Barnes And Noble eBooks Launch!

NEWS | | August 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm


I was pretty excited to be invited to a webinar (you can listen to a part of it here) with Doug Gotlieb, Vice President of Digital Products at Barnes And Noble, regarding their eBooks launch. Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite places (along with Starbucks and Ikea) representing innovation and style so to get the scoop on this latest venture was really right up my alley. Truth is before the call I was not a huge electronic books reader as I was dissuaded by the cost of the readers.

Anyway it already set the tone for a great start to know that Barnes and Noble addressed that very impediment straight off declaring you did not need any special reader to use their books (FREE eBook Reader available to download on site). By not tying into an expensive reader they open the audience to many more folks which is really wonderful in this economy.

I was surprised to learn that Barnes and Noble also housed the biggest collection of eBooks, and get this, many are for free. In fact there are around a whopping 750,000 titles in eBooks and about 1/2 million of them are free. Talk about making books accessible to everyone, right?  It gets better that with most books you get a sample for free. Speaking about free, I know there seems to be a lot for free here, but once you purchase a book Barnes and Noble will store it for life. That makes me feel better as I move from platform to platform knowing I can just download it again.

On the topic of platforms they currently support the iPhone/iTouch, Blackberry and PC/Mac platforms and if you buy it for one platform you have free access of the eBook for all platforms. The downlaod for the reader is easy and painless.  During the webinar we did learn that the membercard privileges do not extend to eBooks.  Children books with illustrations are not yet featured and being a mama to 2 little girls this will be definitely something I will be keeping an eye out for.

Make sure you check out the eBooks section at Barnes And Noble and let me know what you think.


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  1. 1

    I didn’t know BnN had free reader and ebooks. That’s very helpful to know. I read tons but always have to protect books from my son trying to “read” them but end up ripping them. Now there’s an easy way to read.

    Hope they add kids book with illustrations cause that’s a def plus!

  2. 2
    Jessica Moss says:

    I love eBooks! I’ve been reading them for the last ten years. With that said, BN has a lot to overcome, mainly price. BN books are usually higher priced than their Amazon Kindle equilvent. And saying they have the largest collection of ebooks is a stretch IMO. I’m all for free books but BN is missing brand new books that Amazon Kindle has. So their claim of having the largest selection isn’t impressive too me. They are counting the free Google books that are full of errors to boost their numbers. Before anyone thinks I’m hating on BN I’m not. BN is my favorite bookstore and I’d much rather give them my money than Amazon. However, Amazon has them beat on selection and price. BN could win this war if they get their reader, coming 2010, to all of the BN stores. I’m a try-before-I-buy type of girl and that’s exactly why I don’t have an Amazon Kindle. I do have the Kindle app on my iPhone. It needs work but it’s usable. Their iPhone app is head and shoulders above the Kindle app. And I love how it’s not tied to a single device. When their reader does come out I hope it has an Amazon Whispersync feature so my place is saved across all devices. Amazon has left a bad taste in my mouth with the stealing back of the Orwell books. I want to be able to use my BN membercard for ebooks too. BN has made a good start but they need to continue to improve. The buying a book from the iPhone needs serious work. I hope they succeed because their first effort was horrible.

    I found your article from a BN tweet!

  3. 3
    Mommy Niri says:

    Jessica, I have to be honest and say that I don’t know more about eBooks than you and the cost of readers is the main reason. You have many important points and the one that I do agree with is the range of books, as much I am sure that there are as many books as they claim, there were quite a few popular ones that I could not find as well.

    All in all I think competition is good for us and I thank you for stopping by to share this. Feedback (and pertinent one like yours) is imperative at making it a better system for all.

  4. 4

    Thanks both to our host for her kind post, and to Jessica Moss for your feedback. Jessica, we are definitely listening. We are committed to being a value leader in this space. We already offer bestsellers for just $9.99 and we will continue to tweak our pricing across the board to be competitive on every title we sell. Although our eBooks offering is brand new, we already have the largest collection of eBooks anywhere, and we are adding titles continually. We pledge to have not only the largest number of eBooks, but also to carry the titles you want most. We hear you! Look for continued improvements to our site and our service. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  5. 5
    Nancy says:

    What a fabulous program to offer eBooks for free! While I still prefer to hold a real book in my hand, this is a fabulous opportunity for many people.

  6. 6
    Lia says:

    I never knew Barnes and Noble was into eBooks but hooray for them as 1/2 million are free with a total of 750,000, WOW thats alot!Hope everyone will check that out and take advantage. Seems our younger generation are more of the electronic and digital world so this would be good for them if they like using the computer which I assume they do

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