Barnes and Noble and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Fictionwise Shutdown

The Barnes and Noble transition of Fictionwise and eReader to NOOK has been steadily going from bad to worse. First, they had difficulties moving books to the NOOK platform. Then, a huge swath of customers (including both Judie and I) received an error message that our email addresses were not recognized. The Thanksgiving holiday intervened, but it doesn’t look like anyone has even attempted to fix these errors since last week!

I emailed Barnes and Noble last week, and was told “We’re working on it.” Yesterday, my curiosity got the better of me and I tried my initial email and link again. This is the message I received in return:

Thank you for choosing to transfer your library to NOOK.

You will receive an email the week of November 19, 2012 with your access code and further instructions.

Um. Ok. So now I don’t have a way to transfer my books, and I need a time machine. Just when I ran out of plutonium, and my DeLorean needs an oil change.

But then today, ANOTHER email arrived from B&N:

Dear Fictionwise or eReader Customer –

You may have already received a communication that Fictionwise is winding down its operations and that you can transfer your titles from or to The URL that you received may be returning an error message so we would like to provide you with an updated link. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Click here: [REDACTED]

to go to the opt-in page, where you’ll be instructed to confirm that you would like your eBooks in your Fictionwise or eReader Bookshelf transferred to a NOOK Library. Please opt-in by December 21, 2012. Once you opt-in, you will receive more information about transferring your eBooks and this ongoing process.

For more information about how you can transfer your Fictionwise or eReader Bookshelf to a NOOK Library, including additional details on how the transition will apply to current eMagazine subscriptions, Rewards and more, please visit our FAQ web page:

Thank you.

The Fictionwise and eReader Team

Of course, guess what happens when I click the link in the above email? If you guessed “We could not recognize your email address” you win a prize. The prize of the same frustration I have right now, as does Judie (she received the same email today and got the same results when she tried again). So a week went by, Barnes and Noble promised a solution, we briefly had the promise of an awesome time-travel solution, but as of today we’re still back with a broken link and a broken promise.

Technology fails, and rollouts get botched; it happens. But it is how a company handles it after the fact that reflects more on them than the failure itself. And watching B&N fail, apologize, and fail again, all while leaving users less than a month to get this resolved? Well, it shakes my faith in them. As a consumer, I have choices, and I can’t see myself choosing B&N after how they’ve handled this situation!


Categories: eBooks

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6 replies

  1. Try to copy and paste the address, instead of clicking on the link.

    • I did that, annnnd — now it is my turn to time travel. Actually, this is the farthest I’ve gotten with the process. 😉

      “Welcome Fictionwise Customer!

      You have been offered the opportunity to transition your titles to a NOOK account. If you are a Fictionwise customer who received a communication about this transition process, please click on the box below to confirm your participation and hit submit.

      Once you have opted-in you will receive an email from NOOK that contains an access code and a link to the code redemption page. To access your newly transitioned eBooks, you simply click through on the email to the code redemption page and enter the access code. The one access code represents all of the eBooks that will transfer to your NOOK account.

      We look forward to providing you with a continued, excellent reading experiences!
      -The NOOK Team

      Thank you for choosing to transfer your library to NOOK.

      You will receive an email the week of November 19, 2012 with your access code and further instruction.”

      • Sweet! You get the lotto numbers and I will get the sports scores. Meet at the Twin Pines Mall at midnight.

        • Okay, but I get to drive this time! 😉

          • Wow. What a fail. Hmm….I wonder what happened to that ONE Microsoft Reader book I bought…oh yeah it’s gone. 😛

            This is why DRM is BAD….so VERY VERY bad. I understand it, but it’s so incredibly EASY to screw the customers out of the content they purchased…..even when they are trying not to.

  2. After hearing about this mess, I’m just downloading my books from and converting them myself so I can use them on my Kindle. I’m not going to wait around for BN to get their act together.