An Open Letter to Barnes & Noble

To Messrs Barnes and Noble, purveyors of fine literature to the peoples of the United States of America.

Dear Sirs,

First may I congratulate you on ingenious NOOK contraption. I’m glad to see you have jumped on the ebook bandwagon ahem I mean taken the lead in the ebook market with coming out with this completely original and so totally not inspired by any other competitor’s efforts *cough* Kindle *cough*. It therefore gives me no pleasure that there is just one flaw in it from my point of view, to wit:

Non-US authors cannot publish on it – unless they are represented in the US.

PubIt is the Barnes & Noble equivalent of Kindle Direct Publishing – however, I quote from your PubIt guidelines:

Who can use PubIt!? Anyone with a valid U.S. Bank Account, U.S. Credit Card, and U.S. Tax ID can sign up to use PubIt! Your Tax ID can be a Social Security Number (SSN)/ITIN or an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Contrast this with Kindle which does not impose such restrictions on potential publishers! Also, I tried to find out if there is a NOOK equivalent in the UK but as I write this, the website is down.

Not wishing to tell you how to do your job, but it strikes me that if you want to compete with Amazon you are going to have to offer at least as generous terms as they do. As it is, your current T&Cs prevent authors such as myself who live in the UK – indeed any author from outside the US, or indeed a Mexican author living in America from selling to Barnes & Noble customers. This is not just selfishness on my part – you are losing out as well from not making more sales.

So, B&N, please could you sort this disparity out. Otherwise until then I will have to continue selling my books via Kindle – which of course means not just to Kindle devices but to any phone or ‘puter with a Kindle App.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Sumner.

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