If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
That is probably the store’s motto that bills itself as the world’s largest book seller. Now, it has announced they will be the “world’s largest ebookstore”.
To keep up with their competitor Amazon and their ebook reader Kindle, B&N now sells digital text software that runs on the Apple iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the RIM BlackBerry as well as Windows and Mac desktops and laptops.
The US retail giant doesn’t have its very own handheld device. Yet. A device which will debut next year, will have B&N as the exclusive digital bookstore. The device is from Plastic Logic, a cross-Atlantic start-up.
B&N however, isn’t new to this ebook business. They first had their ebookstore in 2000, backed by the novelist Stephen King and PC-based Microsoft Reader and Adobe. The ebookstore didn’t do well though and it was eventually shutdown after three years.
The present ebookstore comes well prepared this time though. It offers more than 700,000 titles and is expected to grow to over one million ebooks by the mid-2010. The Barnes and Noble’s reader app is based on technology from Fictionwise, an indie book seller it acquired for $15.7m this spring.
In a canned statement from B&N.com president William J. Lynch, he expressed their belief that “readers should have access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time”.
“As America’s number-one 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.”