Why Doesn’t Barnes and Noble Just…

Barnes and Noble is the last man standing, right?

They tried the hardware/tablet/reader game. (Kudos for putting their money and effort where their hearts are.) But they flopped:

Barnes & Noble laid off its Nook hardware engineers, according to a source that tipped Business Insider. The engineers were let go last Thursday, according to our source. This follows Barnes & Noble dismissing the VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein in January.

~ From http://www.businessinsider.com/barnes-and-noble-hardware-engineering-staff-2014-2

Go over and search the IOS app store for “Barnes and Noble”. Nadda.

Free consulting for B&N:

  1. Develop a kick-ass (ie, hire experts) app which lets me “use” the bookstore on my IOS device. I want to browse the ENTIRE B&N catalog as if the whole thing is the world’s biggest bookstore; Every book available this instant in every physical store (you can do that today on their kiosks in the store), your second-hand “marketplace” books, special order, everything visible in one app.
  2. Do NOT make the app into Am*zon. I want JUST a bookstore. Am*zon is HORRIBLE at being just a bookstore; They jam all those ads/also-viewed, in my face, etc etc. Make a bookstore. In an app.
  3. Let me START reading in the app. (You’re big enough to go after the publishers to get the rights to start this with some books. Other publishers will follow when they realize you’re selling books for the other guys.) A few pages are free to get my feet wet. Maybe the first chapter is available for a small fee (50c? buy.), and the whole book as a digital read, (when that’s possible) for a significant discount off dead-tree book price.
  4. Meanwhile, I can click to buy the actual book.
  5. Over the rainbow: Ship me the book, with a B&N bookmark on the page where I stopped reading.
  6. Shipping the book to me? I pay shipping. (Unless of course I’m one of those B&N members, then shipping is free.)
  7. Or offer to ship-to-my-store for free. (You ship truckloads there already!). See what you just did there? PRE-sold a book, and got me into your store for some additional impulse shopping.

Nice. You just made it the best digital bookstore in the world, and made it easy for me to shift sideways to a physical book because people DO still read dead-tree books.

Extra credit:

Come up with a book recycling program so I can bring the dead-tree book back to the store — maybe I can only do this with books I bought from you. That book can then be donated to a library, resold in the marketplace second hand, or you write it off, whatever.

In exchange for me giving you the physical book, I get a wee bit of in-app credit that I can use buying those getting-started reading excerpts. Now you’ve created a cycle where I buy the book, give it back and use the “credit” to get my next hit of initial reading, to make me buy the next book . . .

You’re welcome.