BOSTON. February 9, 2000. In an effort to foster adoption and use of eBooks among a greater number of consumers across the Internet, netLibrary (www.netLibrary.com) has reached an agreement to acquire peanutpress.com, a pioneering distributor of literature for reading on handheld computing devices including the Palm Computing platform, Handspring VisorTM, and devices employing the Windows CE operating system. The announcement was made today at the Seybold Seminars Boston 2000 event here.
netLibrary's acquisition of peanutpress.com unites two of the most prominent names in the eBook marketplace. Since being founded in August 1998, netLibraryTM has established relationships with numerous publishers to build an extensive collection of digital titles for sale to academic, corporate, and public libraries, as well as to consumers through the netLibraryTM website.
peanutpress.com has approached publishers in a fashion similar to netLibraryTM, but has pursued a consumer-direct business model, allowing eBook enthusiasts to purchase digital titles from the peanutpress.com website and download those titles to their handheld devices for convenient, portable reading.
"By joining forces with peanutpress.com, netLibraryTM is making eBooks available to more people in more ways than ever before," said netLibraryTM President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy R. Schiewe. "Like netLibraryTM, peanutpress.com is open to providing the written word for a variety of devices. We both understand that, when it comes to eBooks, content matters most, and readers should have a choice about the device they use."
"We are thrilled to be a part of netLibraryTM," said peanutpress.com President Jeff Strobel. "The technology and content offerings brought to the table by both our companies are a perfect fit and present a great solution to eBook enthusiasts across the Internet."
Since their establishment as eBook companies, netLibraryTM and peanutpress.com have taken slightly different paths in terms of content development. netLibrary's focus has been to serve academic library customers with a collection of reference, scholarly, and academic titles from publishers such as Oxford University Press and Harvard Business School Publications. peanutpress.com, on the other hand, has focused on building one of the most extensive consumer trade eBook collections currently available on the Internet. Books by authors such as Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, and Frank McCourt are available as peanutpress.com editions.
The companies plan to integrate features to create a cohesive new offering that will be available to netLibrary's customers by the end of the year. Content acquisition specialists also plan to pool the companies' respective eBook collections.
"eBook collections at netLibraryTM and peanutpress.com are quite complementary, without much overlap," said Miriam Gilbert, netLibraryTM senior director of publisher relations. "We will work within our existing publisher relationships to obtain permission as needed to create a very well-rounded selection of eBook editions for various platforms and markets."
In addition to greatly increasing the number of eBooks available for download to handheld devices, the acquisition brings peanutpress.com's flexible, user-friendly technology to netLibrary's existing library customers. Patrons at academic and public libraries around the world will have the option of downloading borrowed eBooks to their handheld devices, in addition to the PC-download option previously available through netLibraryTM.
"Our desire to see more people adopt and become comfortable with reading eBooks was central to our acquisition of peanutpress.com," said Schiewe. "We believe that, by working together, we can make eBooks a natural part of the reading habits of people around the world."
Founded in 1998 by Jeff Strobel and Mark Reichelt, peanutpress.com is dedicated to providing secure electronic publishing, distribution, and sales of high-quality fiction and nonfiction. peanutpress.com eBook editions can be purchased and downloaded via the Internet to a variety of handheld computing devices.
Founded in August 1998, Boulder, Colo.-based netLibraryTM has forged relationships with more than 150 publishers of trade, reference, academic, and scholarly books, resulting in a digital library of more than 13,000 titles and counting. netLibraryTM eBooks can be found in the collections of hundreds of libraries and on the netLibraryTM website: www.netLibrary.com. Publishers with eBooks in the netLibraryTM collection include AMACOM Books, Harvard Business School Press, Houghton Mifflin Company, McGraw-Hill, O'Reilly & Associates, and Oxford University Press.