Looking to build the e-book market and reach the millions of people who use the new Adobe Reader 6.0, the Adobe Company has launched an online bookstore that will offer a wide variety of downloadable digital content in the Adobe Reader format.
Although the Adobe Digital Media Store (digitalmediastore.adobe.com) has been up and running since October, the site will officially launch this week with a 10% discount on all purchases. Digital vendor and e-book wholesaler OverDrive will handle fulfillment for the e-store, and Adobe will receive a percentage of each sale made through the site. The digital store will offer 20,000 to 30,000 digital titles, including e-books, digital magazines and other electronic documents. The store will also sell specialized content, like audiobooks and sheet music. James Alexander, director of Adobe cross-media publishing, said, "We see the store very broadly. Any kind of digital content will be considered. We're still in a growth mode and we're looking to make more material available to consumers."
The store is looking to build on the popularity of the newly released Adobe Reader, which combines the old Adobe Acrobat document reader and the Adobe e-book reader into one reader with secure DRM. The reader is free and can be downloaded at www.adobe.com. The new software also permits users to register for an ID that will allow them to read DRM-protected content on multiple computers and includes a link that will take the user directly to the digital store.
Alexander told PW the site is already getting "tens of thousands of page views a day, and we haven't even begun to promote it. Sales have already exceeded our expectations." Asked if the site puts Adobe into competition with online retailers—its customers—Alexander said the site offers "opportunities to sell the print versions," with links to online retailers Amazon.com and Yahoo.com. "We're in a different business than vendors like Amazon and eBooks.com. They are valued partners for us. Our inventory will be different. We won't carry everything."
"We want a robust, quality marketplace for e-books," said Alexander. "We don't quite understand B&N's early retreat from the e-book market."