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Industry Software
Fate Acquired by Barnes & Noble in 2009, web store closed in 2012, some user accounts migrated to Nook store.
Founded June 5, 2000 (2000-06-05)
Defunct December 4, 2012 (2012-12-04)
Key people
R. Scott Pendergrast, Founder ; J. Stephen Pendergrast, Founder
Products electronic books
Slogan Excellence in eBooks

Fictionwise, owned by Barnes & Noble, was one of the largest electronic book sellers in North America with an estimated 1.5 million ebook content units sold in 2008. Fictionwise sold both encrypted and unencrypted ebooks in various formats (including Mobipocket, ePub, and eReader) that were compatible with computers as well as a wide range of Smartphones, PDAs, and eBook devices.

In November 2012, almost four years after being acquired by Barnes & Noble, the company announced that it was "winding down its business".


The website was launched on June 5, 2000, as a partnership between J. Stephen Pendergrast and Mindwise Media, LLC, which is owned by his brother R. Scott Pendergrast. The success of Fictionwise led to it being spun out of Mindwise Media into a separate company in October 2000.

On January 1, 2008, Fictionwise acquired the eReader business unit of Motricity, Inc. eReader was one of the oldest ebook sellers, originally starting under the name Peanut Press and later renamed Palm Reader when owned by Palm, Inc. By acquiring eReader, Fictionwise nearly doubled in revenue.

After the eReader acquisition, Fictionwise immediately began expanding platform coverage of the eReader eBook format to include three more recent versions of the Symbian operating system, newer Mac OS X operating system, iPhone and iPod touch platforms. They also made the "Pro" versions of eReader software free, and developed the first mobile-friendly version of the commerce site. In December 2008 Fictionwise licensed the eReader format to Lexcycle, who integrated it into their Stanza ebook reader for iPhone. Fictionwise indicated that additional licensing deals were in progress. Fictionwise released a Blackberry beta version of eReader on March 11, 2009. The company also developed an Android version of eReader.

On March 5, 2009, Fictionwise was acquired by Barnes & Noble for $15.7 million in cash (plus the potential for earn-outs). Barnes & Noble said it planned to use Fictionwise as part of its overall digital strategy, which included the launch of an e-Bookstore later that year.

In March 2010, Fictionwise discontinued its "Buywise Club" which, in exchange for a membership fee, had offered discounted pricing for all their ebooks.[1]

On November 15, 2012, Fictionwise announced it would "wind down its operation" on December 4, 2012, and that US customers would lose download access to their purchased books on December 21, 2012, non-US customers on January 31, 2013. US and UK customers were offered the option to transfer their customer account, including their purchased e-books, to a user account for Barnes & Noble's Nook.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biba, Paul (2010-03-30). "Fictionwise Buywise Club is discontinued – killed by the agency model?". Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  2. ^ Curtis, Richard. "Fictionwise is over". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 

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