It looks as though Bantam Dell isn’t the first North American publisher to open a bookstore in the popular online virtual world Second Life. John Wiley & Sons launched its own bookstore in January and held a virtual reception in February for Second Life: The Official Guide, by Michael Rymaszewski, Wagner James Au, Mark Wallace and Catherine Winters.

Ashley Evens, a technology publicist at Wiley, said that while the Wiley store is open for business, the only title it currently offers is The Official Guide. Besides the book, the store’s kiosks sell digital enhancements for residents’ Avatars—graphic representations of Second Life denizens—and Evens said more Wiley titles will be added in the future. Second Life: The Official Guide can be purchased at the Wiley store though links to B&N and

The book, which offers a complete overview on "living" and working in the Second Life "metaverse," is endorsed by Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life, who wrote a foreword to the guide. Evens said an author reception for The Official Guide at the Wiley Store in Second Life drew about 60 residents, who got a chance to meet and greet the authors. The event was moderated by Aimee Webber, a Second Life virtual celebrity, who also happens to be the coauthor of forthcoming book from Wiley: Creating Your World: The Official Guide to Advanced Content Creation for Second Life is due out in August. And coming in October is the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life: Making Money in the Metaverse by Daniel Terdiman, a guide that explains how to launch and profit from virtual businesses in Second Life. Evens said Wiley has more titles planned on Second Life.