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How Nook users can safeguard their ebook future

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HowToDRMEbooks

We guide you through the process of removing DRM from your ebooks to make them readable on other devices.

Barnes & Noble has announced that it is pulling its Nook e-reader brand out of the UK, and has hinted that users may not be able to access all books purchased through the Nook store in future.

The best way to ensure continued access to your ebooks - regardless of your chosen platform - is to save them onto a computer and open them out for general usage.

Nook

Removing digital rights management (DRM) from your ebook files is useful for Nook users for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it means that you'll be able to continue reading your Nook library on other e-readers when you come to replace your Nook.

Conversely, you'll be able to read ebooks from other sources (including Kindle) on your current Nook when the Nook store closes down. Here's how you can do it.

Download Calibre

There are a number of tools that serve to remove DRM from your ebooks, but undoubtedly the most popular and well-established is Calibre.

You can download Calibre for Windows, OS X, or Linux. It's free in each case, and you can donate funds to help the developer with its upkeep.

Run the Calibre app and create a new folder for saving your ebooks into (the default should be fine). Choose your ebook reader from the list, and hit Finish.

Related: Which Kindle should you buy?

Calibre

Add books and remove DRM

Click on the 'Add books' button at the top left and browse through your files to add ebooks to your Calibre folder, or drag and drop them into Calibre's main window. Plug your device into your computer, and you'll be able to import any books stored there, too.

Of course, ebooks from sources such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble will be protected by DRM software, which means that you won't be free to access them willy-nilly on any old device.

To counteract this, you need to download a DRM-busting plug-in for Calibre. One frequently cited example is Apprentice Alf's DeDRM tool. Download for PC or Mac and unpack.

Now open up Calibre, enter the Preferences menu, and click 'Change Calibre behaviour'. Navigate to Advanced>Plug-ins and hit the 'Load plug-in from file' button, then select the DeDRM_calibre_plugin file you just downloaded and reboot Calibre.

Now, whenever you import files into Calibre, it will strip them of any DRM. You can then use the 'Convert books' button to change the files to a format suitable for whatever ebook reader you want to use, now or in the future.

Nook Kindle

Importing ebooks from Kindle

If you're importing ebook files from a Kindle, you'll need to enter your Kindle's serial number into the Calibre DeDRM plug-in. To do so, just go back into Preferences>Change Calibre behaviour>Advanced>Plug-ins, then go into 'File type plug-ins' and enter DeDRM.

Hit the 'eInk Kindle ebooks' button and add your Kindle's serial number (it'll be on the back of the device or in the Settings menu) using the green plus button. Close and OK the changes, then hit Apply.

Note that you'll need to import every file type associated with a book into Calibre. Don't worry if you're warned about duplicates.

leigh b

March 9, 2016, 2:21 am

Except that Nook books bought from B&N do not download from the device into Calibre. It’s impossible to see these files; they’re in a hidden directory. B&N disabled the “download” buttons from their website years ago. They’ve also discontinued all B&N apps (such as Nook for PC and Nook Study) which allowed users to download Nook book files. For anyone who didn’t download their Nook books while it was possible, their libraries are now stuck in the B&N cloud, completely inaccessible.

Dave Brown

March 9, 2016, 11:35 am

As leigh says, this doesn't help at all.

Brian White

June 29, 2016, 7:44 pm

DeDRM works as of today. I just did it with:
Windows 7 x86_64
Calibre 2.60.0
DeDRM 6.4.3
Nook for PC 2.5.6.9575

Install Calibre
Run Calibre and install DeDRM plugin.
Close Calibre
Install Nook for PC

Run Nook for PC, log in,
unarchive and download all books

Run Calibre
Preferences -> Plugins -> File Type Plugins -> DeDRM (6.4.3) -> Barnes & Noble eBooks
Hit the green + create new key
Enter the email and password for your Nook account.
Retrieve Key
Close the preferences dialogues, Apply.

Finally, in Calibre,
Add Books
Browse to:
C:\Users\your_name\Documents\My Barnes & Noble eBooks\nook_email_account
Select all, Open.

Now all books will be pulled in to your Calibre library and decrypted.
From here you can convert to other formats, save to disk, send to some other device, etc. You don't have to use the convert option unless you want to convert to something other than .epub. If you just say save to disk, or send to device, it already saves an unencrypted .epub which you can than use anywhere else forever.

You only need to use the convert button if you need a pdf or html version, etc. Or for instance a Kobo can read regular .epub so you don't need to convert to send to a kobo, but I guess there are some extra features if you convert to .kepub and put the kepub on the kobo.

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