Barnes & Noble’s Nook Service Still Crippled by Hack

It has been over two weeks since hackers had their way with B&N’s servers, and the retailer still hasn’t fully recovered.

The hack, which has since been confirmed as a ransomware attack, originated in B&N’s corporate offices before spreading to their servers, store computers, and even the cash registers. All parts of B&N were affected, and while most functionality was restored within a few days, B&N’s Nook service is still only semi-functional.

And that includes the author side, as well as the reader. I got a comment last night from an author whose book launch has been delayed as a result of B&N’s server issues:

This is even effecting the authors back end of Barnes & Noble. Unfortunately my book was supposed to go live on the 22nd, we get vague updates about how the “dashboard is working” but they are “still working on other issues”….it’s not the 26th? oof. I know one other author who hasn’t had their book live since the hack day itself. every day authors can’t sell books after the pre-marketed publish date is a wasted sales day, every day is a missed book sold opportunity.

Over on the reader side, I can report first hand that my library of Nook ebooks is still mostly inaccessible. I have two Nook accounts, and the one with my thousands of Fictionwise purchases cannot be accessed via the B&N website and it is still not syncing with the Nook app on my Android smartphone. My second, test account can be accessed via the B&N website, but it’s also not syncing with the Nook app.

Just about the only thing that can be accessed from the Nook app are new purchases made in the app itself.

This could not happen at a worst time for B&N. We going into the holiday sales period during a time when ebook sales are increasing as a result of the pandemic. This would have been a great opportunity for B&N to reinvigorate ebook sales and start turning around its digital division, but instead this is looking more like another nail in Nook’s coffin.

image by jjbers via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor 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. Disgusting Dude27 October, 2020

    It’s all about organization and priorities.
    Organizationally, B&N is the storefronts. and Nook are separate contract operations, which is why they won’t pricematch their online in the stores.
    And why Nook is still crippled.

    Obviously there’s only so much two part time contractors can do.

  2. john28 October, 2020

    My nook account, inventory of ebooks, and reading apps/devices continue to work just fine.

    1. Gary Sundell28 October, 2020

      I can access my library on both my Samsung Nook and my Nook app on my phone. One book purchased after the attack shows on my app but not on my main device. Additionally, samples are missing from new releases and at least one sample that I tried to get last night still hasn’t shown yet.

  3. Sue28 October, 2020

    So far all my nook books are back on all my devices. However, the lack of notification from B&N is discouraging. Both the initial lack, and the ongoing lack of any kind of updates. I love my it better than my kindle, so I hope the whole nook thing doesn’t go belly up.

  4. Barbara Matthews28 October, 2020

    My book and purchases are working fine. I, however, order from my book reader.


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