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 Fictionwise.com or eReader.com to BN.com. 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: http://www.fictionwise.com/BN-Transition-FAQ.htm

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!


About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?