Barnes and Noble is no stranger to the eBook business. The first ‘go round’ was shelved six years ago but yesterday the retail bookseller announced it is reentering the market in a big way. As the storefront book business continues to fight for survival in the continuing move to online purchases and other formats Barnes and Noble is looking to make sure it is in the fight. All Things D covers the development:
On Monday afternoon, the bookseller announced what it describes as “the world’s largest eBookstore,” an online storefront that boasts 700,000 titles. That’s substantially more than the 300,000 available for download on Amazon’s Kindle service, though half-a-million of them are public domain books provided by Amazon (AMZN). They’ll be compatible with Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, BlackBerry smartphones, and, when it finally arrives at market, the Plastic Logic eReader — a Kindle DX-sized E-book reader for which it will be the exclusive storefront
With the major players in the marketplace being Amazon and Sony the Barnes and Noble offering of E-books will not be compatible with their players. Not a surprise but interesting to say the least. You always wonder if it is more important to own the platform or the renewable purchase market (the E-books themselves). We all know that little story about Microsoft and IBM right?
While I report on this industry I am not E-book friendly at this point. It would take a lot to make me switch from a physical book to the E-book format maybe because I don’t read enough. I can say though that creating a proprietary platform that will limit where or how I could buy my books is not making me interested in getting involved. One thing that people look for is flexibility and when a company tells people that they need to make an either/or vs. a both/and choice I will balk. If I were to make a paradigm shift to a new format I would want the ability to see if one is better than the other. Making your E-book offering restrictive to a particular platform is not attractive but that’s me.
So are you interested in the Barnes and Noble E-book play? If there is a larger library available would you switch to their platform? How many E-book readers do we have out there anyway?