Is Fictionwise About to Walk the Plank?

Teleread has an interesting editorial about the future of Fictionwise/eReader (or lack thereof). Yes, there’s the elimination of the buywise program, and there’s the slow death of the PDB format in favor of ePUB. The really bad news: There’s no intention to release an iPad-specific version of eReader. So your choices are either blow the app up to 2x size or skip making use of the gorgeous iPad screen. Or, of course, just buy your books through Barnes and Noble instead.

It’s a shame, really. Many, many ebook fans started their reading on Peanut Press, which turned into eReader and then from there was bought by Fictionwise before being snapped up by Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately for eReader, they were hit where they couldn’t compete; price. Amazon (and then Sony) came in and started charging $9.99 for most new ebooks, while eReader was still offering significantly higher prices. Adobe and ePUB became quasi-default standards for many dedicated ebook readers.

Plus, the iPhone’s popularity was both a blessing and a curse. While it opened up eReader to a huge audience, it also meant eReader was going head to head with Amazon’s Kindle and Stanza apps AND eReader’s cousin the Barnes and Noble eReader. Gear Diary’s own Doug has documented his trials and tribulations with being unable to add eReader books to the B&N app.

And as ebook popularity has ramped up by triple digits, the big names have been dominating. People know Barnes and Noble’s nook, they know Amazon’s Kindle, and when they go looking for an ebook reader for their iPhone, they’re looking for B&N and Amazon. But not even updating for the iPad is just an admission that B&N wants eReader/Fictionwise to die a slow, quiet death. The B&N app, of course, will be updated and available in glorious fullscreen. That kind of obvious favoritism shows where B&N thinks the future lies, and it’s not with Fictionwise.

So here’s my question for you: When did you last buy a book from eReader or Fictionwise? Did you start buying from them and then switch to another store, or have you been loyal from the start? Does the lack of an iPad HD app bother you? Let me know below!

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About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?