10-22-2009 06:05 PM
I really just don't understand why you can only loan it out once. Someone on another thread brought up the concept of us "owning" or being "licensed the right to read" the material. I don't see how it matters. When you loan it, you lose access to it until you receive it back. This is virtually the same concept as lending a real book, except that, yes, it doesn't wear out.
I'm assuming this is in place so that the the person you lend an eBook to will purchase it for him or herself. I don't see how that'll work out.
10-22-2009 06:23 PM
Man...I wish I could cancel my order. I used whatever left over gift-cards (as presents, and from credit card points) I have to pre-order the Nook....and if I cancel, I have no clue what happens to the balace on the gift cards. What a pain...and all my bad.
I just hope this thing sells out so I can dump it on ebay and at least get back what I paid for it when it's released.
Why don't people realize the social nature of books? It's like TV shows and movies...the word of mouth does wonders for its distribution. When I read a good book, I WANT to lend it to others so they'll enjoy it too. Some books I DO read more than once...so I insist on getting it back and have whoever borrowed it from me buy their own. What usually happens with lot of fiction books in series is that I'll lend them the first book in a series, and if whoever borrowed it likes it, they'll also go out and buy the subsequent books in that series. This has happened numerous times among my friends. Some of my friends have gone out and bought box sets after I lent them first books to a good series like the Foundation, Ender series, Hitchhiker, etc because they loved it so much.
And because we are constantly exchanging books, we as a group buy LOT MORE books....since it encourages us to read and look for new stuff. I honestly thought Nook would provide that same social aspects.
And unlike what some others have said in this forum, I do not believe in buying the Nook AND many ebooks on it so that I can somehow prove to the publisher that this model works. Why? When we vote with our wallets, it's not by giving them more money for something we don't like thinking that will convince them to give us what we want eventually...it's the opposite. Look at the history of Windows Mobile devices...and what happened after the iPhone was released. I really thought Nook could be the iPhone of eReader market. I guess not.
10-22-2009 10:00 PM
First off, I appreciate that a clear answer was given for this question. I'm not as adamant about buying the nook anymore, and my friend who was hoping to make good use of the lending feature through me will not be buying the nook now. I hope that B&N's reconsiders this. Being able to only loan out a book once almost counts for nothing, and should not be advertised at all. People will be aggravated when they find out that detail.
Instead of just complaining, I'm hoping that the moderators or admins can forward my suggestion to the right people.
In order to make the lending process be less restrictive, why not make it so that a book that has been loaned out cannot be loaned out again until x amount of days? Of course, I'm thinking that it should be between 1 to 30 days but whatever number is fine as long as I can loan out the book again. If anything, this should entice more sales. As someone who sometimes can't stop reading a book until the wee hours of the morning, I can honestly say that if I my 14 days are up while I was at a good part of the book I would purchase the book right then and there instead of waiting for it be loaned to me again.
- I loan out Book A to Tom for 14 days.
- After 14 days, I get Book A back.
- Mary asks for Book A, but I can't loan it out again for x days so Mary ends up waiting x days.
- After x days, I can loan out Book A to Mary.
10-23-2009 01:17 AM
Hey, thanks, everyone for the feedback on lending.
Remember that this is a brand new feature that has never been done before. We're working with our publishing partners to make this the best experience possible. The one-time 14-day lend is what we have now, and we think it's a significant step.
10-23-2009 10:14 AM
While I agree that it is a bit dissapointing that you can't lend more than once per book, I can't lend AT ALL with Sony or Kindle, so to me it's still a better feature than other eReaders out there. And if publishers get on this, and other people start offering it too, then we may get more choices in the lending aspect. Just because it's once per book now doesn't mean it always has to be that way.
10-23-2009 11:07 AM
For those who want to "vote with their wallets" and walk away from the table until the entire media industry concedes to your demands for a whole change in the understanding of intellectual property, so be it. I don't know what I can do to convince you, even though I consider this a poor strategy, IMO.
I prefer to vote with my behavior.
If we walk away from eReaders and eBooks as they are today, we're sending a message to publishers that the concept, in general, of those two things is a failure. (Nobody's buying it, it's a niche market, etc.) Publishers will not see any reason to innovate in that type of market. The great fear is that they will lose money.
So, my solution?
Buy the nook. Loan books. Encourage your lendees to buy books you've lent to them. The publishers will start to see the profit in it. We keep the pressure on to expand the feature.
For example, say I lend 4 different books. Of those my friend buys 1. There's a lot of factors here, but it's not unreasonable to assume that lending generates new sales up to 25%.
We ask for more--"Hey, let me lend multiple times"--and they decide to give it a try to see how it works. Maybe they offer this feature as a member benefit, who knows. So they up the # of times to, say 4. If the percentage of purchases stays constant (in the example, 25%) most publishers will wisely say OK, because though the percentage stays the same, the # of units sold (thus profit) increases.
So far so good. We keep saying, "I want to lend to more friends." So they up the number of times a book can be loaned to 10. But now, only 10% of those lendees end up buying the book. If you follow the logic, sooner or later with a little tinkering they will find the "right" number of loans to generate sales.
And sales is what it's all about.
Believe me, I would like to live in the utopia where all the content I want/need is free and accessible all the time. But we don't live there. So, viva la revolution and all, but I would rather take smaller, realistic, pragmatic measures for achieving my perfect world than sit back a refuse to play until someone makes me captain of the team.
Just my take on things. I know some of you strongly disagree.
Suppose that's why they call it a discussion.
10-23-2009 01:35 PM - edited 10-23-2009 01:39 PM
I too am disappointed with this functionality. It sounds great. In fact, I was telling my wife all about the nook last night, and much of our discussion centered around the lend feature. I just know that if I go home tonight and tell her I can lend a book only once, she'll say "that's useless!".
Why? Because it is! As someone else mentioned here, the model we should be trying to emulate is NOT the kindle or Sony model. As cool as those are, those were first generation devices. Clearly, B&N thought this thing through, but they didn't go the full distance. The model they need to emulate here is the physical book. They are, after all, a physical brick-and-mortar bookstore.
I go into my local B&N and buy a sci-fi book and read it. I'm done with it. Unless it's a true classic and I just can't stand to be without it, I probably will never read it again. Unlike textbooks or technical books, I really don't need to keep a sci-fi book around forever. So what do I do with it? I give it to my friends. Or, lately, I've been giving it to the 12 year old son of a friend. He's just getting into sci-fi, loves reading, and his mom asked if I had any good suggestions. Now I give him a pile of paperbacks every few weeks.
Think of what this is doing for HIM! Maybe he's not buying those books right now, but he is setting a pattern of book reading. He doesn't know what he likes right now, so he may only buy one or two physical books a month. But he's getting a good feel for what he wants in the future. He will be buying far more books in the future too. He'll probably walk into his local B&N and buy more books in a couple of weeks, whereas he probably wouldn't if someone hadn't lent him a book or two. If he had an e-Reader, he probably would buy even more titles.
But without lending (or, in this case, giving them to him), it doesn't model real life. I want to be able to lend to different people over different times. Say I lend an eBook today, thinking no one else would want it, and then next month someone says "Oh, I LOVE that author! I am dying to read his new book!". I would be unable to lend it to that person.
(I actually would like to be able to give someone an eBook after I'm done with it, but I understand why B&N doesn't want that to happen. Lending however, is not the threat that they think it is...)
Personally, I think the lending feature should be improved. Limit the timeframe to seven days (after all, the intent is to get them hooked enough to go buy their own book), but increase the lending choices to unlimited. Ultimately, this can only HELP B&N, not hurt them.
As other options (not as good), B&N could limit the number of lends to a set number (say, 10?) or limit it to only one lend per week (month?) or something of that sort.
This isn't a deal killer for me, but it's a huge let down. This was such a cool feature, but it turns out to be a rotten egg in disguise. I agree with another poster that this is going to backfire on B&N because it is being marketed as one of the key aspects. Once the press really catches on to this, or once Amazon catches on, there will no end of embarassment at B&N.
Great idea, poor execution.
10-23-2009 01:43 PM
I appreciate BN's willingness to work with publishers to change the one time lending policy. But what I don't understand is why is that our public library (in Champaign/Urbanb Illinois) is able to lend out ebooks multiple times to multiple people and BN is only allowing the one time/one person deal?
The library purchasing the book is the same process that we (your consumers) would purchase the book...
I am still on the fence about buying a nook this early in the game. Some of my concerns have been answered, but I am still not too keen on the price of BN ebooks and this lending policy.
10-23-2009 01:58 PM
Clearly, B&N thought this thing through, but they didn't go the full distance. The model they need to emulate here is the physical book. They are, after all, a physical brick-and-mortar bookstore.
I suspect that the limiting factor is the distribution agreements with publishers. Getting them to agree to any form of digital lending was probably a major accomplishment.
10-23-2009 02:10 PM
There is a good chance I would've upgraded from my Sony 505 to the Nook if the sharing feature was never mentioned. I've been waiting for a good PDF reader. Sony reads it okay...but it's not very good at it, but it still gets by. But it is good to carry around PDF docs of various materials that I have which are huge... And companies like Pragmatic which sell their books using PDF/ePub/mobi ALL in one package, I gladly pay for every time. I still order my non-reference pbooks from Amazon. I buy enough that it makes my Amazon prime membership totally worth it. I thought Nook would replace it. But I feel that the initial impression of this lending feature that they put out at the market is disingenuous and it has turned me off to this reader.
I'm sure the color screen on the Nook will help it get some new users to eBook readers in general. But the main selling point of the Nook was that it had this sharing feature. It wasn't the color screen that was getting the most attention in the blogs. It wasn't the UI or the look of the unit either. It was the sharing feature. Finally, an eBook reader won't be relegated to some technical PDFs that I have! I can share books with people I know just like a real book! It sounded good enough for me to pre-order. Part of the fun of reading new books is to let others know about it...so they can read it too. Lot of my friends were very excited about it. Then the reality hit, and it was a big let down. Not only that, in my opinion, Barnes and Noble's marketing of that feature is disingenuous and misleading. Read the articles about Nook and the gadget sites...and even the Consumerist! It's full of people surprised and let-down by the real description of this feature. It's too bad.
Luckily, there are LOT of eBook manufacturers. There are hungrier ones like Plastic Logic and even Sony that will take note. Apple was able to push back against the music industry, maybe they'll release something even better. And if anybody ever release something that mimics the pbooks better, I'll vote with my wallet then. Along with LOT of others that are waiting for that right product. For me, eBook readers are a "want" not a "need." I don't see any point of spending my money on something that's not ideal for me, to benefit the learning experience of the industry. I'll stick with pBooks for now.
But for others who are willing to invest their money and resources for the learning experience of this backward industry, thank you.
10-23-2009 06:12 PM
I must say I was very excited when I first read about the nook.
Now, not so much.
And the severely limited 'lend' feature is a major reason. False advertising if you ask me...
When they come out with an e-book where I actually own the 'books' I pay my hard earned money for, to sell or give away or loan out, as I see fit...Then let me know.
10-24-2009 12:21 AM
This is bad, bad news. The lending feature was never that important to me. But if B&N is overselling this feature, what else are they hiding? I feel betrayed. The main advantage Nook has over competitors is its support of open formats, but if the rest of the Nook's open promise ends up being just as misleading... This news is seriously pushing me in the Kindle direction. I'm definitely not pre ordering and we'll see how things go in December.
10-24-2009 07:32 AM
I don't know how the commuity may feel about this idea but here it goes:
Instead of restricting the book to 1 lend, restrict how many times a users' account accepts a lend.
IE everyone gets to receive a lent book 1 time a month, or 12 time a year in an unrestricted timeframe.
If the lendee buys the book 7 days? 10 days? after the lend period - then the "lend" doesn't count and you could receive another lend~
It would reward buying the book and be less restrictive -tho maybe a bit of a programming pain...
You lend me Book A
I don't care for it and have 11 lends left for the year
You lend me book B
I love it and buy it immediately - I still have 11 lends left for the year
or it could be 20 lends a year whatever.
The main thing holding me back is B&N ebook prices... after about 10-15 purchases I could afford a second ereader by buying at Amazon instead of B&N~
Now of I could buy the Nook and use Kindles ebooks on it I'd be a happy camper LOL!
10-23-2009 01:19 PM
There's an article (linked from the Wikipedia page for the nook) on consumerist.com that says that the lending function will allow only ONE lend per book. So, while I can lend a book (a very cool feature, BTW), I would have to choose very wisely, because I cannot lend more than once.
I couldn't find any official statement in these forums on that. Is this true?
10-23-2009 01:21 PM
Yes, it is true. The admins (Kevin, in particular), have commented on this: you can only lend a particular ebook once, for 14 days. Note that the person you lend it to can choose not to accept the ebook you lend them, in which case you would be able to lend it to someone else. But if they do accept the ebook you lend them, that's it. They'll get it for 14 days, and then the ebook will revert back to you, and you won't be able to lend it out again.
10-24-2009 09:47 PM - edited 10-24-2009 10:00 PM
Thanks Kevin for a direct answer, at least we have that. I think BN should really reconsider the limit on lending. As it stands you may as well not even have it. This alleged feature fails because it in no way mimics an actual book which I can lend repeatedly at will in perpetuity.
I don't see this as being a feature that will be of very much use to consumers, though I bet it will be a boon to publishers and BN since many people take longer than 14 days to read a book, anyone who doesn't finish will be likely to buy the book. Probably the true purpose of the "feature".
I'm belive you truly do want to meet consumers in-the-middle, so to speak, I'm not saying you have to provide the kind of lending flexibility you have with a real book, but what you shouid offer, at the very least, is the next best thing.
Features should provide real value to the user and not only be gimicks to sell more books, it is OK if it does sell more books, just so long as there is real value in it for the consumer. In this case, I'd say there isn't. In order to provide real value a minimum of 30 days lending per person, per book, with 30 days between lending per book is reasonable.
My reasoning is simple and fair to both the consumer and the industry: If you can't read the book in 30 days then you either aren't interested in the book or should probably buy your own copy anyway. The delay is warranted since without a delay between lending ( or perhaps even with ) you'll probably see websites spring up with a miniture lending 'market', probably not for profit, but still, it isn't fair to ask BN to lose sales to a free lending exploitation system.
I think as it stands it will make me cringe every time I hear an advertisement tout the feature, when I know it is only a gimmick, not a true feature, but BN can do something about it and I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and wait and see if you do.
10-24-2009 11:38 PM
The problem is that if they don't do it this way, they risk see a new industry being born: the eBook rental business.
$1.00 = 14 days.
10-25-2009 12:32 AM
"Instead of restricting the book to 1 lend, restrict how many times a users' account accepts a lend."
This is a brilliant idea. It takes into account the purchaser's desire to be able to lend freely, while still restricting the freeloaders.
Make it 12 lends, 14 days/lend. A lend a month has a generous ring to it while not really being overly generous. Allow relending to the same person, but it'll cost 'em again (and they'll get each one back if they buy.)
The avid readers will certainly use up their 12 and will likely buy a few in the process.
the once-in-a-while readers will re-borrow books and get through the 12 before the year is up as well.
And people want to use up all of their free time. Look at free minutes on a phone plan, or time at a parking meter...people will WANT to max out their available usage, which means they'll be using your reader more.
keep the only lend to one person at a time to prevent whole book clubs from only buying one copy...
but yes. turn the structure on its head following this suggestion. What a great idea!
Heck, maybe even have a really, *really* low fee to replenish your "borrows"
10-25-2009 11:12 AM
I assume that the reason the LendMe feature was crippled by B&N and the publishers is because they were afraid people would setup websites that brought lenders and borrowers together. The fear being that people would rely heavily on borrowing books at the expense of buying them. I can understand this fear, but I think it is a mistake.
The more likely result would be that borrowing would introduce people to new authors and would often lead to the purchase of other books by that author. These are purchases that would not have occurred had the borrowing never taken place. Even if book sharing websites began to appear, it would probably be a good thing. Visitors to these sites would soon find that some books are so popular that they have a backlog of readers wanting to borrow that book. This would lead to people buying the book just so they can lend it out and thus get access to other books they would like to read. Once again, this is the purchase of a book that would not otherwise have been purchased.
If B&N and the publishers wanted to impose limits then they should have done it on the borrowing side and not the lending side. For example, a better and simpler system would have been "You can't borrow more books than you have purchased."