When comparing Barnes & Noble NOOK Books vs Kobo Books, the Slant community recommends Kobo Books for most people. In the question“What are the best eBook stores?” Kobo Books is ranked 2nd while Barnes & Noble NOOK Books is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose Kobo Books is:
The Kobo eBook store offers a separate file download (most of the time) from within a users browser. this file is called and .ascm file and is what is used to add an .epub to the [Adobe Digital Edition software](https://www.adobe.com/solutions/ebook/digital-editions/download.html).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Send eBooks as gift
The NOOK store allows users to send eBooks as gifts to their friends and family.
Pro Self publishing
B&N offers a way for users to self publish their eBooks to the NOOK eBook store, the service is called NOOK Press.
Pro NOOK app
B&N offers a NOOK app for Android, iOS and Windows 8 in their respective stores. This allows user to shop and read their eBooks natively on those operating systems.
Pro Offers separate Adobe Digital Editions downloads
The Kobo eBook store offers a separate file download (most of the time) from within a users browser. this file is called and .ascm file and is what is used to add an .epub to the Adobe Digital Edition software.
Pro Send eBooks as gift
Kobo Books eBook store allows users to send eBooks as gifts to their friends and loved ones.
Pro Self publish
Kobo offers a way for users to self publish their own eBooks with a service called Writing Life.
Pro Many coupons
Kobo often offers a lot of coupons for their eBook store. Some being as high as 80% off coupons. Though most only work on non agency eBooks, so not that great if the user only reads the newest of releases.
Con No legacy Windows app or Mac app
While B&N use to offer a PC and Mac app for the desktop, they pulled support officially in 2013.
Con Higher prices then competition
Part of the reason B&N is having so much trouble with the NOOK brand currently and most likely part of its decision to separate itself from it by spinning it into its own company is that since the demolishing of agency pricing they are unable to compete on prices.
Con B&N not confident in NOOK brand
B&N will be spinning its NOOK division into a separate company, which does not show much faith in their own brand. What's worse is that this show of uncertainty of wanting to separate from the failing device and it's eBook store will only just further distance the customers from the NOOK. Being that their eBooks have a special DRM scheme that does not allow their .epubs to work in other device, current users better hope this new company does not fold or they will be out of their entire NOOK eBook library.
Con Uses a special DRM on their eBooks, any eBook purchased from B&N is not Adobe Digital Edition compliant
While B&N does use and read .epub on their devices, any eBook purchased from the B&N eBook store will not be able to be used in other .epub readers unless the DRM is stripped from said eBook.
Con Not all eBooks sold on the site are Adobe Digital Editions compatible (.epub)
For some reason not all the eBooks available on the Kobo eBook site are downloadable as .ascm files. Most likely Kobo leaves this up to the publisher, as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt does not have a single book on the Kobo store that offers a separate .ascm download. What most users are unaware of is that the Kobo store is not primarily an .epub bookstore. Kobo uses a proprietary format called .kepub that only works on their own Kobo branded devices. Many of the books they sell do offer a separate .ascm file download, but not all. What exacerbates this issue is that there is currently no way for a user to know if an .ascm will be offered until after purchase.
Con Kobo randomly changes prices
Depending on whether a user is logged in, different prices will be shown on non agency eBooks. Non agency eBooks allow for Kobo to set the price of the title instead of the publisher and sadly it does appear as though Kobo has taken advantage of this to entice new users into thinking their books are priced lower than they actually are.