HarperCollins Launches Yet Another eBookstore

HarperCollinsEvidently pleased with the success of niche ebookstores like Narnia.com (launched last October), HarperCollins launched a new ebookstore today at HarperCollins.com.The new store sells paper books, ebook, and even audiobooks (when available).

The ebooks are being sold globally in all markets where HC has the rights, but the audiobooks and paper books are only available to US customers. In addition to selling the books, HC also links to other retailers who also offer HC titles. This includes retailers outside of the US.

The store also offers previews of upcoming titles as well as the option to pre-order the book. Readers will also find author tour and appearance information, and sweepstakes featuring partner prizes.

"Our mission as a 21st century publisher is to connect authors and readers," said Angela Tribelli, chief marketing officer. "The elegant, consumer-centric design of the site provides an innovative platform for our authors that will boost the discoverability of their books, drive sales, and—ultimately—launch writing careers."

Like the Narnia.com store, the ebooks sold on HarperCollins.com can be read in the HarperCollins -branded apps for iOS and Android, and they can also be downloaded to a PC and transferred to a compatible ebook reader.

Based on the few minutes I spent checking price, HarperCollins is pricing some titles competitively and others at full price. That is much the same pricing policy as Amazon and other ebook retailers, and in fact HC sometimes beat the Amazon price.

HarperCollins is one of a number of publishers, including RosettaBooks and Hachette, that are trying to forge a direct retail connection with readers in the hopes of bypassing or at least lessening the impact of the Kindle Store. Given the inconvenience of HarperCollins's new store, I don't think they will have much luck in loosening Amazon's grip on their pocketbook - at least not directly. But if HC were to start emphasizing links to other retailers, they might be able to lessen Amazon's market share.

It would be a roundabout solution, but it's still better than the alternative.

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 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."

12 Comments on HarperCollins Launches Yet Another eBookstore

  1. Did you notice that the affiliate links don’t work? I tried them. They come up in a pop-up box, but when I clicked on several, nothing happened n

  2. Am I the only one that hates reading on apps? Mostly I hate reading on backlit screens so I’m not their target customer. That said, this does seem to be one of the better efforts I’ve seen from publishers.

    @Juli- I never seem to get the affiliate links to work on Open Road either. I sometimes get different results with different browsers but that is really more work than I want to do. It ends up being easier to just cut and paste the title in the search box of my preferred retailer. Think of all the affiliate fees they’re giving up!

    • I always hated reading on backlit screens too, but then I found the night reading setting. Now I like reading on my iPad better than reading on my Reader.

  3. I couldn’t even get the links to work with a right click.

    @Anne, I don’t mind reading in apps. Backlit screens don’t bother me, but I certainly like having the option to get books onto my Paperwhite. I didn’t see anything about the HC site to tempt me away from Amazon, where I can easily switch back and forth from reading in the Kindle app to reading on my Paperwhite.

    However, I complete understand that other people hate backlit screens, so making it easy for people to get books onto their ereaders is important, and it didn’t look like HC is making it easy. I couldn’t find instructions for side loading to even an EPub reader.

  4. Good for them, but I’ll never remember to go look here. I read about 10 books a month and usually get them from Goodreads recs, author and book blog sites. Unless they start including links, I really don’t want or need to remember which publisher will deliver which books.

    It’s a non-starter for me…

  5. I just looked at the site. Have you seen the prices? Good lord, why would I pay $13 for an ebook? An ebook that they refuse to let me OWN? Um….no thanks.

  6. They need to work on their site…

    Pressed “Science Fiction” on the main page. Got a list of science fiction books, but I only wanted to see the ebooks, so I selected that checkbox, and it displayed general ebooks.

    Unless ‘Everything I Learned about Life, I Learned in Dance Class’ is now considered to be science fiction.

    • Yes. This site continues to leave me convinced that the major publishers are no threat to Amazon.

    • In fact, it looks like you can’t get a list of the science fiction ebooks at all.

    • It gets better. Or is that worse?

      The first page of science fiction has historical fiction books on it (set in the US Civil War era).

      And going to page 2 of the list gets you back to the general book list.

      Did anyone at HarperCollins even try this site? Or does no one read books there?

  7. Don’t bother with the site at all. The readers are terrible. I have a problem with an order and they have never gotten back to me. Based on the comments here and my experience, I will never use them again and will do my best to let people know that its terrible.

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