Following its purchase of Fictionwise and its eReader software earlier this year, US bookselling giant Barnes and Noble has launched some early fruits of this acquisition with what it claims is the world’s largest eBookstore.
The 700,000 titles in the Barnes and Noble eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks) appears to include half a million free ebooks from Google Books so this figure might be less impressive than it sounds. Nevertheless, it marks an important boost to the ebook market in the US.
This initiative provides a credible large player to counter-balance Amazon’s power. The eReader software, already on the iPhone, Blackberry and PC/Mac, will give B&N an edge. It’s dubbed this its “every device strategy”. B&N also makes much of its support for the open ePub standard, another advantage it should have over Amazon.
At the same time, it has announced it will power the eBookstore for the much-anticipated Plastic Logic eReader that is due for release in early 2010 and aimed at the business market.
There’s no mention in the B&N information of plans for outside the US. As we’ve seen since it acquired Fictionwise, it has, if anything, been focusing more heavily on the US market.