Independent Booksellers Join Early E-Book Efforts

Lightning Source & BookSite Team to Give Independents Access to E-Book Market; Several Independents Already Aboard Pilot Program
BookSite(TM), a leading provider of e-commerce tools to independent bookstores, and Lightning Source Inc.(SM), a pioneer in digital fulfillment, have announced a strategic alliance that will provide Lightning's e-book fulfillment service to BookSite's network of independent bookstores. Under the agreement, these new e-book services will give independent bookstores the ability to sell a range of e-book titles directly to their customers in Microsoft Reader format.

The independent bookstores participating in the pilot program, which will begin offering e-books to their customers in the coming weeks, include Bookpeople in Austin, TX; Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA; McGraw-Hill Bookstore in New York, NY; and Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops in Milwaukee, WI. Efforts will be focused on developing in-store programs to educate the public about e-books, as well as entertain customers with the new technology offered by e-books. The pilot program will explore numerous methods to cross-market e-books with other book forms, including the use of in-store kiosks, shelf talkers, author appearances and e-book demonstrations.

"Independent booksellers maintain close relationships with their customers, which makes them key to consumer trial and adoption of e-books," said Lightning Source President and CEO Ed Marino. "This alliance puts independent booksellers in a critical leadership position as the industry works to make e-books a commercial success story. Their expertise in local and regional markets opens new channels for consumer availability of e-books and provides publishers and authors with access to a loyal book-buying public."

Under the arrangement, BookSite will offer independent booksellers the ability to sell titles from Lightning's growing library of e-books, which includes titles from a wide range of publishers such as HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, iPublish, McGraw-Hill, Penguin Putnam, Simon & Schuster, and Wiley.

"Consumers always appreciate good service, which in the case of e-books is making them easy to find, easy to order, and easy to figure out. The Internet serves the multiple purposes of delivering the promotional content to the store to bring attention to e-books, delivering the e-books themselves, and clearing the payment for the transaction," said President and founder of BookSite, Dick Harte. Lightning Source electronically stores books and other content in its digital library, which currently includes more than 20,000 titles and grows by an average of 400 titles each week. As a complete digital fulfillment company, Lightning works with over 900 domestic and international publishers to make these titles available in various e-book formats, as well as in traditional printed form through its print-on-demand (POD) technology. BookSite provides bookstores with the tools to create, maintain and operate websites to augment their bricks-and-mortar operations. With these tools, BookSite enables independent bookstores to enhance their service offerings to customers by creating a complete online retail presence with book database searching, online registration and ordering, shipping and other capabilities. About Lightning Source Lightning Source Inc., a subsidiary of Ingram Industries Inc., provides a comprehensive suite of digital fulfillment services. The company is revolutionizing the options available to the industry in the secure conversion, storage, management, and distribution of digital content. Lightning stores books and other information electronically and delivers them "on demand" in either traditional printed format or as e-books in response to orders from booksellers, librarians, and publishers. Lightning Source has printed more than 2,000,000 "on demand" books for more than 900 publishers around the world. For more information, visit the website at . About BookSite BookSite pioneered the Click'n Mortar web approach for independent bookstores. BookSite combines e-commerce applications with book databases to enable bookstores to economically add full service web capabilities to their stores and easily customize the web presentations to the store policies. BookSite provides a complementary approach for publishers, offering an electronic catalog service integrated with the BookSite database that stores display to their customers. BookSite databases include all e-books and print- on-demand titles distributed by Lightning Source. The Lightning Source name, corresponding logos, taglines and other service marks identifying Lightning Source and its services are the proprietary marks of Lightning Source Inc. and must be represented accordingly. Other products and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. SOURCE BookSite and Lightning Source Inc. -0- 02/22/2001 /CONTACT: Shannon Hunt, Phil Piemonte, or Stephanie Hall of Lightning Source, 202-289-5900, or; or Dick Harte of BookSite, 800-515-3322, or /Web site: