Quick Reference Guide for Nook Color eBook Management

I am composing this quick reference guide (or workflow or flowchart) for persons who shall remain anonymous.  I plan to refer them to this page (encouraging them to bookmark it in their browser) the next time I receive yet another request for how to get an ebook transferred to their Nook.

This guide assumes you own the Nook Color.

Nook Color eBook Management Flowchart

Where did you purchase the ebook?

How to Get eBooks to Your Nook Color

1. Barnes & Noble Nook Books:  It is not necessary to click the Download button after you purchase a Nook Book.  This is tempting, especially if you are sitting at your computer, browsing through the Barnes & Noble website and not actually shopping via your Nook Color (using a wifi connection).

(a)                Press the n button on your Nook Color and select the Library item.

(b)               Press the Sync button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen (which looks like two arrows chasing each other in a circular pattern).

(c)                Any new books you have purchased will appear after the sync completes.

2. Non-Barnes & Noble eBooks: Anything you purchase from a non-B&N retailer, even if the price is ‘free’, will most likely be ‘protected’ by DRM (digital rights management), which actively prevents you from copying the downloaded ebook file from your computer to your Nook Color.  If you are lucky enough to find an ebook without DRM protection, please skip down to the last step below.  Otherwise, the only approved method for transferring ebooks you legitimately purchased involves using yet another piece of software called Adobe Digital Editions. This transfer process may vary depending on the vender and assumes you have downloaded, installed and activated both your copy of Adobe Digital Editions and your device (Nook Color) in that software.

(a)                Download the ebook from where you bought it and make note of the file name (in case you have trouble remembering where your computer downloads file to – usually the Downloads folder).  Windows may automatically associated the downloading file with Adobe Digital Editions, which is a good thing.  Let it launch ADE after it downloads the file if need be.

(b)               Connect the Nook Color USB cable to your computer, then connect it to your Nook Color.

(c)                ADE should now display your Nook Color device as available in the left-hand navigation pane.

(i)                 To add the ebook you just purchased/downloaded, select Add Library Item (or press Ctrl+O to open) from the Library menu in ADE.

(ii)               Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file (in a Windows 7 environment, you may already have a favorites item called ‘Downloads’ available).

(iii)             Select the ebook and click the Open button.  ADE should now display the cover of the ebook as a thumbnail in the left-hand area.  Or, if your view is currently set to the List option, then new ebook will be listed by Title, Author, etc.

(iv)             Click the thumbnail of the new ebook cover and drag it to your Nook Color device (listed in the left-hand navigation pane of ADE).

(d)               Close ADE and safely disconnect your Nook Color from your computer.

(e)                Back on your Nook Color, there are two ways to find the ebook you just transferred from your computer:

(i)                 Using the Library application:

(1)               Open your Library and switch to the My Stuff area (last tab/button along the top).

(2)               Drill down to the Digital Editions folder and click on the ebook file name you just transferred from your computer to the Nook Color.

(ii)               Using Search

(1)               Type the file name or title of the new ebook.

(2)               Select the ebook from the search results.

3. Library eBook Lending:  Most libraries also use Adobe Digital Editions to managed the ebooks you borrow.  Your library may already provide you with instructions and a tutorial.  I know mine did:

(a)                Kansas City Public Library instructions for Checking Out eBooks to a Nook, Kobo or other non-Amazon eReader.

(b)               Kansas City Public Library video tutorial on Downloading eBooks for the Nook and other non-Amazon eReaders.

(c)                You can use the same process described above to find the file on your Nook Color (either through the Library application or by Searching for the file name or title of the ebook).

4. Public Domain eBooks (DRM-Free):  Those ebooks downloaded from Project Gutenberg or the public domain section of Feedbooks, should be DRM free and thus will not require the use of Adobe Digital Editions to copy the ebook file to your Nook Color.

(a)                Download the ebook and note the file name and folder location.

(b)               Connect your Nook Color to your computer.

(c)                When prompted (an Autoplay dialog box should pop up), click the ‘Open folder to view files’ option.

(d)               Drill down to the My Files folder on your Nook Color and open the Books subfolder.

(e)                In a separate Windows Explorer window, find the ebook file and Copy it (Ctrl+C).

(f)                Return to the Nook Color window that should be open to the Books subfolder of the My Files folder and Paste (Ctrl+V).

(g)               Close all Windows Explorer windows and safely disconnect your Nook Color from your computer.

(h)               You can use the same process described above to find the file on your Nook Color (either through the Library application or by Searching for the file name or title of the ebook).

To manage all your DRM-free ebooks, I would suggest using Calibre, an open source software package.  I give you fair warning, however, that Calibre is not as easy to use as it could be, but I have hopes that the user interface will improve with each update.  I only recommend Calibre to people who are not technology challenged.

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