Borders bookstore chain launched an eBookstore Wednesday, aiming to take a 17 percent share of the eBook market.
It has a bit of catching up to do, as Barnes & Noble has a year’s head start on Borders, and just announced it has a 20 percent share of the eBook market, making it the number two seller behind Amazon. B&N also hopes to reach a 25 percent share by 2013.
Not to worry, says Borders. “The race to emerge as a retail leader within the digital category is just starting,” said CEO Mike Edwards. “During the past several months, we’ve been carefully crafting a digital strategy, one that has great content and a device-neutral philosophy…”
Borders’ eBookstore launches with more than 1.5 million titles, including thousands of free titles. It’s powered by the Kobo eReading service and is compatible with many eBook and eReader formats. Like B&N, the chain will open demo stations. Borders calls them Area-e sections and they will be in almost all Borders locations by early September, staffed by Borders’ associates.
The bookseller also announced Wednesday new BlackBerry and Android eReader apps for the BlackBerry Curve, Tour 9630 and Bold as well as Android-based phones and devices.
Borders also sells several eReader brands including a $149 Kobo eReader and the $119 Libre eBook Reader Pro. It announced earlier this year it plans to carry a $399 dual screen Alex eReader.