'Big' UK Nook push planned

'Big' UK Nook push planned

Barnes & Noble will release its self-publishing platform PubIt in the UK following the launch of its Nook e-readers and the roll-out of its UK website later this year. The US bookseller said it intends to back the arrival of the devices with strong TV, print and outdoor campaigns.

Giving press briefings before the joint launch of its two new tablet devices—the Nook HD (£159) and the Nook HD+ (£229)—on Wednesday (26th September), the company’s president of digital products Jamie Iannone said the UK market was “important” for the company in terms of sourcing content and launching into Europe. “If we can also get French and German [publishers] contributing, that would be really great for us,” he said.

“We have a big marketing campaign planned to launch the Nook in the UK. We have to do this in the right way,” Iannone told The Bookseller. Part of that marketing push will be a joint campaign with John Lewis, described as Nook’s “premier retailer”, which is “co-investing to really market the product well”.

Former Carrefour head of e-commerce Patrick Rouvillois has been appointed as the managing director of Nook International, based in Luxembourg. Iannone said: “Patrick is building up the European team with support from the US, who are really focused on it. We believe the UK market is where our product will resonate really well.”

The Nook service will come with self-publishing platform PubIt and UK users will also be able to “e-lend” digital titles they have bought—a service the company is ahead of Amazon in launching overseas. Rouvillois explained: “Lending enables individuals to share the books they love with family and friends. The owner can lend the e-book to a recipient, who will have it to enjoy for 14 days on their Nook. During this time, as with a paper book, the owner cannot read it. Once the 14 days has passed, the owner will receive the book back onto their Nook.”

B&N will sell its Nook Simple Touch for £79 and Simple Touch with Glowlight for £109 through eight retailers, including Blackwell’s, Foyles and Argos. The new tablet models allow users to watch videos and read digital books and magazines. A built-in email app will offer personal and work email services—including Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, after Microsoft invested $300m in B&N in April this year.

Taking a direct swipe at rival Amazon, B&N highlighted that the devices were “top quality tablets” with “no annoying ads”.