Web site books ’em

ABC in Noble cyber-deal to tie tube, tomes

With books now one of the biggest moneymakers in cyberspace, just about everyone is trying to get into the action — even television networks.

This week, ABC’s Web site, abc.com, signed an exclusive deal with Barnes & Noble to offer online “visitors” the ability to buy books at every point in the site where books are mentioned.

Dubbed a marriage between “the top network Web site (according to March research from Media Metrix) and the world’s leading bookseller,” the deal is the latest example in the online bookselling goldrush.

Amazon.com, which only exists online, still leads the way in Internet book sales. But Barnes & Noble’s fast and furious deal-making of late has included agreements with America Online, Disney, CNN Interactive and exclusive distribution contracts with roughly 7,000 other Web sites.

The Borders chain recently launched its Web site and Bertelsmann AG has announced plans for a virtual global bookstore — and these are only the biggest of the big in terms of book publishing’s vast, new sales frontier.

The new ABC site includes a “Book” area on the home page, co-branded with the bookstore chain’s site, barnesandnoble.com, offering “book-related entertainment content.”

Translation?

The book area at abc.com will feature a section called “Celebrity Corner,” which will highlight books written by and about celebrities, and another section will conveniently list all author appearances on ABC programs.

So, for example, after ABC viewers see William Shatner tonight on the Alphabet net’s latenight talker, “Politically Incorrect,” they can go directly to abc.com’s “Book” area and link to the vast array of Shatner-penned “Star Trek” books — including his latest, “Star Trek: Spectre,” just out from Pocket Books.

And with a quick click and a credit card number, Barnes & Noble will have a book immediately on its way.

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