PROS / Specially marked eBooks can be shared with family and friends after purchase, with a large selection of books totalling over one million titles.
CONS / Main format support is focused on the Nook, but other formats are provided.
VERDICT / Wide selection of titles, very competitive prices and book sharing options not available with comparable sites makes the Barnes & Noble eBooks Store a favorite.
The TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winning Barnes and Noble eBooks site offers a large variety of options sure to appeal to most all reading pleasures. The site is very user-friendly. With free eBook sample chapters, a nice selection of free classics and books under $5.00, and the option to share books with your friends and family this site is a family friendly and inclusive eBook store.
Subjects include a wide selection of fiction titles as well as a nice range of academic and business books. Self-help, history, personal finance, religion, travel…if you can imagine it, you can probably find a book about it here.
Appeal & Ease of Use
Amazon.com may have a wider selection of overall products to offer their consumers, but Barnes & Noble has a great handle on book, DVD, music and audio and eBook selections. The site is completely geared for the reading and listening enthusiast. Whether browsing by subject, searching by specific keyword, or finding new title selections from a popular Book List, users of the site will find navigating easy and efficient.
A How It Works section as well as an eBook Tour and FAQs help guide the user from start to finish. The site even provides a survey for users to send their feedback and suggestions, as well as social media-friendly links to follow specials and new book releases on Twitter.
Purchased items can be managed in the My eBooks Library and gift cards can be purchased and shared with friends and family. Overall it is difficult to top the usability and appeal of the Barnes & Noble eBook site!
Between eBook and hardback book prices the Barnes & Noble eBooks store sells eBooks at approximately 55% of the hardback cost. This is competitive relative to comparable sites. Additionally many free classics are available as well as newer books for $5.00 or less. For price, Barnes & Noble provides numerous options that can fit the needs of nearly any budget.
While not all-inclusive, Barnes & Noble eBook formats do support major smartphone options as well as PC and Mac. And of course, the Nook offers support for all of the features available on the Barnes & Noble eBooks website. ENewspapers, for example, are not supported on a BlackBerry device, however regular eBook purchases are all available for to these users.
Tips and advice for each supported device is also available to assist users in downloading, uploading and viewing their purchases, with a comprehensive eBook FAQs section for more detailed instructions.
Additional Digital Offerings
The Barnes & Noble eBook store offers a range of features not available at many other stores that sell eBooks. Select newspapers and magazine subscriptions can be purchased and viewed on a format-compatible device, as well as audio selections. What is unique at this eBook store, however, is the LendMe feature.
With LendMe, supported purchases can be shared with other devices for a period of up to two weeks. After the lending period, the original purchaser can read the shared book again if they choose. This option allows family and friends to share the cost of a book and enjoy a favorite together! This feature is not available for all eBooks however, but only for those specifically marked as “Lendable.”
Help & Support
Help is available for users of all levels of expertise, including help for downloading, uploading, device assistance, and other issues that may arise on or off the site. An eBook tour is available for very novice eBook users, as well as a comprehensive How It Works for those who just need a bit more information.
The FAQs section also provides a number of questions and answers to assist beginning users and those with specific questions. Customers who still have questions can contact Barnes & Noble through the Customer Service department for help on order status or technical issues. Customer support topics are even divided into topic area so users can easily find what they need.
Overall the Barnes & Noble eBooks store has so much to offer that any reading enthusiast will likely find something to enjoy. No matter what the budget, an appropriate book can be found. The option to lend eBooks to family and friends also makes perfect sense; why take the joy out of reading and sharing a great story just because you’ve gone digital? The folks at Barnes & Noble are apparently very aware of what makes reading a story even more enjoyable – sharing it with others!
While many of the additional features are only supported on the Barnes & Noble sanctioned Nook reader, additional devices have not been ignored so as to alienate smartphone users. This is a great move as really, who wants to carry around a dozen digital devices for each and every digital need? Supporting a device that many widely use every day makes sense. As an eBook store, Barnes & Noble eBooks is sure to be a favorite for many users, for years to come.