Chapters Online Announces Plans to Launch eBook Superstore

Selection of book titles will be available for digital downloading onto PC and Pocket PCusing Microsoft Reader software.
Chapters Online Inc., the Canadian e- commerce company which operates www.chapters.ca and www.gardencrazy.com, leading Canadian destinations for online shoppers, today announced plans to launch a Microsoft Reader eBook superstore in the digital book section at Chapters.ca. Soon, customers will be able to visit the store and digitally download a selection of book titles onto their PC and Pocket PC.

Chapters Online and Microsoft Corporation are working together with the goal of expanding the number of eBook titles available to Canadians. Microsoft Reader is a new software application from Microsoft for PCs and handheld devices known as Pocket PCs that delivers an on-screen computer reading experience that, for the first time, approaches the quality of reading text on paper.

Books available in Microsoft Reader format allow book lovers to instantly download titles over the Internet and begin reading them immediately, eliminating the need to wait for the physical delivery of books. Customers will be able to read these new eBook titles on their PCs and Pocket PCs with the Microsoft Reader software. Microsoft Reader will be available for free download from the Microsoft.com/reader site later this year. There will also be a link from the Chapters.ca site so customers can conveniently download the Microsoft Reader software.

``Chapters Online continues to execute its plan into expanding its digital content as a result of Canadian consumers' enthusiastic response to buying books, music and software online at Chapters.ca,'' said David Hainline, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Chapters Online. ``Chapters Online is a leader in Canadian e-commerce and will continue to be a leader in bringing new technologies and products to Canadians.''

Today's announcement builds on Chapters Online's promise to make digital content available to Canadian consumers. The announcement with Microsoft follows other exciting eBook initiatives at Chapters.ca including the launch of Coles Notes as eBooks and the tremendous success of Stephen King's eBook Riding the Bullet in March. More than 10,000 Chapters.ca customers downloaded Riding the Bullet in the first 48 hours of its release making it the most successful debut of a book on Chapters.ca.

``Chapters Online's strength will make the Microsoft Reader software and books in the Microsoft Reader format available to hundreds of thousands of Chapters.ca book customers in a matter of months,'' said Elliot Katz, Pocket PC and Microsoft Reader marketing manager for Microsoft Canada Co. ``We believe that once consumers have access to high-quality eBook titles and the readability provided by the Microsoft Reader software, the potential of digital books will finally be realized.''

Microsoft has a growing list of books available for the Microsoft Reader software. Over 30 publishers recently announced plans to have more than 800 of their books available in Microsoft Reader format later this summer. Michael Crichton's latest bestselling novel Timeline, along with 15 ``Star Trek'' titles are also available in Microsoft Reader format immediately.


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