Sony writes up UK e-book viewer plan
New Readers, e-bookshop coming to Blighty
Sony obviously read pollster YouGov's research into the current state of the UK e-book viewer market, because the Japanese electronics giant has promised to boost its e-book efforts over here.
The firm currently sells three models in the UK: the original Reader, the Reader Pocket Edition and the Touch Edition. It recently unveiled a 3G-connected Daily Edition model in North America.
Now Steve Haber, President of Sony’s Digital Reading Division, has confirmed that UK e-book buffs “should expect more Reader models”.
Hopefully, that's a sign the Daily Edition will debut here soon.
Haber wouldn’t go into specifics, but he told Wired that “a change is coming”.
He also added that Sony plans to bring its digital bookshop to the UK.
Currently, only US-based punters can buy digital titles through the online shop, which the firm is presently in the process of converting over to the standard ePub format.
UK buyers can buy e-books from the likes of Waterstone's, WHSmith and Borders.
Sony hasn’t committed to a formal launch date yet, apparently because of publishing rights issues. “Each country has different publishing rights,” Haber said. “That’s why we won’t see one bookshop where you can buy all books for a while.” ®
will be a while yet
before I get one, if ever, unless the gready publishers wake up to the late 20th century.
I love the idea of ebook readers and would sorely like one for my wife who is a voracious reader but at £200+ for the reader plus the inflated prices for a LEASED copy of any books you want to read (at least anything still in copyright) it's just a waste of money.
I hear a couple of ebook reader makers are talking with local libraries to allow free checkouts of electronic format books on a limited time basis, just like for real books, and think that would be the absolute killer app for these. Forget advertising like "can hold 10,000 books" because that is 10,000 x ~£8 currently to fill it! A bigger seller would be a nominal (say less than £50) annual subscription for all-you-can-read services including magazines, newspapers and _recent_ novels, even with encumbered DRM that would be perfectly acceptable for me. With that I would buy two tomorrow.
BB as publishers are using that novel like a manual (and the recent amazon kindle kerfuffle).
The big question
Will I be able to read my books for ever, on the hardware of my choice? Or will they be forever tied to a Sony product that'll break down in a few years time? Also do I trust Sony's answer, given their previous form for DRM-malware distribution?
In any case, squashed tree is a better random-access device for use by humans, then anything with a screen. E-books are for people who never learned how to do non-linear reading.
Not worth it until publishers change
It's not worth it until UK publishers change their policies. Economically, it makes good sense to buy eBooks in America because they're nearly always cheaper than the paperbacks.
In the UK (looking at you, Waterstones), the eBook price is usually on a par with the hardback RRP, but without any of the discounts you'll usually find on that price when buying it in a shop.
But don't worry. Remember, in the eyes of Sony and the publishers, it's the consumers' fault for not being prepared to pay through the nose for digital content.
1) Don't use the sony reader software, use Calibre - free, multiformat, works great, and allows you to reformat books.
2) Why would anyone want to shop from Waterstones or a UK-based Sony store? Buy from places like BooksOnBoard and you pay US prices.
not till the books come down in price...
I went on holiday a few weeks ago and very nearly bought a sony reader, I love e-ink and desrerately want a reader! I was about to cough the £200 untill i noticed that the books are just as dear as the paper counterparts! to create and distribute paper books requires logistics, printing, and general human intervention... I dont mind paying for something nice... but a digital copy is costless...
does the author get a larger royalty from an ebook as the manufacturing and distribution costs are zero? the middlemen all get a bigger chunk and that isnt fair!
I would hapilly pay for an electronic title, if it was a sensible price, or like many of my bluerays - buy the physical media and get a free evectronic version too...
untill then... sony can bring out as many excellent readers as they want, its the bastards that are holding me back!!!