[LINK] 'mega e-bookstore'
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed Jul 22 03:40:57 AEST 2009
Barnes & Noble Plans an Extensive E-Bookstore
By MOTOKO RICH Published: July 20, 2009
Four months after acquiring an e-book retailer, Barnes & Noble, the
worlds largest chain of bookstores, is starting its own mega e-bookstore
on its Web site.
(http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp) & free e-reader software
In an announcement on Monday, Barnes & Noble said that it would offer
more than 700,000 books that could be read on a wide range of devices,
including Apples iPhone, the BlackBerry and various laptop or desktop
computers. When Barnes & Noble acquired Fictionwise in March, that online
retailer had about 60,000 books in its catalog.
More than 500,000 of the books now offered electronically on www.BN.com
can be downloaded free, through an agreement with Google to provide
electronic versions of public domain books that Google has scanned from
university libraries. Sony announced a similar deal in March to offer the
public domain books on its Reader device.
Barnes & Noble is promoting its e-bookstore as the worlds largest, an
implicit stab at Amazon.com, which offers about 330,000 for its Kindle
device. Currently, Googles public domain books cannot be read on a
The number of e-books available on BN.com compares with 1.2 million in
stock that can be bought in print form from the companys Web site.
A further one million books can be ordered from BN.com in the print-on-
William J. Lynch, president of Barnes & Noble.com, said the company would
continue to sell e-book versions of best sellers and new releases
defined as a new e-book for the first six months of its availability
for $9.99. That charge has become the de facto e-book price since
Amazon.com set it for Kindle sales.
E-book pricing has become one of the most delicate topics in book
circles. Publishers are concerned that by selling new books at such low
prices, e-book retailers will undercut sales of hardcover editions, which
average about $26, and eventually erode publisher margins.
The pricing policies wont remain static, Mr. Lynch said in an
interview. Were working with our publishers on various pricing models.
As the pricing model evolves over time, we will adjust.
David Young, chief executive of the Hachette Book Group, the publisher of
blockbuster authors like James Patterson and Stephenie Meyer, was
cautious about Barnes & Nobles latest step.
Im thrilled that another major player is entering the fast-emerging e-
book market, Mr. Young said. But I remain deeply concerned that our
most valuable front-list titles are being sold at mass-market paperback
prices, he said, referring to the small format paperbacks that usually
come out a year after a hardcover is released.
Barnes & Noble also announced an upgraded version of its eReader software
that users could download free from its Web site, making it possible to
read any e-book bought on BN.com on various devices. Electronic books
bought at BN.com cannot be read on Sonys Reader or on the Kindle.
The retailer also said that when Plastic Logic released its electronic
reading device in early 2010, Barnes & Noble would operate a bookstore
for e-books that would work on the new device. Mr. Lynch declined to say
whether Barnes & Noble would sell the actual device.
Sales of e-books remain small , but are growing fast. According to a
survey by the Codex Group, a book marketing research company, 4.9 percent
of books sold in May were in digital form, up from 3.7 percent in March.
Sarah Rotman Epps, a media analyst with Forrester Research in Cambridge,
Mass., said BN.com was unlikely to dent Amazon.coms Kindle sales.
I dont think they will be stealing market share from Amazon, Ms.
Rotman Epps said. If anything I think they are contributing to the
growth of the whole category of digital reading.
She added that as more consumers begin reading digital books on phones
and other mobile devices, it made sense to market to those readers as
opposed to those who are buying dedicated reading devices like the Kindle
or the Sony Reader.
More information about the Link