Sony Now Sending Out Emails About the Transition to Kobo

When sony kobo logoSony announced back in February that they were closing the North American branch of the Sony Reader Store, they promised that their customers would have a chance to shift their accounts to Kobo. 

The Sony Reader Store has been dead for about a week now, and I finally got instructions on how to transfer my Sony account to Kobo.

The process was far simpler than I expected. All i had to do was click the link in the email, and then after I was directed to the Kobo website I clicked the button labeled Get Started. Everything after that happened automatically.

Of course, the fact that I already had an account with Kobo and I never did buy any ebooks from the Sony Reader Store, may have helped. One could argue that I didn't go through the full process.

Have you gotten the email yet? Did you lose any ebooks in the transfer process?

If you haven't transferred your account yet, I would  do it soon. Sony has stated that the store credits will only be transferable until 31 May 2014, and it's better to transfer the credits than it is to let them go to waste.

In related news, Sony is also promising that they will be sending out an update for the Sony Reader next month. The PRS-T1, PRS-T2, and PRS-T3, will be getting an update that replaces the integrated ebookstore with one that is tied to Kobo. A second later update will add the ability to buy ebooks from Kobo directly, saving readers the effort of transferring the ebooks over a USB cable.

About Nate Hoffelder (11598 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

60 Comments on Sony Now Sending Out Emails About the Transition to Kobo

  1. Got the email this afternoon & already did the transfer. It was pretty quick & smooth. Only 5 books didn’t transfer out of a couple dozen. I have no idea which five books didn’t off hand, but I do have pretty much all my Sony books downloaded & hypothetically stripped of DRM.

  2. 92 out of 110 transferred successfully. It claimed the others didn’t transfer because they are not in the Kobo store.

  3. 38 of 41 books in my Sony collection transferred to Kobo automatically. 3 eBooks failed to transfer. The stated reason for the failure to transfer these 3 eBooks is “because they’re not available in the Kobo Store.”

    Of the 3 books that did not transfer, 2 are available for me to purchase from Kobo. Granted, the Kobo eBooks may be different editions or they may have different geographic restrictions on them.

    I talked to Kobo’s help desk, but they were not able to match the two Sony eBooks to the two existing Kobo eBooks manually. If the automatic matching fails there is no other way to do get the books into my Kobo library.

    Kobo’s help desk suggested that I make sure to download the books to my computer while I can still access them at the Sony web site. Of course I did that when the news first broke that the Sony store was closing.

  4. I haven’t gotten my transfer email yet, and I have a 800 + Sony library to transfer. I’d like to get it done as soon as possible, so I’m waiting impatiently!

    • Me either. the sony was a second hand gift but my reader store is tied to my email, not sure why it hasn’t arrived in my in box? since the reader store closed, I have been without an ebook account so getting impatient!

      • I got my email about 12 hours after I made this comment. I heard they were sending the emails out slowly, hopefully you get yours soon. If some of your books don’t transfer over make sure you check to make sure they really aren’t on Kobo. Over 40 of mine they didn’t transfer are on Kobo, but I phoned them, and they are fixing it.

  5. I have about 300 sony books and still have not recieved an email. I’m getting extremely worried. I wish that sony would have worked this out better so I don’t have to stress myself out over this. I can’t find a number to call for help on this matter.

  6. I haven’t recieved my email yet either. I’ve compared book prices on Kobo and Kindle. Kobo usually runs several dollars higher per book. I’m going with Kindle and side loading the Kobo app onto it.

  7. Got the email and did the transfer yesterday. Two books didn’t transfer, said they weren’t available from Kobo. One appears to be available from Kobo, but oh well. I didn’t have any credits. Otherwise it was a smooth process. Of course I downloaded all of my Sony ebooks to my computer and backup external hard drive and T1 a couple weeks ago, so I’m not worried about losing anything. I’ve never actually purchased from Kobo, but I had an account because that’s where the Borders ebooks transferred and I had gotten one free ebook from Borders way back when.

  8. This is why a smart person cracks the DRM on the content THEY PAID MONEY TO PURCHASE the second the download finishes. Otherwise your property rights can be rendered moot by this type of badly planned bureaucratic nonsense or just because they feel like it.

  9. I finally got my transfer email. 621 out of 729 books transferred over in a matter of minutes. The list of ones that didn’t make it looked suspiciously large though, so I took a closer look. Over 40 of the books that didn’t transfer are available on Kobo. I called Kobo customer service and they said to email them list of the ones that should have transferred and they will add them to my Kobo library for me. If you have any books missing that should have transferred I recommend doing the same, but be prepared for long wait times, I spent 25 minutes listening to elevator music waiting to talk to somebody.

    I also noticed Kobo does not have downloadable ePub versions of a couple of the books that did transfer over from Sony.

    Over all, less painful than I thought it would be.

    • 38 of my 41 books transferred. 3 didn’t. 2 of those that didn’t transfer automatically are available for purchase at Kobo.

      I just had a long talk with Kobo’s help desk. I was told that they CAN NOT add these two books to my Kobo account manually. When I told them that others (such as yourself) have reported that books are being added to their accounts manually, the customer service agent went off-line to talk to a supervisor, and then stated once again that if the automatic transfer failed to transfer some books, then the missing books CAN NOT be added manually to the Kobo account.

      Furthermore, the service agent stated that they (Kobo) have a list of books; titles and authors; that they have determined are not eligible to transfer from Sony to Kobo, and that my two books are on this ineligible list. (Note: I made up the name ‘ineligible list’ Kobo’s service agent didn’t call it this.)

      The service agent did say that if a customer’s entire Sony library failed to transfer, then there might have been a software glitch, and that Kobo could look at doing it manually in these cases. If some or most of the books transferred, and only a few did not, then there wasn’t a software glitch.

      I would be interested to hear if the 40+ books that didn’t transfer in your case are actually added to your Kobo library. Do let us know if you succeeded where I have failed.

      • Will do. At this point they have not actually added any of the missing books. The first email I received said “And the books that you are missing after the merge and you found them on our website, they will be added to your account as soon as the merge is completed.” However the last email I received said “The issue you were experiencing with your merger is being investigated. Once we are able to provide you with a resolution, you will be notified ” which is not exactly as promising. The whole “not eligible for transfer” has never been mentioned before now. Both Sony & Kobo said books will not transfer if they are not in the Kobo store, there was no mention of a “not eligible for transfer” list in any of the fine print I read. I hope they figure something out, how they fix this will influence which store I choose to shop from in the future.

      • Well, I’ve heard back from Kobo again. After taking & sending screenshots of all the purchases on the Sony website that did not transfer, but were available to purchase on Kobo, here was the reply:

        “We have verified that there are a total of 105 eBooks that were not able to be migrated to Kobo from your Sony account. We were able to add 8 of these eBooks to your library. You will need to download the remaining 97 eBooks from Sony before April 30th, 2014. Unfortunately, if these eBooks are not downloaded from Sony before the aforementioned date, they will be lost.

        Whilst you may have found some of the other eBooks on the Kobo store, we will not be able to replace these due to publisher restrictions. ”

        Not a satisfying answer in my opinion, since there was no previous mention of publisher restrictions. I went to the Sony website with FAQ about the transfer, and I noticed they don’t say something like “books will not transfer if they are not available in the Kobo store” anymore, instead they say “In a few rare cases, eBooks purchased at Reader Store may not be available at Kobo for re-download.” I guess they have been doing some editing since the last time I was there.

        The Kobo website says “Most of the Reader Store catalogue is available in the Kobo store, so there are very few books that won’t transfer to your Kobo library.” I don’t know, 40 that should have transferred sounds like more than a few to me!

        • So, out of 40+ books that we all think _should_ have transferred you got them to add 8 to your account, but 32+ could not be added because of “publisher restrictions”.

          I am not surprised so much by the existence of these publisher restrictions as by the fact that when they double checked, they found that 8 of your 40+ books could be transferred after all. This is a 20% error rate. What do you think the chances are that Kobo is now double checking all of the books bought by other customers that failed to transfer, and will retroactively add some of them to those customer’s libraries? I wouldn’t bet a penny on it myself.

          If I was in charge of this process, every Sony customer in this situation would receive a detailed email from Kobo saying “although you purchased the book [Title] by [Author] from Sony, and although that book is available for purchase here at Kobo, we can not add this book to your library because the publisher [Publisher] will not permit us to do so. Please contact the publisher directly at [Web Address] to complain.”

          Instead, everyone is angry at Kobo.

          Of course, this anger is partially justified because the existence of “publisher restrictions” that could affect the Sony to Kobo migration was never mentioned by either Sony or Kobo. Instead, we were given a lot of fluff about how easy and complete the transfers would be.

          In my opinion, the potential benefit to Kobo of picking up Sony’s orphaned eBook customers has been significantly reduced by an unsatisfactory transfer process.

          • Yes, that was an alarming error rate. Both Sony & Kobo should have been more upfront about the details of the transfer, and told customers which books would not transfer due to publishers restrictions, or even mentioned there would be publisher restrictions . I did some research into which books Kobo can’t transfer. A large number are self published books, which I guess is understandable. A handful are by different publishers I’ve never really heard of. The worst offender of books not transferring was Kensington with 8. The strange thing is I’m pretty sure a lot of books published by Kensington did transfer, so I’m not sure why most did, and some did not. Very odd.

            From what I hear, some people still haven’t gotten transfer emails, which is alarming. I also feel bad for all the former Sony customers that are trying to figure out how to get new purchased books off of Kobo onto their old Sony readers. Kobo’s instructions on how to do that leave a bit to be desired, and don’t even mention that instead of using Adobe Digital Editions, you can use the Sony Reader Library/Reader for PC to download & open Kobo DRM books to get them on your Reader. I imagine there are a lot of frustrated Sony customers.

          • In an interesting turn of events, when I went into my Kobo library this week 17 books had somehow “transferred” in from Sony. Some were ones that should have transferred in the first place, but didn’t due to publisher restrictions, however others were ones that Kobo didn’t have in their store at the time of the Sony transfer. It was a nice surprise!

  10. I haven’t gotten my email yet from Sony. I should be getting a small settlement check from them too from the ebook lawsuit.

  11. I checked my gmail account this morning at about 3 AM and there were my instructions. When I finished the click trail, 31 out of 37 books transferred to Kobo. Question: I can still read from the Sony Reader on my computer. Is that going away?

    • I would assume it is but didn’t sony give us to the end of May to get our books all transfered? That must be when they will close it altogether.

      • From what I understand the Sony Reader app & Sony Reader computer program will still work, you just won’t be able to download the books or go to the online site anymore. You should still be able to sync your readers with your computer though. I am not sure if you will still be able to download the Sony app or computer program to new devices though, I haven’t heard anything about that yet.

    • FYI … tonight my Sony Reader was updated to use Kobo store. So the software is still there on my computer but the Store is Kobo now.

  12. I believe I have found the answer on Sony’s support page. It gives instructions how to download your books to the Reader Library (Sony) on your PC and/or Mac. There are also instructions for Android and etc. I had already read the Support Page, but had to check again. Sometimes it takes awhile for things to sink in. Hope everyone’s experience is as smooth as mine was.

  13. lol I wouldn’t know i haven’t received the email to switch yet. I called Kobo and they said it was a sony problem but you can’t contact sony directly, instead kobo ffered to do it for me and I should hear back in ten days

  14. I have not received my email to transfer to Kobo when do we receive it?

  15. I got my email on the 31st and all of my books transferred, even the freebies from Sony. The only thing that didn’t transfer was a KJV Bible.

  16. still waiting for mine!

  17. I have not received my transfer to Kobo email but for safety sake I did download the acsm files as instructed here: https://ca.en.kb.sony.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/36348/c/65,67/kw/ereader/session/L3RpbWUvMTM5NjQwNjU3MS9zaWQvU3hOYldLUWw%3D

    I then added each to my Adobe Digital Editions library. Just sharing this here for anyone else who didn’t receive their transfer link. Fortunately I already have a Kobo account – created when many of the books I wanted were not available in Canada from Sony but were from Kobo.

    Ideally I would Kobo to have the record of purchase but I think I haven’t lost anything now by downloading directly. Just wondering when I select the ACSM file in Adobe it says downloading content – is that from the Sony site or is it just unpacking the file that was downloaded? When I added to Adobe Digital edition it created epub files … so just wondering if I need to keep the acsm files if they are useless if connecting to Sony?

    • I’m not positive, but I have never bothered keeping an acsm file from any website. I usually just back up the ePub files. I even automatically convert the ascm files from Kobo (using the Sony Library) to ePub while downloading, so I can entirely deal with ePub files, with the odd PDF title thrown in. I like staying away from acsm files entirely.

      You can also add your Sony ePubs directly to Adobe Digital Editions if they are already on your computer in your Sony Reader Library file without dealing with acsm files at all. A book downloaded from Sony through the Sony Reader Library program on your computer is automatically an ePub file, you don’t have to convert it. If you want you should be able to just add it to ADE directly. This easy downloading of ePubs is one of the biggest reasons I’ll miss the Sony Reader store.

      If you are downloading a book through an online browser you can still skip the saving an acsm file step. I set the default settings on my computer so the Sony Reader Library automatically opens all acsm files, then using Internet Explorer as my browser I click download ePub, and when it asks whether I want to open or save the acsm file, I open it and if all goes well Sony Reader Library converts the acsm file directly into an ePub for me. It should also work if you substitute your default settings to Adobe Digital Editions instead of the Sony Reader Library. (If the file to download from online is not a acsm file, but an ePub or PDF, then you should just save it directly to your computer instead of choosing the open option).

      I’m not sure if that was helpful, but that’s the way I backup all my library files.

  18. Steve I will have to look into it as I haven’t received my link either. I think I have a kobo account too. wonder what the hold up is?

  19. I still haven’t recieved my email from Sony 🙁

    • Me either. I just called Kobo Customer Care and they said they’re still sending out emails. I guess we’ll just have to wait.

  20. Thanks LJ. So does the ACSM file require the host site (Sony) to be available or are they independent of the host – will unpack regardless?

    Incidentally I found that I already had all my books purchased as epub files in the directory My Documents/Reader Library. The transition to KOBO now has be using My Documents/Reader.

    There is also a eBook Library folder in My Documents with a bunch of lrx files that don’t appear to have been updated for some time. All prefixed with cbusce. These are some sort of encrypted files from my google search … assume assoc. with DRM … but curious why there are no recent ones despite recent purchases.

    • Sorry, I’m not sure if the ACSM file needs the host site to be available or not. I’ve never officially learned much about that kind of file, I just learned how to avoid having to download & deal with it by trial & error.

      I do know the My Documents/Reader Library was the destination folder used with the old original Sony Reader Library computer software. When using the original Sony Reader software this is where your ePubs would automatically download to when you purchased books directly from the Reader software. When they changed the software to Reader for PC, the destination folder changed to My Documents/Reader for PC. It may have changed again to My Documents/Reader at a later point, since I do have a folder by that name, but there is currently nothing in mine, so not sure where it came from. In theory if you have been buying from the Sony store for a while you could have ePubs in all three folders. (Note: I still use the original Reader Library so all my new ePubs download to My Documents/Reader Library, which is why my other folders are pretty empty.) When they changed to the Reader for PC desktop program, I think all your old books stayed in the original My Documents/Reader Library folder, so you probably have ePubs to back up in several folders at least. In theory all the books from all Reader folders should be transferred in the move to Kobo. (if they are available at Kobo)

      I’ve never heard of lrx files before, but after googling them, they seem to have something to do with DRM files before Sony switched to using ePub formats. I didn’t start e-reading until after ePub, so I have no experience with them. My best guess is that Sony must have quit using them after ePub came in.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

    • Steve: You asked “So does the ACSM file require the host site (Sony) to be available or are they independent of the host – will unpack regardless?

      .ascm files do not “unpack”.

      Just to be able to give you some real numbers, I just borrowed an epub book from my local library. The ascm file is 2 kb in size. the ePub file is 2,212 kb in size. No file compression program ever invented has a 1000 to 1 compression ratio.

      According to one site that I found with a google search, “ACSM stands for Adobe Content Server Manager. That name gives a clue as to the purpose of these files — they are download manager files. They manage the download of your ebook.”

      My interpretation is that when you open an ascm file with an ebook program, the ebook program gets instructions to contact Adobe (or maybe Sony or in my case Overdrive, the library ebook provider) and to download a particular title. It must also contain some code to say that this will be an authorized download, and that the ascm file wasn’t forged by a book thief. The ascm file may or may not have a validity time period attached, I have no idea. That is, something like “this ascm file is valid for 48 hours from its date of creation”.

      I would not bother to save an ascm file. In the very best case you are relying on some organization out in the “cloud” to keep the book ready and available for download. In the worst case, your saved ascm file may not work at all.

      Download the epub files. Save the epub files.

  21. Actually thank you… you reaffirmed what I suspected with the LRX files. btw … I’ve had a eReader for a long time – nearly 10 yrs (I think). I think I was the first person anyone had seen with one, because during my commute (on public transit), complete strangers would stop and ask, “What is that?” Now they are the thing. My original Sony froze up … can’t remember the model now but my PRS300 keeps going and going. Although I can put my books on my Nexus 7 tablet, I prefer the Sony eReader. It feels more like a book. I am very sad that Sony has stopped making their eReaders.

    • Yes, those old Sony Readers just keep going! Mine is still in good shape. I tend to read more on my iPad (set on the night setting) now, just because it’s faster to load new books onto it.

  22. April 3 – Still no email from Sony or Kobo…

    Did everybody else get theirs?

    Horrible customer service. Should go Kindle in the future.

  23. me either and the frustrating thing is you can’t contact sony to ask why.

  24. April 5th and still no email. Very frustrated because I can’t contact sony to ask why. Sony has handled this very poorly.

  25. Yep… still no contact from sony whatsoever since they closed : / good thing I dont have any credits etc that need to xfer, because kobo claims they wont if you don’t switch before april 1. Hopefully they got those people emails first.

    The kobo help page for sony issues has also been down due to overload( no surprise since it is kobo customer service) every time I have checked. ZTHe people who have gotten through have been told to wait, but other people are telling us to panic. It is kind of annoying as I have a few hundred books from sony.

  26. it is annoying. I didn’t have any credits and to be honest I only buy free books but I want the ability to download books. If i don’t get the email in a week I am buying myself a Kobo. Maybe the timing depends on when you joined? I think I have only been with sony for a year.

  27. I have not received my email yet. I called 1-855-476-6982 and was forwarded to someone. They said they have emailed to have it resent. RESENT? No they didn’t send it at all. For my PRS 1 I found the website to download the update. http://Www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/
    On my desktop and my reader it is updated. The reader store is listed as Kobo but is not yet active, these were firmware updates only.
    Hope this helps someone.

  28. For all the people that didn’t get an email have you tried this yet?

    http://kobo.frontlinesvc.com/app/ask_NA

    I’m not sure if it will help, but it’s an option.

  29. I have opened a ticket with Kobo and they said to contact Sony … I have a ticket open now with support at Sony. If I don’t get a satisfactory answer I will NEVER buy another Sony product again.

  30. Steve I opened a ticket with kobo and they said they had to contact sony for me.

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