Barnes and Noble Acquires Ereader.com and Fictionwise

March 6, 2009

Barnes and Noble has acquired Fictionwise, which owns Ereader.com.   The acquisition is part of Barnes and Noble’s strategy to open an e-Bookstore later this year.

This looks like an attempt to fend off Amazon.com’s Kindle-inspired expansion into the possibly lucrative e-book market.  Amazon.com has been selling Kindle hand-held electronic readers to sync and read electronic books, and recently unveiled an iPhone version which should prove to be hugely popular.

I have been purchasing e-books from Ereader.com for several years now — heck, I *ONLY* read e-books nowadays.   People may think I’m crazy for reading e-books on my comparatively tiny Palm Treo 755p screen, but believe me, once you get used to it, it’s hard to live without it!  I read in the elevator, I read while walking to a restaurant near work, I read on the train, I read in bed, I read while standing in line …   I read so much that if I had paper copies of all the books I’ve read over the past several years, I would have filled up a small library!  Ereader.com carries a good number of new releases, plus books written by some of my favorite authors.   Hard for me to run out of what to read from ereader.com.

However, I’d begun to be unhappy with ereader.com.  Despite the addition of a new (but slow!) mobile site and a iPhone app, the site had been stagnating.  I’m hoping that the Barnes and Noble acquisition will give it a much-needed boost, and that it will serve as a viable competitor to Amazon’s Kindle bookstore.  Especially since ereader.com’s e-books can be read on a wider variety of smartphones than Amazon.com’s e-books.

Good move, Barnes and Noble.  Now, start advertising — you need to overtake Amazon.com’s headstart!

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4 Responses to “Barnes and Noble Acquires Ereader.com and Fictionwise”

  1. Rod Says:

    Barnes & Noble is going to have to make some big changes to ereader.com for it to survive. Kindle on the iPhone means much better pricing on e-books. I’ve compared some prices and found as much as a 50% savings on some titles at Amazon. I do like the ereader iPhone app; though I’m sure the Kindle app will improve.

  2. Shelley Says:

    One thing I have noticed since the acquisition is the decrease in authors on the actual ereader website. I love the reader rewards since I read so much; however many of my favorite authors are no longer on the site. I end up having to go to the bn site to get them. 3/4 of my bookshelf is no longer available at ereader.com.

  3. Diana in Shanghai Says:

    I was an ereader customer for years (since 2004), and now can’t find even some of the books that I previously bought on ereader listed there anymore! I guess I should be grateful that B&N did not go onto my e-bookcase / blackberry and delete these books. But it was a shock when I searched those authors intending to buy more of their books and couldn’t even find the original book that I’d purchased on the site.

    Plus, yes, I have noticed that Amazon listings are in some cases 50% cheaper than on ereader. Ex: Anita Blake / Meredith Gentry books. Perhaps authors or publishers are choosing not to use the ereader format? Regardless of the reason, it’s depressing not to be able to buy more books the same way. I liked keeping my ebooks in the same format, but now I’ll have to start exploring other apps. Very sad to see this happen.

  4. Marta Goosey Says:

    Barnes & Noble has destroyed ereader.com. None of my favorite authors are available any more. But, of course, I can get them at B&N for twice the price. Very disappointing. I hope they’re not expecting me to continue as a customer.


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