Barnes & NobleI received the Nook Snaps press release in my email today, and my first thought was “Cool! B&N is trying to compete with Kindle Singles.”

According to the release:

Insightful and witty, the NOOK Snaps program features high-quality short fiction and narrative non-fiction hand-picked by NOOK editors offering fresh perspectives on modern life, all in an easy-to-enjoy length and at an attractive price. The program offers 3 to 5 new NOOK Snaps selections of at least 5,000 words every other month for only $1.99 each.

And from the text of the email I received:

an innovative bimonthly program offering original, commissioned short-content works by a select group of today’s most compelling voices on the NOOK platform.

Why am I quoting all this stuff? Because the quotes make it sound like B&N is creating their own program similar to Kindle Singles. However, not so much, as I discovered when I investigated further by clicking on the link in the release to check it out. I immediately noticed a problem.

See the image under “Sci Fi and Fantasy?” It’s the cover of the latest novella in the Iron Druid series (which I reviewed last month). That’s not original to B&N nor commissioned by them. Oh, and it’s $2.99 not $1.99. Oops. In fact, if you click on the link to other “Sci-Fi and Fantasy” Snaps, there’s a list of 5463 entries, many of which are neither Sci-fi or Fantasy (Really? Eve Dallas? Come on guys!)

Interestingly, I did a Google search on articles relating to the release, and it looks like no one else (except an alert reader on The Digital Reader) clicked on the link to investigate further, highlighting the danger of simply regurgitating press releases.

Sorry. This one goes on my list of “only being news because it’s not really news.” Disappointed in you, B&N. You’ve been doing better lately, but you’ve still got a ways to go.


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail