nook vs amazonDuring the days covered by the agency pricing settlement, I was buying most of my books from Barnes & Noble because a Nook Color was my primary reading device. Price differences between Nook and Amazon were minimal to non-existent on most of the books I wanted to buy.

Consequently, I received a much larger ebook settlement credit for Nook than for Amazon, and I decided this would be a good time to pick up some of the books on my Wishlist. I mostly wishlist Big Five books and track them in eReader IQ, hoping for a price drop, so most of the titles are not indie-published.

I had a rough idea of how many books my $31 credit should buy me. And then I started looking them up on Barnes & Noble. Surprise! My credit wasn’t going to go nearly as far as I thought. Here are a few examples:

The Cleaner by Brett Battles: Amazon: $6.83. Nook: $7.99

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell: Amazon: $6.83. Nook: $7.99

The Covenant by James Michener: Amazon: $7.99. Nook: $9.99

Compelling Evidence by Steve Martini: Amazon: $5.99. Nook: $7.99

I could go on, but you get the idea. The books I was hoping to buy ranged from 15-25% more on Nook. Leave aside the price vs value question. The Covenant is 2-3 times longer than the average book I read, so even $9.99 is a good value. However, it galls to pay that price when I could get it for less elsewhere and lose no convenience in so doing. (I have both a Kindle and a Nook, so either way the books are easy to access and read.)

I hadn’t price shopped between the two sites in a while, and I hadn’t realized the price difference had grown so large. No wonder Nook is having problems. Their hardware is out of date, and their prices are quite a bit higher. I’ll use my credit, but it won’t bring me back permanently to their store.