With prices of romantic novels (seems like they have a lot of those) as low as $3.60, and with prices topping off apparently at $12.99, prices are pretty inline with their competitors. Books-a-Million is popular in the South and Midwest, and like the other bookstore chains, they must figure that if you’re already shopping there, you’ll buy eBooks from them as well. They claim to have “hundreds of thousands” of titles, so selection shouldn’t be too much of an issue for most.
That said, one thing that Book-a-Million lacks is an eReader of their own, and seems to be pushing the on-the-way-to-the-back-of-the-line Sony Reader, which just doesn’t match up against either Barnes & Nobles’ Nook or Amazon’s Kindle or the iPad (and probably not against Borders’ Kobo, not sure). The market for eBooks without an associated eReader is going to be interesting, especially if Google Editions comes out later this summer without any direct ties to an eReader (maybe to Android?).
So while offering eBooks to their customers as another purchasing option probably can’t hurt Books-a-Million, we certainly don’t see this as disruptive, at least at present.
For more on eBooks, read our Alex Wilhelm’s “The Future of Electronic Reading“.