Barnes & Noble Enter the Future of Publishing with Purchase of Top E-Book Retailer

March 7th, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports today that “Barnes & Noble Inc. acquired Fictionwise, a leading retailer of electronic books, and said it will launch a new e-bookstore this year, as the e-book market heats up.

“The purchase, for $15.7 million, comes only a few days after Inc., the country’s largest online bookseller, said it is making its Kindle e-books available for reading on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices.”

There is nothing very surprising in all of this, other than perhaps the low purchase price.

What I found fascinating was the statement from Stephen Pendergrast, a co-founder of Fictionwise, that “the single largest category is romance, which he said now accounts for 50% of all sales.”