Barnes & Noble Reenters eBook Scene

After an unspectacular five-year stint in the electronic book market that ran from 2001 until 2006, book retailer Barnes & Noble has reentered the scene, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Betanews reported that Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore was launched Monday, July 20, and offered over 700,000 titles, compared to Amazon’s 300,000 titles. The Los Angeles Times reported Amazon’s figure.

The Los Angeles Times reported that about half a million titles offered by Barnes & Noble are “in the public domain and available as free downloads via a partnership with Google Inc.” This figure includes works whose copyrights have expired and works that were never copyrighted – such as William Shakespeare’s plays and Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy.

Currently, Barnes & Noble does not offer an e-book device, but has teamed up with Plastic Logic to develop such a device to compete with Amazon’s Kindle, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Until Barnes & Noble offers its own device, and thereafter, the titles can be downloaded to the iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and most personal computers, reported the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reported that William Lynch, President of Barnes & Noble, said the following: “As the world’s largest bookstore, we’re trying to get digital books into the hands of people who want them — any device, any time, anywhere,”

Sarah Epps, a media analyst for Forrester Research, said that “instead of just betting that one device will win, they [Barnes & Noble] are betting on the whole category of digital reading.”


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