B&N Puts Focus on Digital

Barnes & Noble Inc. is expected to debut a new e-reader on Tuesday, marking the latest chapter in the bookseller’s battle with Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to dominate the fast-growing digital book sales business.

In a bid to make a splash in the book industry, Barnes & Noble is hosting its event the same week the annual booksellers’ convention unfolds in New York City. The convention attracts publishers and retailers from around the world. Bertelsmann AG, which owns publisher Random House Inc., recently said that e-books now account for as “much as half” of first-week sales for some U.S. fiction titles.

Barnes & Noble, which once lagged about two years behind Amazon on the digital books and e-reader front, must now try to lure back as many consumers as possible.

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