B&N Website Bug Reveals Plans for Nook Store Launch in Germany

Barnes & Noble has long said that they plan to launch Nook Stores in 10 countries by June 2013, and it looks like one is going to happen a lot sooner than the rest. A few days ago one of my readers told me that the Nook Store was showing prices in Euros when he look at a title in B&N's Nook for Web reading app. This was a rather curious detail given that this reader is in Germany and cannot buy the ebooks from B&N. But as you can see in the screen shot below, this is not a trick:

click to embiggen

We've known for some time now that B&N had registered a subsidiary in Germany. This company was registered in March of this year, and it has led to speculation that B&N is working with Thalia. That bookseller has over 200 stores and is pushing hard to get into ebooks. Nothing came of that rumor, though.

Chances are this rumor might not amount to much either.  At first glance it looks like the euro symbol was showing up with the same price as before. But here is the fun part:

I searched for that ebook and I cannot buy it.  It's not in the Nook, Kindle, or any other ebookstore in the US. This means B&N has signed up at least one title which is not available in the US but can be sold in Germany.

I don't know about you but I would take that as a sign of an upcoming launch.

The reason B&N won't show me the ebook is that I cannot buy it. Kobo and other ebookstores use a similar trick to only show you ebooks which they can legally sell you.  This kind of filtering involves tracking your IP address, and chances are most won't notice.

Update: Suddenly this title is available. I couldn't find it last night, and that suggests that the B&N website is functioning at its usually inefficiency.

So B&N plans to go it alone in Germany. Interesting. I guess this means they plan to swear off the bookseller partner that everyone assumed they wanted, and instead find retail chains to sell the Nook. That was the approach they ended up taking in the UK, after all.

Thanks, Tim!

About Nate Hoffelder (11373 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."

3 Comments on B&N Website Bug Reveals Plans for Nook Store Launch in Germany

  1. Being from Germany, I use a VPN with an US-IP, to buy some things, I cannot buy otherwise.
    So I looked it up, and think it was a fault, maybe a test of B&N.
    With a German IP I get (just yet) quoted a “BUY NOW $10.39”. The German price in Eur should differ from that, it should be less (price in Eur + 19% = Eur 9,53″ (ebooks in Germany get 19% VAT, printed books 7%…).
    The same as with an US-IP. And I used with the German IP a Browser, which I did not use with B&N before, so they treated me as a new User.
    It could also be more, for english books sold in Germany they can set the price they want (German books are regulated and cost the same in every shop). But the same in $ as in Eur is highly unlikely.
    Also with an US-IP I can search for this book, and find it, this newer revised edition is currently only available as a Nook-Book (ebook).

    So sadly I think, B&N will take a while longer and given the surprise of Amazon making available the Kindle Paperwhite before X-Mas in Germany and other EU-Countries, the longer they take, the more likely it will be that they fail. Of course they could update the Nook Glo until then.

  2. You’re welcome.

    I just hope B&N moves quickly from testing the site to launching the Nook Store in Germany.

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