From Books to “Nooks” for Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble has finally launched its electronic reading device dubbed “Nook.”

The world’s largest book retailer is taking direct aim at Amazon’s Kindle with this new device. And the launch from B&N takes the e-reading experience to a whole new level – a situation leading some to believe that a competitive struggle could emerge that could eventually draw the likes of Apple into the mix.

For now, the Nook has been formally rolled out with a price tag comparable to that of Amazon’s latest edition of Kindle: $259

The Nook, which will begin shipping around Thanksgiving, was announced in grand fashion, but the timing of the release could not have come at a worse time. After all, if Barnes & Noble would have had previous knowledge that Apple would be releasing a full slate of new products on Tuesday, it’s unlike the book retail giant would have selected the same day to announce Nook’s arrival.

The company plans to push the Nook in its bricks and mortar stores but with heavy mobile marketing aspects. Every time a customer brings their Nook into a Barnes & Noble store, for example, digital coupons and the latest promotions will be sent directly to the cutting edge new reader.

The Nook uses AT&T’s wireless network, and thanks to “LendMe” technology, users can “lend” a book for up to two weeks from one Nook to another.

Although the Nook was overshadowed by Apple yesterday, a lot of people will be talking about the new e-reader this week and its implications for both the publishing and mobile marketing industries in the years ahead.