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Old 07-20-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
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Finally, Barnes & Noble returns to e-books

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10291216-93.html

As it has for most of the past decade, Barnes & Noble is playing catchup to Amazon. Barnes, the nation's largest brick-and-mortar bookseller said Monday that it has launched its own digital-book store.


Plastic Logic's prototype e-book reader

(Credit: Plastic Logic Limited)The Barnes & Noble eBookstore will enable customers to read the service's digital books on an array of different platforms, including the iPhone, the iPod Touch and BlackBerry smartphones, the company said in a statement.

In addition, Barnes & Noble will be the exclusive digital-book supplier for the upcoming Plastic Logic eReader, which hopes one day to be a competitor of Amazon's Kindle, by far the nation's most popular e-book reader.

But anyone wishing to buy Barnes & Noble's e-books on Plastic Logic's device has got some waiting to do. The device is not scheduled to go on sale until next year.

Amazon has already completed an upgrade of the Kindle.

Still, Barnes & Noble has finally returned to the e-book game in a big way and there's plenty the chain can do to cross market the books from within its more than 700 brick-and-mortar locations.

Barnes & Noble first got into e-books after they sparked a flurry of excitement in 2000 when best-selling author Stephen King experimented with the format. E-books failed to catch with the public, however, largely because there wasn't an easy or useful way to access them. The Kindle helped to change that.

Barnes & Noble ended it's first attempt at selling digital books in September 2003.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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This is going to be interesting... B&N does not have the burden of all the R&D for the eBook reader like Amazon does and maybe that will turn out to be an advantage.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:47 PM   #3
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Looks like they only plan to provide eReader format, which is going to cripple their sales from the get go IMO.


ETA: The B&N catalog will be largely the same as the FW catalog.

Last edited by doreenjoy; 07-20-2009 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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Looks like they only plan to provide eReader format, which is going to cripple their sales from the get go IMO.
Ugh! I would like to be able to use the book on my K2 with out having to bother with converting... Maybe I will be stuck with Amazon for the time being...
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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This is going to be interesting... B&N does not have the burden of all the R&D for the eBook reader like Amazon does and maybe that will turn out to be an advantage.
they may produce eBook reader sometimes later
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #6
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I just checked through it, and while some prices were good, others, really not. All the classics (IE, public domain), were $4.99 each. I find that to be a bit pricey, for public domain books.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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I just checked through it, and while some prices were good, others, really not. All the classics (IE, public domain), were $4.99 each. I find that to be a bit pricey, for public domain books.
Yeah that seems a bit strange, I'm not sure why they don't distribute those for free and market it as a great feature of the their ebook store. I mean after all they'd probably get a lot of signups from people enjoying the public domain works and they convert to real sales and customers pretty easily.

The more competition the better obviously and competition usually kills DRM, so I am all for B&N here. Remember when Amazon entered the mp3 market and forced itunes to remove DRM and change pricing? Competition!
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:31 PM   #8
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How dumb for them not to support all ereader devices from the get go. Everyone wants to try to get their "Mac" moment and have an exclusive format but if they were smart they would do like Windows and let you put the books on whatever you wanted and just let the money flood in.

Do they really think there is a chance of them cornering the eBook market?? Its not very likely so why limit your potential market on purpose like this? These companies take stupid to another level, its not surprising that B&N got left behind in the book market. The only reason limiting your delivery would make sense is if they were nervous that they wouldn't be able to handle the demand. That might have been the case if this was 10 years ago but there's no way that their servers wouldn't be able to handle it, eReaders aren't that popular anyway to cause such a stir.

So does this mean the only way for you to buy books for the Plastic Logic device will be through the B&N store or is this just a one way dead-end street that B&N driving blindly into? Plastic Logic can't be that dumb to limit what books are compatible to one eBook retailer, I hope at least.

If this is B&N's return to the game then they might want to call a timeout and rework the playbook
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:51 PM   #9
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The eReader format makes sense...it is Fictionwise's propietary format. They bought them a short while back. I wonder what this means for everyone that has the FW ebook reader now that they are with plastic logic
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:48 AM   #10
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Yeah that seems a bit strange, I'm not sure why they don't distribute those for free and market it as a great feature of the their ebook store. I mean after all they'd probably get a lot of signups from people enjoying the public domain works and they convert to real sales and customers pretty easily.
Even if not free (they are a business after all), there are other price points that work so much better. Think of the number of sales they'd get if they had it at like 99 cents for the classics.

Overall, I think the price of ebooks are too high. If I am not getting a physical copy, I don't want to pay as much. Plus, they're not having the expense of making a physical copy, ship it, etc, so their costs are lower. If they have substantially lower costs, why charge the same thing. Plus it isn't like the author is getting more money from each ebook. That isn't to say I won't buy ebooks, I just don't buy as many new releases. Gutenberg is my friend.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:45 AM   #11
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Oooops, they forgot to program paying with gift certificates. I was all excited, thought I could use my $100 B&N gift certificate I got as a gift before word went out that I was buying mostly ebooks these days. Went onto the new B&N ebook site figuring I'd spend the whole electronic C-note. Bought the first book and instead of going to the shopping cart or back to the storefront, or picking up where it left off, it immediately began downloading the book and charged my default credit card! OK, says I, that was dumb of me as the button does say "Buy Now." So where is the button that says "Add to Cart" but I could not find it. So I call CS at B&N and they tell me that right now it appears you cannot use gift certificates there (even though they are supposed to be good throughout the B&N website) in the ebook area. They told me they're "working on it." Anyway, be advised not to hit that Buy Now button and think you will be able to use your gift certificate!
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #12
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Can someone please confirm that this eBook store is available to customers world-wide, and is not restricted to people in the US?
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:22 AM   #13
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I've been waiting for Plastic Logic. It's good to know they'll be connected to a retailer with some real content. I'll have it all.

Now where's that Pixel Qi?
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:26 AM   #14
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I've been waiting for Plastic Logic. It's good to know they'll be connected to a retailer with some real content. I'll have it all.

Now where's that Pixel Qi?
It is strange though that they are choosing this device to promote their ebooks. PL has said many times when asked about the price something like, "don't forget this machine is targeted at business use"... which means to me.... expensive... I guess closer to DR1000 price than Kindle DX price.

I know that Astak's rep has "said" that their devices will support eReader's formats and DRM. So, I am surprised B&N didn't list that device to... I think most B&N customers would be a better fit with a 6inch recreational device than the PL device.

Oh well, who can understand MBA's? I sure can't.

BOb
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:50 AM   #15
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pilotbob, totally agreed about not quite getting the Plastic Logic partnership. I mean, yeah, it looks like a really nice product (especially for business use or newspaper reading), but it's one of the last things I'd want to read a novel on. From the videos/stills I've seen, things are generally displayed in 6 or 7 inch wide measures. They should at least have the option to split it into two columns with shorter (aka, more readable) measures.
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