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Barnes and Noble and Plastic Logic team up for eBookstore launch
      #33715 - 07/20/09 05:33 PM

Plastic Logic, who will launch a business-targeted large format 8.5 x 11 inch display ebook reader later this year, and Barnes and Noble are teaming up to offer Barnes and Noble's eBooks on the device. That device is due out later this year and you can learn more about it on their website.. Barnes and Noble says they'll have the world's largest ebookstore with 700,000 titles (Amazon has 300,000) and that their ebooks will work with the iPhone, BlackBerry, iPod Touch, Windows PCs and Macs.


Barnes and Noble is obviously competing with Amazon and so is shooting for a $9.99 price tag on many new releases and best sellers (that's Amazon's usual price for the same stuff). They intend to hit a million books within a year. But here's the catch, they're counting 500,000 public domain books from Google in their figures, so would leave 200,000 books of their own at launch (less than Amazon).

Here's the Barnes and Noble press release:

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world?s largest bookseller, announced today the launch of the Barnes & Noble eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks), the world?s largest eBookstore, on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), enabling customers to buy eBooks and read them on a wide range of platforms, including the iPhone and iPod touch, BlackBerry? smartphones, as well as most Windows? and Mac? laptops or full-sized desktop computers. In addition, Barnes & Noble announced that it will be the exclusive eBookstore provider on the forthcoming and much anticipated Plastic Logic eReader device.

Barnes & Noble?s launch encompasses:

* Barnes & Noble?s eBookstore offering its customers seamless access to more than 700,000 titles, including hundreds of new releases and bestsellers at only $9.99, making it the world?s largest selection of eBooks available in one place. The company expects that its selection will increase to well over one million titles within the next year, inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original, which is a fast growing marketplace.

* More than a half-million public domain books from Google, which can be downloaded for free. Readers can discover and explore this rich treasure trove, including everything from classic works by well-known writers to long-forgotten and obscure titles that are historically much harder to access.

* An upgraded version of its eReader application, which was part of the company's Fictionwise acquisition earlier this year. This device-agnostic eBook application supports both wireless and wired access to the new Barnes & Noble eBookstore. Millions of internet-enabled devices are currently supported by eReader, including the nation?s two leading smartphone device families from Apple and BlackBerry?, as well as most Windows? and Mac? laptops or full-sized computers.

* First-time users of the eReader will have the opportunity to download free eBooks, including titles such as Merriam-Webster's Pocket Dictionary, Sense and Sensibility, Little Women, Last of the Mohicans, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula. See site for further details.

* A strategic commerce and content partnership with Plastic Logic, whose eReader device is especially designed for business professionals. Barnes & Noble will power the eBookstore for the Plastic Logic eReader device. The ultra thin 8.5 x 11 inch wireless eReader is slated to debut in early 2010.

* The free, full-featured B&N Bookstore app for iPhone and iPod touch users, which is now the #1 downloaded book app in Apple?s App Store. In addition to enabling customers to easily place orders for books, movies, and CDs, the app also lets users search millions of products simply by snapping a photo. Using the iPhone?s camera, customers can snap a photo of the front cover and within seconds get product details, editorial reviews, and customer ratings ? even find and reserve a copy in the nearest store. The app also includes a store locator, bestseller lists, book recommendations, and a store events calendar.

?Today marks the first phase of our digital strategy, which is rooted in the belief that readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time,? said William J. Lynch, President of BN.com. ?As America?s #1 bookstore and newsstand, our goal at Barnes & Noble is to build a service that revolves around the customer, enabling them to have access to hundreds of thousands of titles and read on their smartphone, PC, and many other existing and future devices. We want to make eBooks simple, accessible, affordable and convenient for everyone.?

More About the eReader Application
Designed with the reader in mind, Barnes & Noble eReader client software provides an easy-to- use interface to access the Barnes & Noble eBookstore and to manage their personal eBook libraries. It features powerful tools to optimize the reading experience, including the ability to modify type size and font and annotate and bookmark text, as well as an innovative auto-scroll feature enabling users hands free reading. In addition, users will have the added convenience afforded by true eBook portability, allowing them to access their eBooks from any of their eBook software-equipped devices, so that, for example, they can shift from reading their ebook from a smartphone while commuting to a notebook PC or eReader device at bedtime.


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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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