An Open Letter to Barnes and Noble Dot Com

An Open Letter to Barnes and Noble Dot Com

Dear Barnes and Noble Dot Com,

Over the weekend, I tried  to buy a NOOK version of From Bud to Boss. See, I have been working to promote the book. As part of our promotion, we’ve been purchasing e-versions of the book to give to various bloggers to review. We even sponsored some giveaways including one on our friend Dan Rockwell’s blog, Leadership Freak.

To Dan’s readers, we offered 6 hard copies of the book and 4 Kindle versions.

One of the winners of the Kindle version (Alicia) sent me an email and said, “I have a Nook.”

Since I like to make people happy, I decided that I would give Alicia a NOOK version instead. So, I went over to to do that.

Before I go any further, I want to tell you a little bit about the process of buying a Kindle gift version of From Bud to Boss. It’s amazing, really. Once I find the Kindle book on, with one click I can “give as a gift.” Then, I can personalize the email message any way I like.

I love that!

I’ve been sending a lot of Kindle versions of the book to people. Around 20, I think. I will likely send more in the coming days. Want to know why? Because it’s easy. One click, personalize the message, and the recipient has the book within minutes.

So even though it’s easy to buy Kindle versions, I decided to buy Alicia a NOOK version. I spent several minutes on searching for how to do that. I did see that I could buy a NOOK gift card, but I didn’t want to buy a NOOK gift card. See, I am promoting a specific book. I wanted to buy Alicia a specific book.

I decided to buy the book and forward her the confirmation email. When I did that, though, she couldn’t open it. I had bought the book for myself, it seems. Problem is, I don’t have a NOOK. (I don’t have a Kindle either, for the record.) I also have a beautiful hard copy of the book, signed by the authors. So, you can see, I didn’t need a NOOK copy for myself. I wanted it for a gift.

I called your customer service,

I spoke to a person, fairly quickly. I explained my story.

I tried to be nice.

I sat on hold for a long time while he did some investigating. Your customer service agent was helpful, he was. But he told me what I had already figured out. doesn’t have a process in place for people to give specific NOOK books as gifts.

I sent Alicia the news about my failed attempts to send her a gift copy of From Bud to Boss for her NOOK. Then I went to and sent her a Kindle copy instead.

Here’s some advice, in case you’re listening: create a new process so people can give gift versions of NOOK books.

See, I plan to promote more books.

My friends Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris are going to publish more books. I hope they will ask me to help promote them. When we do, I hope you will have a system in place so that we can give people a choice about how we deliver their e-books.

In one way or another, I will help other folks promote their books.

My friend Marlene Chism is currently launching her book Stop Workplace Drama. And my friend Jesse Lyn Stoner is about to launch a second edition of her bestselling book Full Steam Ahead. You can bet that both of my friends will be sharing e-versions of their books as part of their promotions.

If they were to ask me today, I would tell them to stick with Kindle versions. Giving them is quick, it’s easy, and they won’t have to spend their Saturday afternoons waiting for the refund of  NOOK versions that can’t be delivered as gifts.

Thanks for listening,

A happy Amazon customer

Filed As:  Amazon, Jesse Lyn Stoner

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Woa! The message drives through all entrepreneur’s heads. Keep it Simple… so you don´t look like what the next “S” in the acronym KISS stands for 😉

  • Do tell Alicia that if she loads Kindle for PC on her desktop or laptop she will be able to read the book there.

    Maybe that will help her a little.

    It is an amazing story of a 20th century company in a 21st century world.

  • Thanks Becky for working so hard to try gifting a nook version!

    I agree that the Kindle/Amazon method was so easy and I now have the kindle for my PC so I can read my book. This is the way it should be, simple.

    This experience has me considering a Kindle even though I have a nook…

    • NO!!! Mrs. Alicia don’t get a kindle!!!!!! Have you downloaded any library books? It’s really fun. The Lend-Me feature is great, and I could easily break the Kindle in half! Plus if something happens, just bring it in to your local barnes and noble store and they’ll fix it for you! I bought myself a Nook about a month ago and I am really enjoying it.

      (P.S.) The Nook takes basically all types of ebooks including PDFs and EPUBS, you can buy them off of third party sites like Google Books and the like. SO if you can’t find it on the store, you could probably find it there or somewhere else!

      • Thanks Lauren. I guess I need to explore my nook more… I’ve only had it for 2 months. I’ll give it a second chance.

  • For what it’s worth, I think the ability to give someone a specific e-book is a fairly new development even on Amazon, because I remember running into the same problem when I tried to give my brother-in-law a couple of books to go with his new Kindle last year.

  • Well written response Becky. This post should be a reference material for anyone who has trouble with any customer service, on how to politely but effectively send the message. I hope B&N reads this. I am regular B&N visitor and i will be sure to let the managment at my local B&N know about this.

    Btw, sorry I have been a bad promoter lately for FBTB. I am getting back into it. Please let Kevin and Guy know. I have 2 speaking gig coming up in March and a podcast to launch. Day job as Program Manager working with India team (read 2 time zones) is also at an all time high.

    Thanks for all the great work you do for FBTB, the fans, friends and the community.

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