B&N Launched Their First Affiliate Ebookstore Today

It took them a lot longer than I expected, but B&N announced their first ebookstore affiliate today. The gadget retailer Overstock.com  is now running a Nook branded ebookstore. Curiously enough, everything is actually being handled through B&N's own website, so technically Overstock isn't selling any ebooks. All they're doing is renting out the web pages to Barnes & Noble. I have to say that this is not what I expected. when I learned that Pubit had a line in the contract for ebookstore affiliates.

I've known something like this would be happening for over a year now. Back in December B&N filed for a number of trademarks, including one for Nookseller. I cannot recall that they ever actually used that term, but I thought it suggested kinda what Overstock announced today. Update: A B&N insider left a comment and reported that the term is used internally.

And I've also been half expecting this ever since ever since June 2010, long before Pubit launched in October 2010. Barnes & Noble posted the contract details for Pubit in June, and I soon noticed the mention of "digital distribution partners". That term could mean any number of things, but I assumed that it meant that other sites would put their own brand on a Nook ebookstore. Admittedly, the Overstock deal isn't quite the same thing, but it's more than most expected.

But I do have to say that B&N puzzles me. Before this Overstock deal there was Books-A-Million. BAM is now the second largest bookstore chain in the US, and they sell all 3 Nook models. But they're the B&N Nook, not the BAM Nook, and I really have to wonder how B&N pulled that off. They have a brick-and-mortar bookstore carrying their product in stores. Surely this isn't a good idea for BAM, but this deal has been going on for a year now.


About Nate Hoffelder (11481 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on B&N Launched Their First Affiliate Ebookstore Today

  1. I don’t get the BAM thing either, seems like Kobo or even Amazon would have made more sense. BAM and B&N compete directly in many markets, unless it is a faux competition and B&N owns part of BAM.

  2. I figure the BAMM thing has something to do with this line from Barnes and Noble’s financial statements:

    “The Company also pays certain vendors who distribute NOOK™ a commission on the content sales sold through that device.”

    That may also be why Overstock sells the refurbs so cheaply.

  3. Nookseller here. It’s actually an internal term used for b&n employees who work exclusively at the nook kiosk. Not sure if there are other uses elsewhere in the company.

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