What with the news last night that Barnes & Noble is shutting down Fictionwise, their lesser ebookstore, it should come as no surprise today that B&N is trying to help customers move their accounts from the soon to be defunct Fictionwise and get the contents transferred over to the Nook Store.
B&N sent out an email this morning to everyone who had an account at Fictionwise. If you haven’t seen that email yet then I’d strongly urge you to go looking for it; it contains what looks to be a custom link which won’t work if copied and shared. You need that link (and an account at B&N) to start the transfer process.
It’s a decent thing for B&N to do, and if the process had worked better, I would be ecstatic. But as it stands the transfer process was a failure. I’m missing the vast majority of the ebooks I bought at Fictionwise.
Over the past 6 years I have bought 422 titles at Fictionwise. Yes, that number is as startling for me as it is for some of my readers; I didn’t realize it was quite so high.
Of those 422 ebooks, 329 were DRM-free, and here’s how the DRMed titles broke out:
- 9 eReader
- 36 MSReader
- 11 Epub
There was also an unknown number of Mobipocket ebooks, but I cannot access those anymore anyway so let’s leave them out.
Now, I would not expect B&N to transfer the MSReader ebooks, but I do think they should have managed the Epub, eReader, and DRM-free ebooks. That should save most of my investment and would be more than enough for B&N to come out ahead. It would have successfully tied me and most readers to the B&N store and given us a reason to keep shopping there.
I started the transfer process 3 hours ago and thirty new ebooks showed up almost immediately. But that was 3 hours ago; guess how many new ebooks I have in my Nook account now?
Not 130, not 230, not 300. Thirty.
B&N could only transfer about 9% of my Fictionwise account. That is so far short of acceptable that I do not know of an adjective to use to describe it. Useless would be a good possibility; Barnes & Noble has guaranteed that I am still going to have to do the work myself to rescue the ebooks I bought.
But I suppose I shouldn’t curse them too much; I was expecting to have to rescue my ebooks myself anyway; this failed transfer merely confirmed it.
In any case, I’m posting this warning not to bash B&N but to make sure my readers know about this issue. Please do everyone a favor and pass it around.