About a week ago, I received an ARC from Netgalley.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, Netgalley is a website that provides free digital galleys for librarians, booksellers, and reviewers.  All galleys are listed by the publisher, and publishers are able to choose several options for how they want their galleys to be distributed, from who qualifies, how many copies will be given out, and how it can be read.  Most publishers, in my experience, allow their books to be sent straight to your e-reader.  In this case, however, the publisher required that the book be downloaded as an .acsm file.

An .acsm file is a heavily encrypted ebook file that can only be opened using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), a desktop reading program.  Currently there is no mobile app available, making it difficult to read these books for those of us who’d rather not sit hunched over a computer for hours at a time.

Once the file is opened using ADE, a protected PDF is generated, and it’s just a matter of getting that protected PDF from your computer to your Nook HD.  ADE supports many e-readers, but currently does not support the Nook HD, so you need to take several extra steps to authorize your device.

How to open your file:

  1. If you don’t already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download it.  Get it here.  Once it’s installed, log in using your Adobe ID, or create a new one if necessary (it’s free).
  2. Open your .acsm file in ADE.
  3. Authorize your Nook on your Adobe account.  You can do this through Settings > Account Settings > Adobe Digital Editions.  Make sure you authorize the same account you’ve set up on your computer.
  4. Connect your Nook to your computer.  Browse your Nook as if it were an external hard drive or flash drive.  You’re looking for a folder called .adobe-digital-editions.
  5. Find the protected PDF that ADE created.  You can right click on the book in ADE and click “show in Explorer” to find it easily.  Copy and paste that file into the .adobe-digital-editions folder on your Nook.
  6. Disconnect your Nook.  Scour your library for the file, keeping your fingers crossed that you don’t have a lot of files on your Nook.  My book showed up in the Temp folder as a bunch of letters and numbers.
  7. Open the file using your Nook Reader.  The file cannot be opened in any third party reader apps – it will tell you that there is an error with the file and to try downloading it again.  This is because only your Nook Reader has been authorized, not your entire device.
  8. Breathe a sigh of relief that you can finally read this book, and question why the publisher made it so hard for you to read in the first place.

I hope that this helps you.  Let me know if I left anything out or if you have any questions.