The ebook reseller Fictionwise has acquired by Barnes and Noble for $15.7 million.
The news and an exclusive interview with Fictionwise’s Scott Pendergrast was covered by TeleRead. Fictionwise will continue as current, be managed by its current team and operate as an independent entity under Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble state in the general press release that it plans to use Fictionwise as part of its overall digital strategy, which includes the launch of an e-Bookstore later this year.
Apparently the business was shopped around to a number of buyers with the understanding that the ‘current philosophy toward e-books would survive’. So DRM free, the ereader format and many other features remain. Some will jump up and down and believe that this will offer a competitive position to Amazon, others may ask the question if this is what prompted the recent Overdrive spat and its impact on its exclusive DRM agreements with Ingram.
Whatever ,the important outcome is that B&N now are firmly in the ebooks business, albeit at arms length for now.
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.
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