, by that we mean one can feel the electrical current. Quite scary really.

The tablet version becomes very prickly and hot if one holds it more than a minute. The other Nooks have the same problem, but to a lesser degree. Definitely, if we bought a Nook of any kind, it would have to come with a stand, because honestly no one wants to touch it for fear of getting burned, electrocuted, or developing an inability to use one’s hand because it continues to buzz with excited electric current long after the Nook is put down.

So, would we buy a Nook? Yes, if it were inexpensive enough, say under $100, but it would only be used for testing ePubs on. Nook is a good idea, it has huge potential, but it’s got a long way to go.  We will also say that compared to a Kindle, Nook seems like the better made, more user friendly product.  But if you’re going to the trouble of buying a Nook tablet, why not just buy an iPad?

Published in: on September 21, 2011 at 1:25 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Consumers are PRO Bookstores

For anyone thinking that bookstores are simply relics of the past and consumers are done with them, there’s no use trying to save them? Think again. A new survey by Brand Week proves otherwise.

Of 133 business to select from, people picked Barnes & Noble as #1, the best customer experience. Amazon? #5. Costco? #7 Borders? #18 (tying Sam’s Club). Target tied ebay #14, Walmart #42 (below Kmart). Zappos, which is known for Customer Experience didn’t get mentioned in Forrester’s complete list , which was surprising, but they may be considered part of Amazon now.

For brick and mortar bookstores that feel under siege, B&N proves that you can still come out on top. You just have to provide excellent customer service, online and off, know how to combine a great retail experience with smart product placement & merchandising, and put effort into your brand and your store’s appearance.

Indies can still come out the winner, at least in their own community.

Even if you feel “I don’t have a B&N budget,” you can still learn million-dollar secrets from walking into a few B&N stores and studying the stores and the experience.

Notice sales transactions happen at a desk to the left, behind you, as you walk in? That’s so you don’t notice it. People generally look to the right or straight (because it’s how we read). Never to the left or behind them. B&N does this so their customer’s first thought isn’t “This will cost me money.”

Now look at all the books directly in front of you? Glossy coffee tables, deeply discounted items, the popular works in paperback, and colorful magazines. Your eyes get the message: Cheap and cheerful. Your hands think: it’s ok to touch something.

To the right of you? The coffee bar, dressed in mellow tones, giving off that warm cookies and coffee smell, subtly says to your mouth and nose: Ah, relax and stay awhile. Hear a bit of music mixed in with that cappuccino maker? That’s a message to your brain, from your ears.

Your overall impression from walking in to a B&N is “This is nice. I can afford some of this. I’ll stay a bit.”

Notice the Information Station? Back of the store, so you walk through the books. Separate from checkout. Your thought isn’t “This request will cost me money.”

Study the section placement. Really. It’s based on the types of buyers that come for the types of book. Look at whether on not there’s seating near these sections.

Travelguide buyers generally know where they want to go. They look, buy a book and leave. Self-help and religion? They need a chair. Art / craft books, those folks will sit on the floor, they don’t care.

Look at the children’s area. Is your area an upscale area that’s not really family oriented? Children are probably hidden behind info and sort of secluded. The folks generally want their children safe, but don’t necessarily want to hear them disrupting the store.

Are you in in a more middle income, kid-friendly neighborhood? Probably children are upstairs, where they can be seen and heard as parents browse below. The folks generally want their children safe, but don’t mind hearing them disrupt the store a little, in fact, that’s how they know their kids are still around and still having fun and they can go on browsing books.

Actually use all of the B&N services. Buy a coffee, ask for help at the desk, select a cheap book, and buy it.  Find out what it’s like to order a book. How is that experience? How is that different than the experience you offer?

Go through the process of a great experience and see what they’re offering. Note the cards and journals near the check out. The offer of the book club discount. They way staff treats you. Their color schemes. How they’re branding the store. Do you understand how the experience is one big sales seduction?

Check out their online services as well.  See what a really useful bookstore website looks like. What that experience is like?How is that brand being reinforced in people’s minds. Then look at your store’s site. And if you don’t have one, think about putting one up.

Even a very small bookstore can do 90% of what B&N does, and do it even better because Indies really know their local area.