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.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. K H Acton6 December, 2011

    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.

    1. Nate Hoffelder6 December, 2011

      I was thinking that Sony would make a good partner. for BAM. They were certainly a better fit when this all came up last year.

  2. Peter7 December, 2011

    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. nookseller7 December, 2011

    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.

    1. Nate Hoffelder7 December, 2011


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