Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com, GalleyCat, and lady Jane’s Salon posted via Twitter the news from Teleread, which of course has crashed like the server was slashdotted. Forbes has the story as well: Barnes and Noble has purchased Fictionwise for a reported $15.7 million dollars.
The deal gives Barnes & Noble a presence in the e-book market prior to the launch of its e-Bookstore later this year.
The transaction may also include additional performance-based payments to Fictionwise over the next two years.
Barnes & Noble plans to keep New Jersey-based Fictionwise as an individual division after the deal closes, with founders Steve and Scott Pendergrast remaining at its helm.
Looks like Barnes and Noble is going to launch a more multi-platform-friendly ebookstore using Fictionwise as part of the ebook offering later this year. Commence edge-of-my-seat watching and waiting to see what happens. And a bit of nail-chewning ruminations as to what will become of Borders at this point.
Teleread’s article has bits of an interview with Pendergrast and some analysis as to what this means for the ePub standard.
To quote Jane Litte, who just called me for a bit of “Holy crap!”, “Someone (Hi Barnes and Noble!) is paying attention to the future of ebooks.”