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Sony Relaunches UK eBookstore, Ends 20p Sales Promotions

400px-Sony_Reader_Store_logo.svg_[1]Sony, a company that continues to perplex everyone by their ongoing investment in ebooks, has relaunched their UK ebookstore. They sent out an email last Friday touting the new and improved site:

Over the past months we have been working to bring you an improved shopping experience, so you can now enjoy:

  • Greater selection of e-books: bring your passion for books to the next level with over 200 thousand more titles to choose from including more bestsellers and new releases
  • International catalogue: read in 8 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian and more
  • Easy search: finding your favourites books is now easier with our improved search functionality and an enhanced Reader device experience
  • Easy shopping: buy directly from the webstore or your Reader device
  • Extended Customer Service: you can now reach our Customer service representatives anytime from 9PM Sunday to 9PM Friday

Unfortunately there is at least one way that Sony isn’t improving the shopping experience: prices. Early reports indicate that the prices in Sony’s ebookstore are far higher than the UK prices for the Kindle and Kobo ebookstores, with some ebooks like James Patterson’s 12th of Never costing twice as much.

Sony has also ended the 20p ebook promotion. Naturally Sony didn’t call out this detail in their email, but a quick check of the ebookstore shows that all of the ebooks that had been offered for 20p now showed higher prices.

The 20p promotion, one of Sony’s many inexplicable activities over the past year, was originally launched in July 2012 and soon matched by Amazon in the UK Kindle Store. Over the past 8 months Sony discounted dozens of titles, including Life of Pi, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, and Thursdays in the Park.

Sony Reader Store UK


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Sondermann March 18, 2013 um 10:47 am

I hope the "Extended Customer Support" is better than the one they chose for their German Bookstore. For three (!) months I’ve been trying to get a refund on a book I’ve bought (the text is incomplete – but not because of a transmission error but of a cheap knock-off edition of a text in the public domain), one of the most Kafkaesque experiences in my life so far (you never get through to the people that are supposed to have anything to say).
I think I actually preferred the non-communication by Bookeen’s "customer service" (they simply ignore you) to the utter incompetence of Sony’s.
I guess my next reader will be a Kindle…

Martijn March 18, 2013 um 11:20 am

Like their German store, this British Sony store is now powered by Txtr.. Seems like Txtr is taking over Sony’s ebook business..

carmen webster buxton March 18, 2013 um 12:30 pm

I will keep an eye out in my royalties report from Smashwords to see if any UK sales show up from Sony_UK. I have to say, Sony doesn’t seem all that responsive from the indie author perspective. When I made a book free on Smashwords, iBooks and Nook made it free within days. In order to that book free on Sony, I had to take it down completely and have Smashwords redeliver it as a free book.

Sony vernieuwt Britse ebookwinkel in samenwerking met Txtr | Ereader NL March 18, 2013 um 7:03 pm

[…] (Via The Digital Reader) […]

Andreas March 19, 2013 um 4:43 am

"Sony, a company that continues to perplex everyone by their ongoing investment in ebooks"

Well, considering this… what perplexes me more than anything is Sony’s lack in responsiveness to modern developments in e-reader technology. I am on the brink of buying a new reader and would love to stay true to the Sony brand (because of their excellent dictionaries), but they are so behind other brands like Kobo and Onyx at the moment that I feel forced to switch.
If only they could be more forthcoming on their plans for a new reader. I would be prepared to wait a few months for a modernized Sony reader, but I have no idea if they plan to release one.

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