Nook Confirms April Update, New Applications

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Looks like HSN wasn’t lying when they said the Nook Color would be getting an update next month. Of course, they continue to lie about the price of the device ($500, HSN? Really?), but that’s a whole other thing.

Barnes & Noble confirms: the update “will give customers access to explore exciting new applications, email and many other requested features. (Some of the popular apps will include Angry Birds, Drawing Pad, Lonely Planet Phrasebooks, Tikatok, and Wine PhD.” Email, too. Huzzah!

Nickelodeon is partnering with them, a good deal on both sides, to provide special children’s e-books of the Dora and Spongebob varieties. I know kids like the tablet-style color books, so this could be an opportunity to really hook parents into the Nook system.

They would also like you to know that Barnes & Noble is the only place where you can get an e-book of The King’s Speech. Quick! Buy it before their exclusive ends and the price goes down!

Here are the two full press releases, in case you want to jot down the new titles for future purchase:

Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color™ Reader’s Tablet Keeps Getting Better With Great New Content for People Who Love to Read Everything

Customers Can Enjoy Multitudes of Newly Added Digital Books, Magazines, Children’s Books, plus Exclusive Content in Barnes & Noble Stores

Exclusive: The King’s Speech Digital Book Only Available for NOOK Customers

New York, New York – March 25, 2011 – NOOK Color, the award-winning, bestselling Reader’s Tablet by Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) keeps getting better with additions to its expansive digital catalog including everything from interactive versions of Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine to exciting children’s books featuring Barbie, Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse. Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller, continues to enhance the NOOK Color reading experience, enabling customers to read even more of what they love in rich, beautiful color. The company offers one of the world’s largest collections of digital content – which includes the only digital version of bestseller The King’s Speech, an unmatched children’s book collection, and more magazines and newspapers offered in color for subscription or single copy issue from one bookstore.

“We created NOOK Color for people who love to read everything – books, magazines, children’s books and more – in rich, beautiful color, and are continually adding terrific new content our customers have asked for – from ESPN The Magazine and The Economist to children’s stories featuring favorite Nickelodeon and Disney characters,” said Jamie Iannone, President of Digital Products, Barnes & Noble. “With more than two million digital titles to browse, download and enjoy in seconds, NOOK Color customers repeatedly tell us how much they appreciate the ability to virtually turn the page on their favorite monthly, dive into a bestseller, and bring story time to life for their children – all using one device. And as always, Barnes & Noble will keep making NOOK Color better with new titles and featured enhancements for the best-in-class reading.”

NOOK Color will get even better this Spring when a major update to the device’s firmware will offer customers access to explore exciting new applications, email and many other requested features.

Having exceeded one million digital periodical subscription orders and single copy sales, NOOK Newsstand™ continues to grow with the addition of great titles in the last few weeks that include The Economist, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, ESPN The Magazine, Saveur and PC Gamer. Barnes & Noble customers can now enjoy more than 135 digital periodical titles including exciting full-color digital versions of their favorite print brands, all available by subscription and single copies. Current bestsellers in NOOK Magazines include US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, Reader’s Digest and O, The Oprah Magazine.

There’s also lots of new stories for Barnes & Noble’s youngest customers. Recent NOOK Kids™ additions include titles featuring favorite characters like Barbie, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob Squarepants, Disney favorites featuring Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Phineas & Ferb, Beauty & the Beast, Snow White and the fun, fast, four-wheeled friends from Cars. Kids continue to be enchanted by stories featuring Barnes & Noble’s exclusive Read to Me™ feature, with Are You My Mother, Go Dog Go, I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track and Little Red Hen the current category bestsellers. With NOOK Kids, Barnes & Noble customers can choose from more than 300 titles in the world’s largest collection of digital children’s picture books, and more than 12,000 children’s chapter books on NOOK Color, as well as the free NOOK Kids for iPad™ application (www.nookkids.com/ipad and http://www.itunes.com/appstore).

And for book lovers, Barnes & Noble offers the largest number of The New York Times bestsellers, offering the Academy Award®-winning The King’s Speech only for NOOK customers. Among the recent bestsellers are Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, Toys by James Patterson and Neil McMahon, and Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult. NOOK customers will also find more than 75,000 independently published works through Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!™ digital platform, which add even more exciting self-published selections including current PubIt! bestsellers Diary of a Mad Fat Girl, Daniel’s Gift, Switched and Spying in High Heels.

More in Store for April

Barnes & Noble also announced its April More In Store™ content, exclusively available for NOOK Color and NOOK™ eReader customers in any of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 stores. In April, NOOK customers can connect to Barnes & Noble’s free in-store Wi-Fi® service to access exclusive content – including essays, short stories and more – from authors including: Alexander McCall Smith, bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; Erin McKean, author of The Secret Lives of Dresses; multi-bestselling thriller author James Grippando and Paula McLain, author of the much-reviewed-and-lauded The Paris Wife. More In Store is updated weekly and each new feature is available for four weeks on a rolling basis. Once a customer downloads the content to their NOOK, it is saved to their digital locker and can be accessed at any time. NOOK customers can always check the recent content by visiting http://www.bn.com/moreinstore.

Barnes & Noble Review Welcomes Katherine A. Powers’ A Reading Life

Barnes & Noble is also proud to announce that the literary column A Reading Life by Katherine A. Powers, formerly appearing in The Boston Globe, will now be featured exclusively in the online Barnes & Noble Review. The popular and acclaimed reviewer and essayist will offer her insightful contributions for Barnes & Noble customers through her bimonthly column beginning in April. Learn more by visiting http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/.

Barnes & Noble Welcomes Nickelodeon’s First-Ever

Digital Children’s Books to Expansive NOOK Kids™ Collection

Marks First Time Children Can Enjoy Digital Books

with SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and Diego,

Only Available on NOOK Color™ and NOOK Kids for iPad™

New York, New York – March 25, 2011 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today announced the continued expansion of the largest collection of digital children’s picture books through a partnership with Nickelodeon, offering the first-ever digital books from the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Books featuring popular Nickelodeon favorites SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer are available in a fun, engaging, digital format, only for Barnes & Noble customers through the award-winning NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet (www.nookcolor.com) and the free NOOK Kids for iPad application (www.nookkids.com/ipad and http://www.itunes.com/appstore). Now, kids and parents can take their favorite Nickelodeon digital books with them wherever they go.

Barnes & Noble is now offering a dozen interactive NOOK Kids Nickelodeon titles, and will expand to more than 20 next month, as the partnership continues to grow with new, exciting digital books. Camp SpongeBob, Happy Birthday SpongeBob! and others are perfect for the reader who loves zany stories. For young explorers there are fun-filled adventures including Dora Loves Boots, Crystal Kingdom Adventures, Dora Helps Diego, Dora’s Sleepover and more.

With NOOK Kids exclusive AliveTouch™ technology, kids can easily find an exciting story, engage with the books and their favorite characters by simply tapping to turn pages, interacting with the text, and zooming in and around gorgeous graphics in SpongeBob’s world under the sea and the places on Dora’s map. Coming soon, select Nickelodeon NOOK Kids titles will also include Barnes & Noble’s exclusive Read to Me™ feature offering professional narration, so kids can choose to explore books on their own or hear them read out loud.

“Barnes & Noble is proud to deliver the largest, richest digital collection for kids and families. Our technology enables families to read whatever, wherever and however they want. We are thrilled to partner with Nickelodeon to bring their much-loved characters and books to our NOOK Kids platform, enhancing what we firmly believe is the most enjoyable and imaginative digital reading offering for kids,” said Wendy Bronfin, Director of Product Management at Barnes & Noble. “Children of all ages love the NOOK Kids experience, and we are so pleased to collaborate with a leading children’s entertainment brand to welcome stories featuring SpongeBob, Dora and Diego to our best-in-class digital children’s reading experience.”

“Through this partnership, we’re able to provide our young fans with a revolutionary new way to experience and enjoy reading Nickelodeon books,” said Paula Allen, Senior Vice President, Global Publishing, Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “The NOOK Kids platform delivers an interactive way for kids to engage with their favorite Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob and Dora by using this exciting technology.”

Coming soon, kids and their parents will delight in books like WhoBob WhatPants?, The Big Win, Man Sponge Saves the Day and SpongeBob, Soccer Star!.

Since its launch last year, Barnes & Noble’s youngest customers have been taken with the state-of-the-art NOOK Kids’ reading experience, which lets them explore more than 300 NOOK Kids digital picture books, all presented in a consistent format, so parents and kids can keep the focus on the fun and interactive content, while encountering a familiar reading experience. NOOK Kids also features more than 12,000 children’s chapter books, from classics to new releases. Learn more about NOOK Kids at http://www.nookkids.com, or visit a local Barnes & Noble today to let your children experience NOOK Kids firsthand.