Barnes & Noble Experiments With Print/eBook Bundles

Barnes & Noble Experiments With Print/eBook Bundles Barnes & Noble Bundles eBookstore Hot on the heels of B&N's expansion into author services comes the news that Barnes & Noble is trying a bundle program of their own. The retailer is bringing print and digital together with a new program called B&N Sync Up.

From now until Christmas readers will the option of visiting a B&N store, choosing one of 70 eligible paperback titles, and then picking up a matching ebook for $4.99. When checking out, the customer will receive a redemption code which they can either activate on their own account or give away as a gift.

B&N hasn't revealed the complete list of eligible titles, but there is mention that the program includes Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

You can find more details at your local B&N store, or on the B&N website.

I've checked a few of the prices, and they're not bad. Several of the titles are old enough that you can find the paperback and ebook pretty cheaply, but other bundled titles like Doctor Sleep do offer a good value when bought together.

B&N is far from the first to offer print/digital bundles; they are following in the path trod by HarperCollins, which launched two separate pilot programs with BitLit and Bookshout earlier this year. Those programs were spread across multiple indie booksellers, making them far more ambitious on a technical level than B&N's program. What's more, HarperCollins also tested print/digital bundles last year in the UK.

And even HC wasn't the first; textbook publishers have tried the idea on and off over the past half dozen years.  O'Reilly has been offering similar bundles for years, and as you might recall Amazon launched a post facto bundle program, Kindle Matchbook, last year.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. 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.

8 Comments

  1. fjtorres12 November, 2014

    Of course, Amazon has had Matchbook for over a year for those publishers willing to participate. I got a few ebooks that way…

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 November, 2014

      Damn, how did i miss that?

      Edit: and then there is O’Reilly.

      Reply
      1. fjtorres12 November, 2014

        You didn’t get any retroactive freebies? 😉

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder12 November, 2014

          I also missed O’Reilly. I’m off my game tonight.

          Reply
          1. jafmaw13 November, 2014

            Similar to O’Reilly in offerings, The Pragmatic Bookshelf has also offered print-ebook combos for years.

            https://pragprog.com/titles

            Reply
  2. DaveMich13 November, 2014

    The only reason I can see anyone wanting to do this is to buy a paper book as a gift and get an ebook for oneself at a discount. Otherwise, why do I want the paper book at all?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder13 November, 2014

      For these books, you might want a hardback on your shelf as decoration. But I don’t see why you’d want a paperback, not if you read ebooks.

      Reply
  3. DavidW13 November, 2014

    Meh. If the ebook was free, that is one thing. Discounting it, forget about it. I don’t want to pay for two different copies of the same book.

    Reply

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