Barnes & Noble Re-Launches SparkNotes.com
New York, NY - September 17, 2009 - Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, announced today the online re-launch of SparkNotes, the number one study aid website that offers today's most popular study guides, discussion forums and learning aids to help students figure out any subject fast and have fun doing it. As students nationwide get back to their books, SparkNotes.com has geared up for the start of the school year with an updated user-friendly design; new and enhanced content and tools such as interactive quizzes, flashcards and polls; and advice and tips on all aspects of school life from a range of expert bloggers.
"SparkNotes is designed to help students make sense of their assignments in the fastest, most effective way while being as fun as possible, so they can quickly get to where they really want to be," said Mike Skagerlind, vice president and head of digital content for Barnes & Noble.com. "The newSparkNotes.com site provides students with a more enjoyable and effectivelearning experience. Our writers are experts in the subjects they cover andthey simplify and clarify what can be challenging material with the right blend of humor and enthusiasm that speaks directly to students."
SparkNotes' expanded content reflects that voice on a well-designed, easily navigable site which makes both school assignments and school life easily understandable for students, both inside and outside the classroom. SparkNotes.com's newest features include:
• Quick Quizzes for Top 20 Literature Study Guides - Each section of the top literature study guides will feature an interactive quiz at the section's end so students can easily test out what they have learned.
• Flashcards Application - Newly launched subjects for the flashcards application include English Vocabulary, U.S. History and Biology, with more to come. SparkNotes flashcards offer a "fast learning mode," designed according to scientific guidelines to be more effective than traditional ways to use flashcards.
• eBooks - Over 700 SparkNotes study guides are available in eBook format from the Barnes & Noble eBookstore (www.bn.com/ebooks) and are directly linked to each relevant Sparknote study guide.
The revamped SparkNotes site also posts a series of blogs providing tips and advice not found in any textbook, allowing commenting from the vocal SparkNotes community of users. Subjects range from writing, handling assignments, SAT prep and getting into college, to finding the perfect music playlist for effective studying, or ways to navigate school cliques:
• Test Prep Tutor blog - Tips and tactics for taking the SAT. Blogger Allen Mogol is a former Marketing Director for The College Board who keeps his finger on the pulse of high school issues as an active member of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association. John Crowther, Executive Editor of SparkNotes.com, is also a contributor to this blog.
• College Advisor blog - Guidance about selecting and applying for college and financial aid. Financial aid blogger Brandon Rogers is the author of 10 Things You Gotta Know about Paying for College and 10 Things You Gotta Know about Choosing a College. His articles have appeared in The Council for Research Development Dispatch and Seattle Weekly. College admissions blogger Corinne Clemetsen is currently employed as an admission counselor at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.
• Miss Marm blog - Covers writing, grammar, style and assignment planning by Emma Chastain, author of SparkNotes guides on writing and style.
• SparkLife - The "study break" area of the site. SparkLife posts help to make sense of the social and cultural side of school and college (with a healthy dose of wry humor), as well as covering topics of interest to the student population, such as School, Books, Guides, Advice, Digital, and Music.