Not that I know of.
There is only one way that I am aware of. Before purchasing the book get the free sample. Once the free sample has been confirmed, go to your online Library and click on the "Download" button. Your browser will open a dialog box asking where you want the file saved, within that dialog box will be the name of the file and the extension denoting the file type.
So far every purchase that I've made from a sample has been the same file type as the sample.
Thank you both. Both the Sample pages and the addall (which I was unfamiliar with) will be quite useful.
I hate to tell you this, but it is possible that the sample will be in a different format than the download (this was mentioned before on the boards - I have no personal experience with it as I've never downloaded a sample). Also, when I've used Addall it always says that the format is pdb, but almost all of the books I've downloaded have been epub.
I HAVE noticed that sometimes the epub downloads to my nook, but when I go to pull the file from the B&N website it's a pdb.
If necessary, I know that there are scripts to remove the copy protection, but I would prefer to avoid using them...
You may have already discovered this, but thought I would pass it on. I thought I had done the research when I bought the JetBook Lite for my Mother as a simple alternative to the Nook. Only to discover that the EPUB format books purchased from B&N would not open. The following is the response I got from B&N CS. I find this really strange.
Unfortunately you are correct, at this time, eBooks purchased on our
website are not "compatible" with jetBook. So far all of the eBooks
that we publish are "officially" only supported for devices that our
eReader works on. There are certain formats like some of the .PDB's that
you mentioned that will work on these devices, on the other hand there
are formats that will not work such as .EPUB. Although Fictionwise is a
Barnes & Noble company our eBooks will only support these devices: your
nook, PC, iPhone, MAC and Blackberry.
We apologize for the inconvenience, appreciate your patience and look
forward to your next visit.
Something I just discovered.
I have been to B&N digital support and JetBook support about the formats. JetBook says that plan (no date) to support the B&N epub format. So, when I load the books into my Nook or let EReader just get the books they might come in .epub or .pdb, and don't know if they will be readable on Jetbook or not.
Then I went to my B&N ebook library. When I download from there every book comes as .pdb format and will be readable on JetBook.
I talked to customer service about this.
As I'm sure people know, they are moving to ePUB across the board, but aren't done yet. The sad news is that even THEY cannot identify the format of the book. So it's a total crap-shoot at this point.
I downloaded sometimg like 20 random samples, old and new, and receieve 100% PDB. Not a single ePUB in there. Not even for Dan Brown's newest book, which I would have figured for ePUB.
Right now, if you download a sample or if you download from your B&N library, you're likely to get a PDB, but if you buy a book and download it to your nook, and it's a newer book, it's likely to be an epub. As Pie mentioned, B&N will eventually be entirely epub.
So... right now the odds are good that you can buy a book and get the PDB from your library, but that could change and quick. If you need PDBs make sure you're downloading the files that are PDB and keeping them somewhere other than your B&N library.
I can tell you for sure that they're currently making changes in the background to improve how their products download and to change file types on their books. I know this because I had some issues and talked to support a couple of times and was told the same thing each time - they are actively working on converting to epub. They're not making their changes public, so we don't know when the B&N Library will switch over, or how (all at once or book by book).