Mobile
Commentary
7/1/2009
05:59 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Barnes & Noble Matches Amazon eBook Prices

A few months ago Barnes & Noble purchased Fictionwise, the owner of eReader.com, which is one of the most popular ebook stores on the internet. Pricing used to be similar to that of a physical book store, that is to say all over the place. Now they are matching Amazon's Kindle pricing of $9.95. In fact, they are slightly beating Amazon when you include the eReader reward program.

A few months ago Barnes & Noble purchased Fictionwise, the owner of eReader.com, which is one of the most popular ebook stores on the internet. Pricing used to be similar to that of a physical book store, that is to say all over the place. Now they are matching Amazon's Kindle pricing of $9.95. In fact, they are slightly beating Amazon when you include the eReader reward program.I have been an eReader.com customer for over a decade, back when they were called Peanut Press and long before Palm purchased and subsequently sold them. It has always been nice to have a book or two on my phone (or PDA back then) to read late at night without having to turn on a lamp or while waiting at the doctor's office or in line at the DMV without carrying around a paper book.

eBooks never really got much mindshare until Amazon launched the Kindle. Now, unless a person has been living under a rock, they at least know what a Kindle is even if they have no interest in one. Part of the Kindle's popularity is its price model. $9.95 per book, new, old, best seller, classic, whatever - the same price all around. eReader has now more or less matched that pricing scheme. Here is the info I got from them in their weekly email yesterday.

  • All new eBooks are $9.95 or less.
  • No eBook over $12.95. They aren't moving all ebooks to $9.95 or less, only newly published ones. Cutting to $12.95 is a substantial cut for many older books though.
  • All books on the New York Times Bestseller list are $9.95, whether it is new or has been there a while.
  • 15% rewards on each purchase.

The 15% reward deserves a bit of an explanation. To keep the math simple, say you buy a book for $10. You pay $10 on your credit card and 15%, or $1.50, goes into your eReader reward account. Next week, you buy another book for $10. You only pay $8.50 for it though as you get to use your $1.50 credit. The reward on this purchase is $1.28 ($8.50 X 15%) and that goes into your reward account.

When you combine the reward program with their new $9.95 pricing, they are beating Amazon by at least a buck a book.

eReader software is available for a variety of platforms. You can get the free software for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry, PalmOS, Pocket PC and Windows Mobile devices going back to 2002, Symbian S60 and even Windows and Mac desktops. That means you can enjoy reading on a larger netbook screen if you like, or even your 21" wide screen if your eyes can handle it. If you have a Palm Pre, you should be able to run eReader in the Classic environment and for Android users, you'll need to wait another month or two before you can use their software.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.