Speaking of copying old ideas, Barnes & Noble is ending out emails to indie authors, asking them to participate in a new marketing service called Nook First Look.
Authors on KBoards report that they've received emails from B&N which said:
The NOOK First Look program highlights new releases from independent authors and publishers making these titles available to Barnes & Noble readers two weeks before wide release. NOOK First Look titles must be available through the NOOK Press platform and must be new releases in order to be considered.
To submit your eBook for consideration in the NOOK First Look program, please fill out this form with the following information. Please be advised that we can only accommodate one title per author approximately every 4-6 months so please choose your best title to nominate. As well, your title will be considered for the NOOK First Look program at the sole discretion of the NOOK Press team. We will contact you via email within a month if your title has been selected.
**When submitting this form, please note that your title must be no less than 8 weeks out from publication and all final files must be available 2 weeks before the wide release of the title. Final files must also be loaded to your portal no less than 72 hours before publication.
According to the authors who got the email, it links to a form on Google Docs.
Several authors have expressed disbelief that this is real, however a few minutes of Googling uncovered the Nook First Look page on the B&N website. The page promotes two books, with one offered at a discount.
This is an interesting idea, but there are a couple huge problems that are going to keep it from amounting to much.
The first problem is that B&N doesn't sell a whole lot of ebooks anymore. Their Nook revenues in the last fiscal year totaled $192 million (in comparison, Amazon paid out more to authors whose books are in Kindle Unlimited).
The second problem is that Barnes & Noble has yet to tell their customers about Nook First Look. I only heard because I know an author who got the email (thanks, Bill!); I did not read about it in the marketing emails I receive as a B&N customer.
And that is why like most B&N ideas, this one is DOA.