Amazon and Barnes & Noble have the hog’s share of the e-book market.
Yes, you can buy your e-books directly from the electronic book publishers – most of them small houses – but if you want Stephen King’s or Mary Higgins Clark’s latest book in digital, and those of other top-selling writers, you go to Amazon or B&N.
Now, though – as of this month – you can buy your e-books from Borders’ electronic bookstore. The company hopes to get 17 percent of the total e-book business within a year . . . and maybe they will. Borders sells the two lowest priced e-readers out there, the Kobo at $149 and the Aluratek Libre at $119. Additionally, Borders gives you a $20 gift certificate with its Kobo to bring the effective price of the machine down to $129, $20 below Barnes & Noble’s cheapest Nook e-reader.
The company, in financial trouble for much of the past decade, continues to be. Borders reports that its in-store sales for the first quarter of the year dropped 11 percent from the same period last year.
The company lost $64 million for the quarter.
But that’s not as bad as the first quarter of last year when the company lost $86 million.
Borders is half the size of Barnes & Noble. It has 683 stores and 8 percent of the consumer book market, where B&N has 1,357 stores and 16.7 percent of the consumer book business.
Later today: William Kent Krueger keeps his mystery series going