In a post last week I said there was no dedicated e-bookstore in Australia, thinking specifically for fiction books. I lied. eBookBOP sells both ebooks and ebook readers. They sell in four formats: pdf, ePub, lit (Microsoft reader) and Mobi (which is similar, as far as I am aware, to the Kindle format, but I’m not sure can be read by the Kindle).
And there is also Read Without Paper, which launched on 1 December, again supporting ePub (with Adobe Digital Editions DRM – cannot be read on Stanza) and pdf. (By the way, Dymocks is also meant to sell ebooks via their website, but I’ve never come across any). Apparently, this site got so much interest from international customers they added books that aren’t available to Australians. Most of them are…but still, what is the point of having an Australian (and NZ) bookstore if we’re still going to get that freaking geographical restriction message? At least filter the selections.
Both sites have limited range – I searched for a couple of books I know I can get from the Kindle store, and they weren’t here – but those books aren’t on Fictionwise either. They don’t have the exact same range as each other – Read Without Paper is affliated to Overdrive, an ebook distributor; the other big distributor is Lightning Source, so that might be who eBookBop is with. They also suffer from the same problem as the overseas ebook retailers: they don’t give sample chapters, they assume you already know what you want to buy rather than that you’re browsing.
However, this is a promising move. Next step: integration to Stanza. Since they’re DRM ePub, which is not currently able to be read by Stanza, I can’t try them out. If anyone else wants to try them, I can highly recommend The Magicians, from Read Without Paper.
This SMH article says the popular gifts this year were books – figures from the Australian Retailers Association show that 70% of seasonal shoppers were buying books, compared to 45% for iPods. Did you get a book for Christmas this year?
Steal these books, an essay about the prevalence of theft in bookstores (digital piracy only slightly touched on). It says only 40% of books read are bought, and only 28% are bought new. How would you even measure that?
The TLS [UK Times Literary Supplement] has its books of the year (from late November).