walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Barnes and Noble article


This is pretty funny:

"In the late nineties, Barnes & Noble introduced an early e-reader, and it debuted an e-bookstore in 2001. Launching into digital books was a bold, potentially transformative move. But the e-books initiative was plagued by bad luck—including a launch date of September 11—lack of support from publishers, and primitive technology; Barnes & Noble pulled the plug in 2003. With the benefit of hindsight, Riggio realizes that the company blew a crucial opportunity. “We were too early,” he said. “Too early is as bad as too late in business.”"

Of course they are talking about the Rocket eBook. Conspicuously NOT mentioned is the same problem which plagued the Sony Reader: pricing at or above hardcover prices with _no discounting whatsoever_, even after a book became available in paperback. If they'd been willing to price the content appropriately, it probably would have taken off; it was at least as good a solution as using the Palm to read ebooks, about as popular at the time.

The article is interesting, but contains too many inaccuracies to be trustworthy, including the incorrect, but oh so popular:

"Earlier this summer, Amazon announced that it now sells more e-books than physical books." No. They did not announce that. _Hardcover_.

I don't know how much I trust the information about Burkle. I'm very curious, tho.
Tags: e-book coverage
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