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Barnes & Noble Offers Digital Audiobook Downloads

In an effort to keep up with the Jones (Amazon), Barnes & Noble has launched a digital audio bookstore. I’m not an audiobook aficionado so I can’t speak to whether the prices are a good deal. The digital downloads are mp3s which means that there are no DRM restrictions such as there are for content (owned by Amazon).

The interesting part about the PW article regarding this was the last sentence:

Later this year, B&N is expected to launch an e-bookstore, following its acquisition earlier this year of Fictionwise.

If BN opens its own ebookstore, will Fictionwise totally fade away? Will eReader which is owned by Fictionwise? And does the development of the BN ebookstore explain the decline of quality in service at Fictionwise currently?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Sabrina
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 13:15:56

    As a huge fan of audio books this is music to my ears. Especially the DRM free part!

    It will be interesting to follow what happens with Fictionwise and B&N.


  2. Estara
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 13:36:10

    If I may add the information for other Non-US citizens: this offer only applies for people with a US address, according to the ordering info on the site.

  3. Jane
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 14:48:30

    @Sabrina Yeah for no DRM. But Boo for geographical limitations. Hello, we are in the 21st C.

  4. Rebecca
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 15:01:44

    There is a 50% off coupon code through May 3rd. The prices seems comparable to Books on Board, but the selection is less.

  5. Tina Burns
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 17:12:52

    I think this is a great idea. My commute is about 2 hours a day and I’m horrible at returning books to the library, so my late fees would about cover the price of the audio books. Off to check out the selections.

  6. DS
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 19:05:02

    I’m a big Audible fan– have been since 2004. My membership costs about $230/year for which I get 24 credits to download books– most are 1 credit so books cost about $9.58 ea. I also get a free subscription to either the NY Times or Wall Street Journal although I’ve never taken much advantage of these. There’s membership discount on books not purchased with credits also.

    While audible has DRM I never pay much attention to it because I have all of my devices listed with iTunes and it is possible (but tedious) to copy the books to CD. I also have one of the few programs that will take the audible file and convert it directly into a MP3 file.

    The B & N online shop is a little confusing because it’s not clear at a glance what books are available for download and which have to come through the mail. B&N also does the we’ll send you an email with a link thing before you can download. My Audible books can be downloaded from the website at any time after purchase. I do have them backed up to DVD since I don’t trust any web site to maintain files forever but so far I can even now go back and download the first book I ever bought from them– Time Traveler’s Wife.

    I’ll browse to see if they have anything I can’t find on Audible, but they really need to work on their site before they will beat Audible as a place to buy audiobook downloads.

  7. Sherry Thomas
    Apr 28, 2009 @ 19:06:20

    Oh wow, Julia Quinn unabridged mp3 for less than $3! If only I could find my shuffle.

    On the other hand, so far it’s only classics and big authors, at least in romance. So my audio isn’t there yet. :-(

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