Thursday, February 6, 2014

RIP, Sony Reader

Back in the late 1980s and 1990s, Howard Stern held mock funerals in radio markets that he had entered and subsequently dominated after he left WNBC and headed to K-Rock Radio. Stern had absolutely obliterated the competition, and held that fact over the other stations' heads.

While this may not happen with today's revelation that Sony Reader is pulling out (giggity) of the North American ebook scene, it's sad to say that it wasn't hard to see this coming.

Since I've started in the business, Sony have been fourth-best in my sales numbers behind Amazon Kindle, Nook, and iBooks. Most of the books "sold" on Sony for me have been free copies of Model Agent. Occasionally I'll see the other AGENT books get picked up, but other than that... whenever Sony numbers update on Smashwords, I'm disappointed.

Now that's not to say that I don't appreciate my Sony readers. I do. I appreciate every single one of them. I do, however, feel bad that they are being put through the ringer here.

Sony didn't put out a quality product, in my opinion. Not only that, the Sony Reader store was hard to navigate--I think that if people found my books there, they did so on accident. No one I know have a Sony Reader; they are all Kindle and Nook, with the occasional iBooks user. It's almost as if Sony wanted to not sell the product.

Now Sony users will be able to keep their already-downloaded books as they now go to Kobo, a company that was, at one time, a device barely available in the US: it was involved with Borders at the tail end of that brick-and-mortar company's existence. I do get most of my Canadian ebook sales from Kobo, so I wish Kobo nothing but the best.

I do hope the Sony users fare well over the transition. But the question everyone should ask themselves as they dive into purchasing an ereader--who's next?

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