Barnes & Noble offers free Nook with NYT or People subscription

Looking to boost readership and sales, Barnes & Noble is the first major bookseller to give free or discounted e-readers with subscriptions.

Barnes & Noble will give customers a free or discounted Nook e-reader when they purchase a one-year subscription to People or the New York Times, a limited-time offer--good through March 9--that's also one of the first major attempts to piggyback e-readers onto magazine or newspaper subscriptions.

For a one-year subscription to People magazine, readers can buy the Nook Tablet at a $50 discount. Sarah Tew/CNET

"We're continuing to make it easier than ever for customers to get more out of their Nook device," Jonathan Shar, vice president and general manager of digital newsstand at Barnes & Noble, said in a press release. "And we are excited to offer our most popular content and leading devices at an amazing value."

Typically, a black-and-white Nook Simple Touch costs $99, a Nook Color is $199 and a Nook Table is $249. When customers buy a one-year subscription to People ($9.99 per month), they can purchase the Nook Tablet for the discounted price of $199. When customers subscribe to The New York Times ($19.99 per month), they get a Nook Simple Touch for free or a Nook Color for $99.

"We are delighted to be working with Barnes & Noble on this great offer, which we believe will expand the number of our loyal Nook readers," said Yasmin Namini, senior vice president of marketing and circulation for The New York Times Media Group, in a press release.

This promotion comes on the heels of Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch's announcement last week that the company was exploring the possibility of spinning off the Nook brand after disappointing sales. Lynch was quick to hedge those remarks, though, noting that Barnes & Noble continues to expand its digital business and to strengthen the relationship between the Nook brand and its brick-and-mortar stores. Believe him or not.

 

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