Barnes & Noble has unveiled Nook for Web, which will allow PC and Mac users to sample and buy Nook eBooks directly from the browser.
To access a free sample, click the "Read Instantly" icon next to any book, and the selection will appear automatically. Purchase the eBook to continue reading on the PC, and pick up later on a Barnes & Noble Nook eBook reader or Nook mobile app.
Barnes & Noble said Nook for Web is compatible with all PC and Mac Web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Support for Internet-enabled tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices is expected in the autumn.
To promote the service, Barnes & Noble is offering six of its best-selling eBooks for free until 26 July. That includes Map of Bones by James Rollins, Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell, The Vow by Kim Carpenter, The Boxcar Children Summer Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner, Brave by Tennant Redbank and Perfect Island Getaways by Patricia Schultz. Users can instantly read a sample, and then download the entire book for free on any browser.
"Nook for Web makes it easier than ever for anyone – from Nook customers to those experiencing digital content for the first time – to access and read books online," Jamie Iannone, president of Digital Products at Barnes & Noble, said in a statement. "There's no need to download special software to access your digital library."
In August 2011 Amazon unveiled its Kindle Cloud Reader, an HTML5-based reading app accessible via amazon.com/cloudreader, which provides access to eBooks through the browser, offline and online, with no downloading or installation required.
Last month, Barnes & Noble announced that DC Entertainment's line of graphic novels is now available on the Nook.