Two new ebookstores have been launched in Australia. Exciting news for readers, but they come with a price—dollars and DRM (see price comparison below).
Sony Reader Store
Earlier this month, Sony finally launched the Reader Store in Australia. For a limited time, when you sign up to the Reader Store, you’ll get a free ebook (I got Friendship Bread by Darien Gee, but I’m not sure if everyone gets the same title). Sign up is relatively painless: enter your email address, choose a password, and active the account when you get the confirmation email.
You can sort the catalogue by date, relevance and price. I’m not sure how relevance is evaluated, but the first page using this sorting method didn’t produce many titles that I cared about, to be honest. Sort by price and you’ll find some free ebooks. It’s worth checking before you download because some of them are only excerpts rather than the entire book. Sort by date, and again, I’m not sure what it means—I’m assuming date of release—but out of curiosity I navigated to the last page. Don’t do this unless you want to read dodgy sounding books about what sound to me like dirty old men. Definitely not romance.
Navigation within the romance category is, frankly, a bit of a pain. There are no subcategories and when you look at the page number links, it only lists all the pages before the one you’re on, the next page, and the last page. This makes it difficult for me—I like to skip around and jump 2-4 pages at a time.
JB Hi-Fi NOW Books
Last month, electronics store JB Hi-Fi also launched an ebooktore, which you can find here. According to trade magazine Books+Publishing:
The store, which went live on 22 April, is part of the retailer’s NOW platform, which also sells digital music. Among the local publishers with titles in the ebookstore are HarperCollins, Penguin, Random House, Allen & Unwin, Hachette, Lonely Planet, Pan Macmillan and Text Publishing.
Again, there’s no escaping DRM.
I only had a quick play with this store, but searching for titles seems faster than in the Reader Store and, with the exception of the cluttered and confusing first page, the interface seems more inviting to me.
I’ve listed a random sample of romance titles and their prices (AUD), along with corresponding prices from Diesel (USD) and the publisher (AUD unless otherwise noted). Ebook files have DRM unless otherwise noted.
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