05-15-2011 01:10 AM
Apologies if this is already covered somewhere else (and if it is, please reply with the link to that discussion as I couldn't find one).
First off, love the NC. It has definitely brought me back to reading a lot more and the new features are impressive. I've been looking forward to the enhanced/advanced nookbooks ever since 1.0 when I saw the tutorial that showed a video being played as part of a recipe cookbook. This is a near perfect medium for that kind of tech, and with me not being the greatest cook in the world I bought the cookbook used in the tutorial (good housekeeping) and eagerly started paging through it to find the video. Unfortunately, there weren't any. I emailed customer service since there was no disclaimer in the tutorial video saying that the NC couldn't yet play video, but that's basically the answer I got in reply.
So last week, I upgraded to the new software and now I notice that there's quite a few enhanced ebooks out there that will now play video. One of them was the good housekeeping cookbook, which was really great!
Except now B&N now expects me to pay $20.00 for the same book I just bought a few months ago for $18. I told customer service that I would gladly pay the $2.00 difference for the enhanced version, but that it's unrealistic for them to expect people to pay twice for most of the same content and again, there was no mention made in their tutorial that the very book they used as an example for video did not in fact have video; but I was told that the policy is no refunds on nookbooks.
I don't think I was heard. I wasn't asking for a refund.
Here's a few ideas for B&N to prevent losing customers
1.) I think that B& N should provide users that have purchased a standard nookbook the option of upgrading their copy to an enhanced version when available for a small fee. By way of analogy, when I buy 1 song from an album at a particular online music store, the very successful company that runs that store has a "complete my album" feature, which would allow me to add (upgrade) the songs I have to the full (enhanced) version for a price that does not require me to buy the entire album again and have two copies of it. I hope you see the point (and I know that music vs books is a bit of an apples and oranges scenario).
2.) I also think that when I'm considering buying a regular nookbook, that B&N should tell me ahead of time whether the book I'm about to buy is slated for an enhanced version. I was looking through the available enhanced titles and found enhanced versions of 4 more books that I currently have in plain old nookbook format in my library. I have to say that while there are still a lot of books that I want, I'm reluctant to buy anymore nookbooks from B&N because I don't want it to show up later as an enhanced version that I have to pay full price for. So release dates and availability right on the page where you'd buy your nookbook would help a lot.
3.) Also, I feel that when a title is released in an "enhanced" format, B&N or the publisher should at least give some basic quantifiable metrics to inform the purchaser of what and how much of that what is in the enhanced version. In the cookbook scenario above, it turns out (from reading the customer reviews) that the book B&N wanted me to shell out $20 for only had about 5 videos in it.....and this is a cookbook with over 1300 recipes. I'd gladly pay $2.00 for that, but $20??
Once some of the bugs are worked out and enhanced formats gain popularity I'd expect enhanced sales to really take off. Enhanced ebooks really are the future of reading, and the NC is pretty well positioned to give the best reading experience. The trouble is, if they are sticking with these pricing schemes for people who already have a standard version title because an enhanced one was unavailable, they may be losing a lot of customers in the end.
Have any of you found yourselves in the same/similar situation? What other suggestions do you have that will benefit B&N and avoid gouging the consumer? I'm really interested in what anyone has to say about this. It would be nice if we could get a rational list together to submit to B&N to see what happens.
05-15-2011 01:34 AM
Cool story, bro!
+in your kindness, make the wicked become good.+
-- St. Basil the Great+
05-15-2011 09:08 AM
Have you archived and then unarchived the cookbook? On most other books that will bring you the latest version.
I would also try calling cs again, sometimes you just do not get someone who understands what you are asking for or go to B&N and have them call the service center that they use.
1 Nook 3G/Wi/Fi
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05-15-2011 09:16 AM
I think your first suggestion is a very nice one. I wouldn't expect B&N itself to take the lead and mandate offering of upgrades, but they could make that an option available to publishers - publishers could even use that to drive sales. Let people know when they've got an upgrade available, and you'll get lots of upsells.
Your second suggestion just strikes me as unrealistic. Half the time the authors won't know in advance that they'll have an upgraded version eventually, and they certainly don't want to lose out on scales from chumps beforehand (look how carefully Apple guards information about it's pending hardware upgrades and new products, for that exact reason). B&N might want to offer that feature to improve customer experience, but it's something that simply can't be done without the active participation of publishers and I don't see that happening.
The third suggestion really just ties in to better book browsing overall. I'd add it to my (long) wishlist of things I hope someday B&N will do to improve online browsing; for now I continue going to my local Borders whenever I want to browse and visiting B&N.com only to check for authors or books I already know I want to read. Not really an option with enhanced content; I suppose I'd just recommend checking out reviews before purchase and hoping you don't get unlucky.