Press Release

<< Back Launches e-Books Store, Offering Unique and Exclusive Content to Customers

SEATTLE--Nov. 14, 2000--

By Bringing Together the Strengths of, Microsoft and, New Store Makes Shopping for Digital Content Easier Than Ever

Leading online retailer (Nasdaq:AMZN) today announced the opening of its new electronic book store (, featuring content that has never before been available in print along with exclusive electronic book (e-book) titles in Microsoft Reader format (Nasdaq:MSFT) and downloadable digital audio titles from Audible, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADBL).

E-books are already delivering brand-new content--whether it's access to books before they hit the street (M.J. Rose's In Fidelity) or a short essay by author David Baldacci on the origins of his latest novel (The Origins of Wish You Well)--to readers in a fast and easy-to-use new format. Some of the titles offered in the e-Books store that are not available in print include:

  • In Fidelity by M.J. Rose (Pocket Books)

  • Star Trek: S.C.E #1: The Belly of the Beast by Dan Wesley Smith (Pocket Books)

  • Star Trek: S.C.E. #2: Fatal Error by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Pocket Books)

  • Snow: The Prologue to Winter's Heart by Robert Jordan (Simon & Schuster Trade)

  • Turtle Island Dreaming by Thompson Sayer Crockett (

  • Up, Simba! 7 Days on Trial of an Anticandidate by David Foster Wallace (

The new e-Books store brings together the best of search capabilities, unique personalization features, insightful customer reviews and vast selection--and combines it with the strengths of the Microsoft Reader eBook platform to bring customers the ultimate destination for digital content. Offering e-books in Microsoft Reader format for PCs and laptops, and downloadable e-audiobooks from partner, the new store makes it easy for novices to get started with these new formats and for experts to find exactly what they are seeking.

"E-books are already opening up a whole new world for readers," said Lyn Blake, Books general manager. "What's exciting for readers is that we are just scratching the surface today with the technology and the content, and the potential for both is amazing. While customers will continue to be impressed with the technology as it advances, we think it's the unique and exclusive content that will really delight customers, as demonstrated today by our launch with a host of titles that are unavailable in print or audio anywhere else."

With more than a thousand e-book titles ranging from science fiction to business and investing to romance to health, mind, and body and more, the e-Books store lets customers download recent bestsellers or find their favorite traditional works. The store also features more than 30 free e-book titles available for download, providing customers a risk-free opportunity to experience e-books and test drive Microsoft Reader.

Five bestselling titles are making their e-book debut exclusively at They are: -- Leading the Revolution (Harvard Business School Press)-- an Hot 100 title written by bestselling business
        strategist Gary Hamel
    --  Secrets of Frank Herbert's Dune (ibooks)-- the
        highly-anticipated insider's guide to the upcoming television
        miniseries airing on the Sci-Fi channel
    --  The GE Way Fieldbook: Jack Welch's Battle Plan for Corporate
        Revolution (McGraw-Hill)-- Hot 100 title that
        outlines Welch's successful strategies while CEO at General
    --  The New American Standard Bible (Foundation Publications)--
        considered the most literally accurate translation of the
        Bible in the English language
    --  Worst-Case Scenario Handbook (Chronicle Books)-- the quirky
        "how-to" guide that provides readers sound advice for those
        unexpected life-threatening situations

"Once again, is redefining what it means to buy a book," said Steve Stone, general manager of the Microsoft eBooks product group. "The combination of's incredible shopping experience and the unique capabilities and instant delivery available with Microsoft Reader will make electronic reading a powerful new reality." has brought together leading digital technology providers to ensure a seamless customer experience. Microsoft has created a customized version of Microsoft Reader, giving customers the ability to purchase and download e-book titles directly from and store an entire library of content on their laptops and PCs.

Microsoft Reader is the first product to include ClearType(TM) display technology, a Microsoft innovation that greatly improves font resolution on LCD screens for users of desktop or laptop PCs running the Windows(R) operating system as well as handheld reading devices. Microsoft Reader strictly adheres to the traditions and benefits of fine typography. It provides a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; full justification; proper spacing, leading and kerning; and powerful tools for bookmarking, highlighting and annotation. Microsoft Reader is available for free immediate download at

The e-Books store will also feature the latest in e-audiobook titles from, including two digital exclusives that are not available in conventional cassette tape or CD formats. They are: -- The Second Coming of Steve Jobs (Random House Audible)-- Alan

        Deutschman's in-depth portrait of the man who helped to found
        Apple Computer and then returned to lead the company to new
    --  E-Boys (Random House Audible)-- business historian Randall E.
        Stross's take on venture capitalists and billion-dollar
        start-ups provides's customers with more than 15,000 digital audio titles ready for download or streaming or portable listening, ranging from bestselling e-audiobooks to a vast array of comedy, daily audio newspapers and magazines, business information and public radio programs.

"Audible is about offering customers a desktop, laptop or mobile listening experience that is as intellectually evocative, as informative, and just as entertaining as reading," said Donald Katz, founder and chairman of Audible, Inc. "We are proud to bring customers the opportunity to program their own listening time with digital audio streams and downloads from" has engaged Lightning Source Inc.SM to provide seamless fulfillment of e-books for the new store. Lightning Source draws on its experience with publishers and its technological expertise to provide comprehensive digital fulfillment services including secure e-book delivery.

About (, Inc., and its subsidiaries) is the Internet's No. 1 retailer. (Nasdaq:AMZN) opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection, along with online auctions and free electronic greeting cards. seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online. lists more than 28 million unique items in categories such as electronics, kitchen products, books, music, DVDs, videos, camera and photo items, toys, software, computer and video games, tools and hardware, and lawn and patio items. Through zShops, any business or individual can sell virtually anything to's more than 25 million customers, and with Payments, sellers can accept credit card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments. operates four international Web sites:,,, and It also operates the Internet Movie Database (, the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 250,000 movies and entertainment titles and 1 million cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1891 to 2003.

Amazon Anywhere is the leader in mobile e-commerce, providing access from anywhere in the world to, and on personal digital assistants (PDAs) and through handheld wireless Internet devices that use HDML or the Wireless Application Protocol.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others,'s limited operating history, anticipated losses, significant amount of indebtedness, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risk of distribution center expansion, risks related to fourth quarter performance, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, inventory risks, risks related to auction and zShops services, risks related to fraud and Payments, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, strategic alliances and the Amazon Commerce Network. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 1999, and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2000, June 30, 2000, and September 30, 2000.

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