Barnes & Noble Launches eBookstore

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Barnes & Noble, “the world’s largest bookseller”, announced today the launch of the Barnes & Noble eBookstore on Barnes & ( B&N says it will enable customers to buy eBooks and read them on a wide range of platforms, including the iPhone and iPod touch, BlackBerry, and most Windows and Mac computers.

As on Amazon’s Kindle store, the Barnes & Noble eBookstore will offer new releases and bestsellers at $9.99. Barnes says it expects its selection to increase to over one million titles over the course of the next year. Their e-book reader is from Plastic Logic. AT&T will provide the 3G data connectivity for Plastic Logic’s e-reader when it becomes available next year.

This is not the first time BN has entered into the e-book market, says Paid Content. The first effort lasted two years, from 2001 to 2003.

Whether B&N would be able to unseat the Amazon Kindle is unknown, but it may force Amazon to open up its store and adopt more formats, says Paid Content. And yes, a likely price war. Meanwhile, any launch from Apple could stop the two book giants cold, as this recent Fast Company story explains.

Some futher points:

  • B&N will be the exclusive e-book provider for Plastic Logic’s e-book reader, slated to debut early next year (above). Plastic Logic is aimed at business readers, as opposed to consumer focus for Kindle, or at least what Plastic Logic has said until now.
  • —An upgraded version of its eReader application, which was part of the company’s Fictionwise acquisition earlier this year. This includes DRM-free books from Fictionwise’s catalog. The new version has, among other features, an auto-scroll feature enabling users hands-free reading.
  • B&N says it has 700,000 titles, including “hundreds of new releases and bestsellers at only $9.99. It claims it is the biggest e-books store and plans to increase to well over one million titles within the next year. Amazon Kindle, according to the Kindle Store, has 300,000.
  • B&N says it has more than a half-million public domain books from Google.

Google is at work on a “digital book ecosystem”, says the NY Times, that would allow authors to partner with Google and release their works on a variety of platforms. It will put Google in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle for e-books and e-reading, says CRN.

Amazon keeps about 70% of the revenue from e-books, with authors and digital book publishers getting only about 30%. Amazon sells 280,000 fixed-price titles that can only be read on the Kindle or its iPhone app. Google does not have a dedicated eBook reader — but it does have the Android platform and Chrome OS.

Meanwhile, online document sharing site Scribd, recently begin allowing authors a way to charge for their content. Scribd will focus on a corresponding iPhone app, similar to the idea behind the Kindle iPhone app.

Publishers committed to Scribd’s store include O’Reilly Media, Simon & Schuster, Random House and a handful of other publishers. They offer books and excerpts of new novels to promote them.

Driven by Amazon’s popular Kindle device, e-book sales worldwide will jump from $323 million in 2008 to nearly $9 billion in 2013, according to a new In-Stat forecast. E-book shipments, meanwhile, will soar from under 1 million to almost 29 million in the next five years.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Kindle DX: $489, Shootout: Google Vrs Kindle, Sony Reader: 500,000 Free Books, Kindle’s Text to Speech Under Fire, Kindle 2: Slimmer, Smarter, Universal Access to All Human Knowledge – at 100Mbps – Free.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 at 10:34 am .

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