×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

B&N Yanks DC Titles After Exclusive Amazon Deal

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the will-see-your-tit-and-raise-a-tat dept.

Books 125

theodp writes "In response to DC Entertainment's agreement to exclusively offer digital versions of certain titles in Amazon Kindle format, Nook maker Barnes & Noble has begun pulling DC Entertainment's graphic novels off its shelves. Confirming the decision, B&N said in a statement, 'To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.' Nice to see the pair is still able to keep their feud fresh on the 11th anniversary of the 1-Click patent infringement lawsuit."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

125 comments

My guess is the digital only versions aren't the (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653308)

best comics around.

Your "in between" filler books, ash-cans, else-world type stuff and teasers are normally the things delegated to "not being printed".

Granted, these things can be awesome, back in my days of comic collecting the else-worlds and obscure stuff was generally some of the best, but they got low distribution and weren't the "meat" of the industry. Sounds to me like they were making an excuse to make a statement. If they're not going to offer them in print they're not going to offer them in print anywhere. These are the comic industry equivalents of the Battlestar Galactica "webisodes".

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (1)

tgeek (941867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653544)

I read it a little differently. They're not referring to digital-only content. They're talking about digital copies of print content. For example "Watchmen" would still be available in print presumably from anybody (except B&N who's voluntarily choosing not to carry it anymore) - while the digital version of the same title would only be available from Amazon.

Now, is B&N making a smart move? Probably not. But probably one that will be applauded by local mom-n-pop comic dealers. Is B&N taking a bold stand against exclusivity deals that hurt the consumers? Don't kid yourself - if they had ability to pull off such a deal, they'd be doing the very same thing.

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (2)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653594)

It's a simple question, really. How much does DC comics does from B&N floor sales, and how much did Amazon pay for the deal?

Unless DC is run by idiots, they are not losing money on this, I'm sure.

And B&N forgot something. Doing a stunt like this is actually free publicity... I didn't know DC was an Amazon had signed this exclusivity deal... But now I do. Thank you for telling me, the consumer, where I can buy DC.

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654958)

But now I do. Thank you for telling me, the consumer, where I can buy DC.

Provided, of course, that the customer reads Slashdot.

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (1)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655890)

Or watch their local news? I know when this story first broke a couple of days ago, our local news had it plus multiple other locations. The companies involved are big enough names to have the story go beyond niche websites.

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656194)

I found out about it from Neil Gaiman's twitter a few days ago, as they pulled all of his Sandman graphic novels.

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (2)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658454)

Or: "Hmm, B&N spending money advertising The Watchmen. Let me go buy it for my Nook. Oh they don't have it. One step closer to switching to a Kindle for me."

They'd be reaching more people than /. and telling them their eReader selection is inferior to that of Amazon's.

Re:My guess is the digital only versions aren't th (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656932)

Actually, since DC relaunched with their new "52" event, part of the changes included ALL comics being available in print and digital forms on the same day. So it's everything, from Action Comics to mini-series that are available in digital form the same day you can pick it up at a B&M.

The irony being... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653312)

That novels, specifically graphic ones, are just about the only form of media I would prefer to buy in a physical form. My ebook reader is reserved pretty much exclusively for datasheets, and that's only so I can search them.

Solution (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653316)

1. Root your nook, install both readers, read any format you like.
-or-
2. Download calibre software (or use online version at www.2epub.com) to your pc. change the mobi files to epub.

Re:Solution (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653358)

What is that exactly a solution to? Because it doesn't change the fact that B&N are removing physical copies from all their physical stores due to an exclusivity deal the publisher made with a competitor...

On the other hand, did the B&N spokesman clarify how removing books from sale helps B&N to fulfill the prose "to make available any book, anywhere, anytime"? Surely its counter productive to that promise?

Re:Solution (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653742)

Not really, I for one support them sticking to their guns. One of the reasons that I buy most of my books from them is that any book I see on the shelf at their stores is one that I can buy for my Nook, or really any other device that supports epubs.

B&N isn't a small bookseller, they are one of if not the largest book sellers in the world. Pulling the books from their shelves because they can't sell them online is ultimately good for everybody and a bit surprising. Given that this means they can't make money off the dead tree editions.

The thing about Amazon is that they have yet to change their devices to work with the standard format that everybody else uses, consequently the only way to buy those books and have them work on a Nook Color involves converting them with a third party utility. I don't know if they have DRM, but I'm guessing there will be, if they're important enough for an exclusivity agreement the odds are good that they're important enough for DC to insist upon DRM.

Re:Solution (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654756)

They are pulling them from shelves, but not from their online shelves. You can go to barnesandnoble.com and get Watchmen today. [barnesandnoble.com]

All they're doing is screwing their brick and mortar stores.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37655278)

No, they are preventing people from going to the store, looking at the comic and buying it from Amazon for less if they like it. They don't want to advertise products for Amazon for free and while I might not like that, I can understand that.

They don't mind competing on a price for the same product but don't want their competitor to have an exclusive option of selling the same content in the different format for less yet bear some additional costs for competitor's sales.

Re:Solution (2)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654878)

...any book I see on the shelf at their stores is one that I can buy for my Nook, or really any other device that supports epubs.

This is not true. B&N does have a vast ebook library and seem committed to expanding it as much as possible. But it's not even close to their full library. Many books are completely unavailable as ebooks from anywhere. Most new fiction is available in ebook format, but older titles (such as the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson) are not. Non-fiction titles seem even less likely to be available as ebooks. (And when you watch individual titles, the pace of ebook adoption is painfully slow. Dune took forever.)

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37656284)

Their actual rule is:

IF there is a digital version of this book available anywhere, AND the physical version is available in Barnes & Noble stores, THEN the digital version is available on nook.

If there's no digital version anywhere, then they just shrug.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37655116)

The point is that B&N doesn't want to be used as a free ad space for products that can be bought cheaper at the competitor's store.
Brick and mortars simply can't compete with virtual stores selling virtual products. No matter how hard they would try they would lose because physical stuff cost more and bulk of the customers are price sensitive.

This is an attempt to use the market position to break up the exclusive deals that are anti competitive by definition. And that is a good thing.

This really isn't hard to parse. (1)

apparently (756613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658338)

On the other hand, did the B&N spokesman clarify how removing books from sale helps B&N to fulfill the prose "to make available any book, anywhere, anytime"? Surely its counter productive to that promise?

By definition of the exclusivity deal, B&N can't make the e-book version of the book available, and so if they're literally unable to make that version of the book available, how could they honestly say that they can make the "book available [on the nook], anytime"?

Re:Solution (4, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653408)

Better solution. Don't buy or support them. Exclusivity deals take away consumer choice.

Re:Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37654628)

I'm sorry, is the consumer the only person that matters?

The creators of something have the right to determine how it's distributed. If they, for some odd reason, want to restrict reading of a book to happen only if you're impaled in the ass on a giant purple dildo, that's their right.

Why should the consumer of a product be more respected than the creator?

Re:Solution (2)

Xenx (2211586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654864)

I'm sorry, is the consumer the only person that matters? The creators of something have the right to determine how it's distributed. If they, for some odd reason, want to restrict reading of a book to happen only if you're impaled in the ass on a giant purple dildo, that's their right. Why should the consumer of a product be more respected than the creator?

You're correct in that they get a choice as well. However, as the customer, we're paying them for it. If they want to receive money for their work, there have to be some mutually agreeable conditions. If they sign an exclusive, fine. They're choosing to potentially alienate every other customer.

I couldn't care less about the deal, but in principle I prefer to see more choice than less.

Re:Solution (2)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656214)

Actually, the creators don't get a choice, the publishers do. Neil Gaiman is pissed at both DC and B&N for letting this get to the point that his Sandman books are being pulled off the shelves at B&N.

Re:Solution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37657766)

Then he should exert pressure from the other side by switching to a different publisher.

sounds interesting (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653326)

Without knowing what's really going on, but it seems that someone there has decided that a principle is more important than the quarterly report, and I applaud that. It will probably benefit them in the long run (e.g. leverage in the next negotiations), but it's always interesting when a company gives a reason other than "it was the profitable thing to do".

Re:sounds interesting (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653356)

I think they are still acting in their best interests. They are leveraging their physical presence to counteract Amazon's online advantage. If they are willing to lose sales at their physical stores in order to help their online division, publishers will have to take this into account when considering future exclusive deals.

Re:sounds interesting (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654132)

In the end, Amazon just sells more physical copies too and the publisher streamlines sale. I doubt B&N sells all that much of anything in their stores now.

Re:sounds interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37654452)

I think they are still acting in their best interests.

Why does everybody say this like it's a bad thing?

When was the last time you blatantly acted against your personal best interests? But when the CEO of a company acts in his best interest, he's some kind of monster...

Re:sounds interesting (1)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655424)

I realize they don't shoot themselves in the foot just because.

But "interest" is a different animal than "profit". You can have other interests besides money.

Re:sounds interesting (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655874)

In this case, though, I think "interest" and "money" are the same thing. Fortunately, in this case the consumer still benefits (and that's usually the case when there is still heavy competition). Usually the consumer suffers when a company maximizes profits without any competition.

Re:sounds interesting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653506)

it seems that someone there has decided that a principle is more important than the quarterly repor

Not hardly.

The graphic novels section of most stores serves one purpose- to draw in a certain demographic who will hopefully buy other stuff. That section does little more than take up space, and hardly ever generates positive revenue. Most people who do buy them, collect them, and will purchase from a specialty shop because most retail copies are beat to shit.

So I read this as a move to get rid of unwanted inventory and to reclaim floor space, without letting onto that fact.

Re:sounds interesting (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654750)

I don't agree. Even when I was collecting comics, I usually bought the odd graphic novel at book stores because I got a better discount there and because the selection was usually better. A reason for this might be a comic store wants you to buy old copies of the comics themselves, not reprints in GN form, because the prices and margins are way better for them. And your typical GN is not a collector's item since it is essentially a reprint. (I realize there are exceptions to this, but B&N doesn't really carry the other kind.)

In any case, B&N could have gotten rid of this stuff a long time ago and if no one was buying, no one would have noticed.

No, B&N wants the attention here. DC probably doesn't matter to them at all. This was a message to other publishers being courted by Amazon.

Re:sounds interesting (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654284)

but it seems that someone there has decided that a principle is more important than the quarterly report

What? No. Someone there has decided that they're pissed off DC signed an exclusivity deal with a competitor and now they're retaliating because one of the largest bookstores in the world pulling all your material means you will take a big hit in your income. It has absolutely nothing to do with principles over bottom line.

Re:sounds interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37659532)

Not retaliating.. they're making an example of DC, so that other publishers will think twice before signing similar deals with Amazon.

Can you imagine what would happen to BN if there was a large amount of content available only on Amazon. So amazon has everything at BN + some. That would be a real threat to BN. Best to take care of it now before it becomes a huge problem.

Good Thing (4, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653334)

I think the rule of thumb that monopolies are bad and competition is good applies here. Barnes & Noble's decision shows integrity from my point of view. I think this sends a good message to publishers; in order to be successful in the digital world they should provide customers with more option, not less.

Re:Good Thing (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653410)

Taking that approach to the extreme, publishers should spend time writing software for every OS, including even the really obscure ones which even 99% of Linux users have never heard of. More choice isn't necessarily better (apart from for creative areas like music/film etc.).

It may take a while, but I think paper is on its way out.

Re:Good Thing (5, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653482)

Exclusive deals aren't about labor - they're about exploiting copyright to limit consumer choice.

The problem with ebooks isn't labor at all. Google has tons of books digitized and made available for searching at no cost to publishers at all, but publishers sue them because they don't like not being the gatekeepers.

If DC just emailed B&N a .mobi file I'm sure they'd be happy to convert it so that they can sell it.

And, ultimately, if you take anything to the extreme it often breaks down. That doesn't mean that promoting platform-neutral formats is a bad thing. We shouldn't avoid making stuff available on 99% of the hardware out there just because it won't run on a toaster.

Re:Good Thing (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654490)

I can understand a short-term exclusive deal to kick off a new book or device, but in the long-term this exclusive nonsense has got to end. Otherwise you get the stupidity that's happened on consoles, where if you buy only one console you're forever locked out of certain game titles. If this trend by book publishers continues (e.g. exclusive magazine deals with the iPad), in 20 years you'll need a dozen TVs in your house in order to get all the "exclusive" channels you want.

Hardware should compete against hardware. Software should compete against software (and books/music/TV shows/movies are software). Service should compete against service. Cross-bundling them leads to bad things. I thought we learned that when we originally broke up AT&T.

Re:Good Thing (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653760)

Epub is a standard format and apart from the DRM is available for porting to any OS where people want to access the books. Calibre for instance already runs on Windows, Linux, OSX and FreeBSD.

Re:Good Thing (1)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655270)

I've always thought it odd that anyone would buy a kindle reader that can't read unencrypted .epub. It's like buying a media player that only plays .aac or .wmv and can't play .mp3. Hmm, remember those?

Re:Good Thing (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653878)

Barnes & Noble's decision shows integrity from my point of view.

Yes, that's what they want you to think. Consider however whether B&N would refuse an exclusivity deal from DC.

Re:Good Thing (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654676)

Exclusive distribution deals nearly killed the comics industry back in the 90s. There's already too much balkanization of the digital comics market, with multiple platforms, none of which carry every publisher. It's as if you needed different radios to listen to different broadcasters. For a publisher to refuse to offer products through one channel solely to benefit another channel is a huge "fuck you" to the consumer, and also really a short-sighted business decision. Granted, B&N is mostly concerned about this hurting them, but their protest is also to the benefit of the consumer, so I'm glad they're doing it.

Dc response: don't care (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653340)

I love DC's response: we're disappointed but we don't care. Were B&N not selling enough DC comics for them to care? Have to wonder why DC would completely cut ties with B&N to go with a new format like the kindle fire.

just my opinion but I do not like comics on a screen. Ebooks are fine, it's just words so i don't care how they're transmitted but comics are artistic, it's like having a painting vs a digital photo of a painting, they're not the same thing.

Re:Dc response: don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653542)

just my opinion but I do not like comics on a screen. Ebooks are fine, it's just words so i don't care how they're transmitted but comics are artistic, it's like having a painting vs a digital photo of a painting, they're not the same thing.

Yeah, one is more convenient and lets you view it almost anywhere you want and easily share it with anyone you like. The other has to be carried around and you'd need fedex/ups/etc to share it with someone.

Re:Dc response: don't care (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653792)

You're missing the point. DC opted to cut ties with B&N even though Nook Color has been out for nearly a year at this point. As for the difference between a painting and a photo of a painting, that's really not the same as the difference between a comic and a digital comic. As somebody that has spent some time painting and has some idea about printing, you don't lose anywhere near as much by digitizing a comic as you do a painting.

If you were comparing fine art prints with the digitized ones, you would have a point, but the colors that they're using in comics are chosen to reproduce easily, which greatly diminishes the choices they use. The rest of it is more a matter of conditioning than actual superiority.

Re:Dc response: don't care (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654172)

Heh, you know, you are right! I'd much rather have a digital copy of a painting than the actual thing: The colors are generally more vivid(and can be adjusted on the fly), you can resize it to fit any screen, and you can have *any number* of paintings taking up the same physical space.

And that's not even mentioning how much /nicer/ a well-drawn digital painting is than the same thing done with traditional media - it's usually higher resolution and pixel-perfect(well, at some size, anyway).

Re:Dc response: don't care (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654974)

yea those comic books are individually hand painted for each copy. Honestly most of the time they dont even hit newspaper quality of print so the digital form, which is actually the source material, seems to be the way to go

Re:Dc response: don't care (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655202)

I've been waiting for Marvel and DC to get off their asses and offer current content on iPad or Nook Color. I'd subscribe tomorrow to probably dozens of comics if they were available that way. I haven't collected physical comics since sometime in the 90's.

My guess is DC is going by market share of the Kindle and was offered a pretty sweet deal by Amazon who want early, marketable content for their Kindle Fire. It's too bad. I love Batman.

Re:Dc response: don't care (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657960)

My husband love reading comics on his iPad. He's actually planning on getting rid of some paper comics he has sitting around in boxes because he thinks the ereader version is better. It certainly takes up less space.

OMG LoLz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653354)

It's the right decision.

It's obvious that all those Barn and Noble fans were buying into the DC Stuff because they saw it there !

It's not like DC material was bringing in customers ! Right , Right ????

Bad Idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653360)

So basically its the 'If we can't sell it all lets drive our customers away and straight to our competitor' approach... That always works right?

Dumb of BN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653362)

DC is in the middle of relaunching their entire line, all 52 titles. Pulling all those DC graphic novels at a time when new readers have an interest in DC titles and might be looking to dig into their back catalog is just throwing away potential sales. Especially now that Borders is gone, BN is the only major book retailer left in a lot of areas so BN would have gotten those sales by default.

Re:Dumb of BN (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653588)

DC is in the middle of relaunching their entire line, all 52 titles. Pulling all those DC graphic novels at a time when new readers have an interest in DC titles and might be looking to dig into their back catalog is just throwing away potential sales. Especially now that Borders is gone, BN is the only major book retailer left in a lot of areas so BN would have gotten those sales by default.

From what I've heard, this relaunch is in part aimed more at a "first time" younger audience than the current stereotypical- and now ageing- adult comic collector. (This makes sense- it would be unwise to rely on the grown-ups for their long term future. They have to get fresh blood in, and after all, it was this younger market that was the primary one for comics in their heyday.)

But since this is a "first time" market, you have to get them interested first, and if they're not already interested they're not going to be reading diehard comics fans' sites, nor queuing up to buy.

I assume that, had this incident not happened, that B&N would probably have been happy to promote this relaunch in-store and possibly in their windows, giving it more mainstream attention. How much this kind of mainstream attention and publicity is worth nowadays- particularly with a younger audience- is unclear, but I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand.

Undermining promises... (1)

homsar (2461440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653424)

Since they can't uphold the "any time, anywhere" part of the promise, they decided the best thing to do would be to give up on the "any book" part too?

Re:Undermining promises... (2)

pete_p (70057) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653486)

By removing these books from their stores entirely, they're discouraging other publishers from giving Amazon exclusive access to their ebooks. Hopefully keeping closer to "any book, any time, anywhere" than just rolling over and letting Amazon get exclusivity.

Re:Undermining promises... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653824)

It's not undermining their promise. It shows me that B&N is serious about not carrying anything that they can't sell through their ebookstore. On top of that, it shows me that they're going to fight with publishers that are preventing them from doing it.

In the long run B&N knows where things are headed, it's not a surprise that they started selling Kindles, the industry is going to be heavily represented in the future by ebooks. It's just somewhat surprising to see a major corporation like B&N with the foresight to get off the tracks before the obsolescence train hits it.

Is that way their store is sparse? (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653440)

Is that why their stores inventory is so sparse now? Compared to last year, their inventories have shrunk considerably, the computer section is quite thin. I'm thinking any excuse to reduce volume myself.

Re:Is that way their store is sparse? (2)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653514)

I can only imagine that computer books are kind of a pain in the butt for bookstores. They get obsolete really fast these days; I'd probably want to reduce my inventory of them, too.

(Disclaimer: I haven't set foot in a Barnes & Noble in five-plus years. There just aren't any at the malls I go to.)

Re:Is that way their store is sparse? (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653534)

I can only imagine that computer books are kind of a pain in the butt for bookstores. They get obsolete really fast these days; I'd probably want to reduce my inventory of them, too.

(Disclaimer: I haven't set foot in a Barnes & Noble in five-plus years. There just aren't any at the malls I go to.)

Plus this is a subject area where it makes sense to buy an ebook. Not only can you easily bring your reference library with you on a thumbdrive or an ebook reader, but some publishers (O'Reilly) give you very good discounts to upgrade to the latest version of the book.

Re:Is that way their store is sparse? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653838)

I buy from O'Reilly if I have any option of doing so, their policies and upgrades are superior to any others I've seen. Plus they do things like have bundle discounts for buying both the paper and electronic version, upgrade discounts and from time to time they provide corrected versions of their ebooks for free.

Re:Is that way their store is sparse? (2)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654996)

The problem with reference books on an ereader is that navigation can be so cumbersome. Sure, finding what you want can be quick, but going back and forth between pages (or between books) is tedious compared with a physical book. So yeah, those computer books you can get in ebook format are great, but I prefer to have them in addition to the physical books, not in place of them.

The thing is, I usually buy those physical books in the store, rather than the website, because if I want one, I want it right now. The only one I can even remember ordering online any time recently was a pre-order for a new edition of a book I already had.

Re:Is that way their store is sparse? (1)

3263827 (192923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653756)

Worked at B&N back in the late 90's. The computer books were expensive (costing B&N a lot of their credit line with the distributors), stolen quite frequently, and people would buy the books, read them for a couple of weeks, then return them for full cash or credit. Some stores have a great selection, others, depending on their demographics and sales patterns don't have much anymore. Can't blame them a bit for shrinking that section; it never generated much $$. And now that there's better, more accurate content online, all that will survive is the simplest computer books for novices.

Ideally, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653538)

all of the other bookstores will pull this as well. The reason is that having lock-ins with companies will make it more expensive to consumers and slowly limit the number of retailers.

Exclusive deals are anti consumer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653562)

Exclusive deals of any sort should be illegal. They artificially limit the market resulting in opportunities to raise prices (and who is not going to do that) and are anti-consumer.

For those that don't like the intrusion of laws into "free markets" then anyone engaging in exclusive deals should lose the protection of other laws like copyright protection. So go ahead and Region Encode and DRM protect that content but it loses all copyright or other legal protection.

Re:Exclusive deals are anti consumer (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653764)

It's an exclusive deal on a 'want' type item. Get over it. It's not an exclusive deal on a necessity, they aren't saying this is the only place you can get water. If you don't like it, then don't buy it from the entity holding the exclusive deal. You won't die if you don't get to buy a Batman comic... Hell, if your really concerned, you'll develop your own comic to compete!

Re:Exclusive deals are anti consumer (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658522)

Congress gets in the middle of all kinds of anticompetitive deals, whether they concern wants or needs. Case in point, Sirius/XM. It's about fairness in business and consumers' choice and protection. It doesn't matter whether it's a luxury item or not.

B&N current practices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653694)

I suppose I am also to assume that B&N holds absolutely no exclusive deals and will not seek them into the future then?

Re:B&N current practices? (5, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653860)

B&N doesn't lock users into using their ebooks on only B&N sanctioned products, which is ultimately what this is about. I happen to have a Nook and Amazon is the only major ebookstore that doesn't allow me to buy from them and use the books without conversion and possibly stripping the DRM. B&N uses the same protection scheme and format as most of the ebookstores and so if I get sick of using a Nook, my next ebook reader could be made by somebody else entirely.

Ultimately, I have a feeling that it's more about Amazon using this deal to prevent their customers from using the books legally, remember B&N isn't just a book seller now, B&N sells ereaders and I'm guessing that they want to protect that as well.

Re:B&N current practices? (2)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654212)

B&N doesn't lock users into using their ebooks on only B&N sanctioned products, which is ultimately what this is about. I happen to have a Nook and Amazon is the only major ebookstore that doesn't allow me to buy from them and use the books without conversion and possibly stripping the DRM. B&N uses the same protection scheme and format as most of the ebookstores and so if I get sick of using a Nook, my next ebook reader could be made by somebody else entirely.

How are you locked into using a Kindle device? There are kindle apps for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, BlackBerries, PC's, Macs, WinMo devices, etc.

There is even an HTML5 based Kindle app.

Re:B&N current practices? (2)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655084)

There seem to be two definitions of ereader in general use. To some, myself included, and obviously the GP as well, the term 'ereader' means a dedicated device, not just "any device on which you can read an ebook." Despite Apple's best marketing efforts, the iPad is not a Nook or Kindle competitor.

Re:B&N current practices? (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655282)

So a 10" IPS based iPad is not an e-Reader but a 7" IPS based Kindle Fire or Nook Color is?

Re:B&N current practices? (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655366)

They're kind of in-between, actually, and you'll probably find people who will claim the Nook Color isn't an ereader at all, but the Nook Color was specifically designed to be a reader not a general purpose device. B&N can even get a little touchy about it when asked why Nook Color doesn't do "X". :) The Kindle Fire seems to be taking it a step further away from ereader into a general media consumption device. It should be interesting to see which way the Nook Color 2 jumps. My money is on sticking to the reading focus.

By way of car analogy, calling the iPad an ereader is like calling a car a motorcycle. They may have overlapping features, but a motorcycle is a specialized device.

Re:B&N current practices? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656110)

It's a bit of a fuzzy line such as the difference between a netbook and a low end laptop. I wouldn't personally consider Kindle Fire or Nook Color to be an ereader as they lack an eink display and can be turned into a fully functional tablet with just a simple firmware flash. But, I'm sure there are folks that would consider them to be ebooks as they're primarily focused on providing access to ebooks with the rest of the stuff as an add on.

Re:B&N current practices? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656088)

If you bothered to read my post you notice that those would be devices that have received sanctioning from Amazon, there is no guarantee that it will continue or that Amazon will continue to support it. With epubs you know that you're going to be able to find a device in the future that supports it. Sort of the same way that you can find WMA players than can play the DRM protected tracks from years past, assuming you can still get them unlocked.

I'm curious, precisely what happens if Amazon decides that it no longer wants to support those other apps? If B&N decides that it no longer wants to support them, I can just get a different epub implementation. At this point, I can use the B&N official application or Adobe Editions and I'm sure that Adobe is going to continue to support it as long as the epubs are out there.

Re:B&N current practices? (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655240)

How would that be inconsistent with their goal of having B&N making any book available anywhere, anytime? They never said they wanted Amazon to be able to do that...

Nose, meet knife (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653828)

Ok this is a silly argument for them to go and yank off something that is making them money, and bringing people into their stores.

Sounds childish to me 'little johnny has a new 5 speed bike so I'm going to toss my old 3 speed in the river and walk to school. That will show him! '

Re:Nose, meet knife (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37656142)

That is entirely wrong. DC probably would prefer more rather than less distribution of their printed editions. Johnny doesn't likely care if you ride or walk at all.

any book, anywhere, anytime? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654032)

I cant even buy their nook outside the US. Dear god let this walled garden crap be over soon.

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (1)

Menkhaf (627996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654464)

Could that be because B&N doesn't have any stores outside of the USA?
I bought my Nook on eBay, works perfectly, arrived in great condition within a week (and I'm in Europe). I don't see what the problem is.

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654984)

dont worry, they wont have any inside the USA soon (and no not because of this)

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37654658)

Don't worry, I'm sure they'll do away with those gardens soon. It's just walls from here on out.

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37654738)

I did buy the nook just fine from B&N over here in Germany. Sure I had to pick it up at customs to pay taxes on it, but other than that....

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (2)

js_sebastian (946118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654740)

I cant even buy their nook outside the US. Dear god let this walled garden crap be over soon.

It is already over. Just don't buy into their crap.

Option 1: Google for whatever you are looking for it in ripped epub. Download it. Read it on wherever gadget you want.

Option 2: Google for whatever you are looking for in an ebook shop. Find out it is not available without DRM. Look for it in the DRMed format that your gadget of the day supports. Pay for it, assuming the billing address on your card is in the right zone for the particular web shop to sell you the particular content. Enjoy it only on that gadget and its hopefully compatible successors.

Option 3: Buy into one of the walled gardens, and always get the content from them. If they don't have it, you're toast. If they decide to squeeze you by raising prices, you're toast. If they stop supporting the format for whatever reason, you're toast.

Option 2b/3b: Like options 2 or 3, but throw it into your favorite program to strip the DRM and convert it to epub.

Personally, until ebooks are DRM-free I see no reason to buy any, just like I never bought online music until recently (now that I can have it in mp3).

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (2)

Mista2 (1093071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37655294)

Want Neal Stevenson's Reamde as an e-book? Yes it's in kindle, in the US only. I don't live there so that sucks. ThePiratebay had a copy thou so I got it there. I would have paid $ for it if it was able to be sold to me.

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658372)

How about buying a dead-tree edition? Or maybe even take it out of the goddamn library, you deadbeat?

Re:any book, anywhere, anytime? (1)

spauldo (118058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37659240)

That's not the point. He is obviously uninterested in the physical copy, or he would have bought it (or borrowed it from the library) instead.

The point is that he would buy the ebook version if he could. He can't, for wholly artificial reasons. The market has cut him out, so he goes around it.

They've made it easier for a potential paying customer to pirate their goods than to purchase them legally. There will always be piracy, but this is a sale they've lost because of their own policies.

Local Neighborhood (4, Interesting)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#37654752)

Well, I guess I'll just continue to buy my DC graphic novels at my local, neighborhood comic book shop... The place where the proprietors are enthusiasts and chit-chat about the topic when I go in and can offer suggestions and good discussions about them, making a much more pleasant shopping experience.

Re:Local Neighborhood (1)

Whillowhim (1408725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37657000)

That isn't the point. This isn't a local vs. big store issue, and it isn't really about comic books. It is about publishers and bookstores, and the balance of power between them. Exclusive deals between publishers and a specific store with a specific DRM tied to a specific brand of ebook reader are bad. Even if it happens to be the biggest store that services the most people, it just helps to support a monopoly. And even if it were a smaller store that just happened to use your personal brand, so you personally were not inconvenienced, it still artificially segments the market and tries to lock people in to different personal playgrounds so that they can be milked by one company. The market needs to be open and unrestricted to promote quality services, not locked in to whichever bookstore happened to score a deal on what you most want to read, even if that bookstore is worse than the one you really want to use.

As far as they're standing up for a less segmented market, I applaud B&N for taking the long view on this issue, despite any short term loss in profits. Although they may be in it for selfish reasons (would they have protested if they were the ones with the exclusive deal, and amazon was shut out?), they are making at least some sort of stand. Now we just need someone big enough to take a stand against the entire idea of DRM on ebooks....

Re:Local Neighborhood (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 2 years ago | (#37658566)

And between online ebook store, you couldn't pick a more closed one. Readers like Sony's and others (not terribly sure about most of the others) use the open ePub format and support Adobe's ADC, so you can purchase books at a store, regardless of which reader you have.

I'm surprised people are down on B&N for this. Give them a hand and they'll take the whole arm. How many other titles will be exclusively available in DRMed MOBI if stuff like this is accepted without a peep?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...