I received an unexpected Christmas present from Sony, a $20AUD voucher to use in their Australian Sony Reader Store, in return for an honest review of my experience.
Never having owned a Sony Reader, I’d never actually thought to browse their ebook store. It turns out that owning their hardware is not necessary these days, as Sony now provide Free Reader Apps for Android, PC, Mac and iPad/iPhone.
I setup my account, elected to receive their newsletter, browsed and purchased titles from the Sony Readerstore on my PC.
The account setup process was very simple and the website design is clean and uncluttered. They have wishlist functionality and daily deals, along with some interesting book lists such as ‘quick reads’, ‘first books in a series’, ‘books under $6.99 and $9.99′ and a small selection of free ebooks. But, overall the current browsing functionality of the Sony Reader Store is immature compared to that of its competitors.
What does this mean for me? Realistically I would find it more enjoyable to browse other ebook sites for extended periods and once I’d decided which title I wanted to purchase just check back in to the Sony Reader Store for price comparison. In respect to the several price comparisons I made, the Sony Reader Store did compare either favourably or equivalent to its competitors.
These came to a total cost of $20.99AUD. The checkout process was simple, i.e. the voucher code was accepted and $20 promptly deducted from my bill. That left me to pay the remaining $0.99.
Sony have partnered with WorldPay, who accept only Visa (Debit and Credit), Master Card and American Express. While the process to pay by credit card ended up being hassle-free, with order confirmations promptly arriving in my inbox (I like that), I was disappointed that my preferred payment option, PayPal, was not offered. I think adding PayPal to their payment options is something Sony should put at the top of their to-do list.
I then logged off my PC and turned on my Nexus 7, my favourite reading device right now, and downloaded the Sony Reader App for Android from the Sony Reader Store website. You need to enter you Adobe ID to initialize the reading app. This all worked fine and I was pleased to find the books I’d purchased displayed within the reading app.
It’s early days but thus far I’m pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Sony Reader App (as compared to the Sony Reader Store web design). It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles in the reading settings department as some other reading apps, but it is also far better than some I’ve come across. Navigation within the app is simple, and so far the highlighting, bookmarking, searching and sharing functions has met or exceeded my needs.
While I have not needed to use Sony’s customer support thus far, it is worth noting that the Customer Support team is only available Monday morning to Friday evening. For bloggers, I couldn’t find any mention of an affiliation program.
In summary, the Sony Reader Store experience currently has strengths and weakness (time of writing January 2014), but is definitely another ebook retailer worthy of checking for price comparison when you’re in the market for your next book.
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What books have you recently acquired?
Check out the 2014 Aussie Author Challenge homepage
– 4 participation levels (1, 3, 6 and 12 books) and guest posting opportunities for challenge participants
– lots of ideas to help you find your next great title by an Aussie Author.