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Comments on: Barnes & Noble Acquires Fictionwise

Barnes & Noble has announced that it has acquired Fictionwise for $15.7 million in cash. Fictionwise, is a leading e-book retailer and is known to many around here as the owners of the eReader business.

Barnes & Noble said it plans to use Fictionwise as part of its overall digital strategy, which includes the launch of an e-Bookstore later this year. The Fictionwise founders, Steve and Scott Pendergrast, will remain with the company and will run the Fictionwise websites as a separate business unit within Barnes & Noble. They plan to continue to add additional titles to their e-book collection and continue the expansion of the eReader format onto more platforms.

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Another ereader device?

justauser @ 3/5/2009 1:31:20 PM # Q
I hope this doesn't mean yet another digital ink ereader device. Insead, it would be nice (for the consumer) to have ereader book format compatible with the likes of the Sony Reader.
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Formats

2klbs @ 3/5/2009 3:14:59 PM # Q
Although I would be hopeful for a cross-platform format like ePub, I fear that since Borders already supports the Sony platform, they'll continue to use eReader. Perhaps we're looking at this all wrong and it's up to a reader like Stanza to unite them all, but I'll leave that pondering up to the insightful MikeCane.

As a fan since the first days of Peanut Press on my Palm III, I wish the store every success no matter the current owner.

RE: Formats
bcombee @ 3/5/2009 9:05:05 PM # Q
Fictionwise already had ePub support on their roadmap for future versions of the eReader software, possibly wrapped in the same DRM that they use for publisher-protected editions. http://www.teleread.org/2008/12/03/ereader-scoop/ has an interview with Steve Pendergrass, head of Fictionwise, from last December.
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Reader Titles

2klbs @ 4/6/2009 11:13:50 AM # Q
@ MikeCane

Do you think Palm will work with FictionWise or Stanza to come up with a solution for ereader or ePub formats? Do you know of any information that would limit Fiction Wise/Stanza's ability to do so given their iPhone/Touch market efforts?

It would be great if the Pre allows drag-n-drop in USB mode non-DRM'd Google-Project Gutenberg books directly vs. using Adobe's byzantine Digital Editions and bypass Sony Reader all together.
End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: Reader Titles
CFreymarc @ 4/6/2009 1:40:20 PM # Q
It has been my experience that guided, hands off demos screams the software is not complete and the pizzas are still being shoved under the door of the engineering lab. Since there is the issue of public disclosure needed to get FCC testing of a product, many companies, like Apple and Palm, are announcing the day they go into FCC testing. Then software completion goes hand in hand with the FCC testing cycle to not waist time and money on redundant development. This is just part and parcel of getting a smart phone complete these days. Look at how RIM does it too please.
RE: Reader Titles
hkklife @ 4/6/2009 1:56:15 PM # Q
'Tis a shame Palm are basically a subsidiary of Sprint nowadays and utterly at their mercy. Had they not abandoned the retail market entirely and/or wasted so much time and manpower with the Fooleo, a Nokia N-series or small tablet-style MID (ie not a netbook and not a smartphone) would have been the perfect hardware on which to debut WebOS and get all of the kinks worked out. The card "swipe" UI is PERFECT for a larger-screen device. They could have left out the telephony stack and some of the various bundled apps and added those in over time.

Heck, something like a cut-down version of WebOS +TealOS released as an unsupported beta/alpha release for Palm T3/T5/TX users would've been a nice table scrap to offer. Palm's never had an issue in the past with using their customers as paying beta testers, so why stop now?

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Reader Titles
mikecane @ 4/7/2009 6:38:21 AM # Q
>>>Do you think Palm will work with FictionWise or Stanza to come up with a solution for ereader or ePub formats? Do you know of any information that would limit Fiction Wise/Stanza's ability to do so given their iPhone/Touch market efforts?

I hammer on Stanza to port to the Pre every time they show up in my Twitterstream. Stanza might do Android first, though, which I personally think would be a mistake.

Stanza will soon have Adobe DRM built-in, so any ePub you can buy that has DRM can be read in it.

I expect any Stanza for the Pre would continue the abilities built into the iP/iPT version: ePub and Fictionwise and direct downloading to the device.

>>>It would be great if the Pre allows drag-n-drop in USB mode non-DRM'd Google-Project Gutenberg books directly vs. using Adobe's byzantine Digital Editions and bypass Sony Reader all together.

That should be possible. But have you looked at Gutenberg ePub? Some of it isn't very practical. (I can't talk about Google ePub because I don't have a Sony eBookstore account, which is required to access the *free* Google ePubs. Go figure! Sony likes to shoot itself in the foot like that *all* the time with "free" stuff.)

Also, I wouldn't be surprised at some to point to see - pardon the expression - the *Kindle* Reader app for the Pre too. Given that Amazon has its music store already done, I'm certain Kindle is being worked on.

RE: Reader Titles
2klbs @ 4/7/2009 3:26:39 PM # Q
Interesting tidbit on the Stanza/Adobe DRM plans, thanks. I missed that.

Your note did remind me that Google already has a optimized search for Google Book Search for iPhone/Touch and Android.

I don't use a dedicated PC ePub viewer (and Adobe DE seems to clear my library after each update), so no, I haven't seen the how the formats look direct from Project Gutenberg. However, the books I've loaded so far from the Sony ebook store look pretty good on their device (I received a PRS-505 as a gift last year). Before they rolled this, I often had some wonky results when I tried to convert Google Book Search works to PDF when displayed on the Sony Reader. Loading PDF-format books purchased from Powell's has similar results. All those experiences made me appreciate Stanza's results on my wife's Touch. I also still use my Treo to read items purchased from Fictionwise when I don't want to lug more than the 'phone around.

Your note about Sony screwing up the "free" books made me chuckle. When Google and Sony announced the partnership, I wondered as to philosophy of loudly proclaiming support for an open format while restricting access through a branded reader. I do think, however, that it will give a much needed plug and widened exposure for ePub.

While it's likely a small demographic of potential Pre buyers looking for ebook compatibility, your post is all good news for this and other WebOS devices.

Battery and cost questions aside, I'm interested to see if Palm implements a "cloud" storage option for media content. My wife can fill up 8GB on the Touch pretty quickly.

End of Contract with Sprint- to become a "Pre-vert" or go Android?

RE: Reader Titles
mikecane @ 4/8/2009 6:28:50 AM # Q
PDF publishers need to do this:
http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/reference-optimize-pdfs-for-sony-reader/

That ginornous Plastic Logic e-reader will do existing PDFs just fine.

What also probably will too: any 10"-screen Apple Tablet.

Given Apple now has an eBook-capable device population that crushes the eInk-reader population, ePub could wither and die as people use that Apple Tablet and settle for PDF.

ePub is not the godsend we thought:
http://ebooktest.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-adobe-hindering-ebooks.html

And, oh, LIT!
http://ebooktest.blogspot.com/2009/04/ah-gorgeous-lit.html

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