Barnes & Noble announced it’s new B&N Sync Up program recently that will allow customers the opportunity to buy selected paperbacks and receive the digital edition for $4.99 as a bundle.
Sound familiar? Amazon has been offering consumers the best of both worlds by bundling print and digital books together for some time now among participating authors and publishers with their Kindle MatchBook program (for $2.99 or less).
The bad news (other than being more expensive than the Amazon offering) is that its running only through the holiday season and will feature a limited number of paperbacks, including Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Outlander by Diana Abandon, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. In total, 72 titles will be available for bundling.
The other bad news is that customers have to buy the books at one of Barnes & Noble’s retail store locations, and upon checkout the sales clerk will activate the Nook Book offer. Once the offer is activated, an access code is printed on your store receipt, or can be printed on a gift receipt, or emailed to you.
The e-book version can be read on any Nook device, as well as on smartphones and tablets via the free Nook Reading App.
Sounds to me like they’re: 1) trying to drum up more consumer traffic (and sales) for their brick and mortar stores, and 2) running this as a pilot program to see how well it does in order to determine whether there’s enough consumer interest to warrant extending and expanding the program down the road. The company has already stated that it “looks forward to supporting similar bundling programs in the future.” (Hopefully ones that aren’t so clunky and are more online driven and consumer friendly.) I guess we’ll have to wait until after the holiday rush to find out.
And remember, books are the world’s most perfect gift! You can give someone a lovely paperback book for only $9.95, free lovingly gift wrapped by the nice people at Amazon (who aren’t management), buried under the tree this year while secretly squirreling away the e-book version for yourself for FREE with no one being the wiser. Everybody wins!
Now if that isn’t the spirit of Christmas giving I don’t know what is. Ho Ho Ho.