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Old 10-23-2010, 04:37 PM   #1
deadgloves
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Sony Reader Library and eBook Store, Any Good?

Okay. I am now a very happy owner, week-long of a prs-650 through the Borders deal. Its sleek and sexy and though it isn't red, that is but a quibble. Love the screen. Love being able to read while eating. Love that I can read my digital books without my glasses reflecting the glare of an lcd while the laptop burns a hole in my pants.

Anyway, I just wanted to know what people thought of the Sony bookstore and the Reader Library. Most of my digital books up 'till now are either kindle for pc, html, or a free pdf download. I installed Calibre as soon as I got my 650 home, so is it worth registering with the Sony store and installing the software? Are there any stores other than amazon and google that people would recommend for well formatted ebooks? I realize their are lists in the wiki but I was looking for personal impressions.

I'd appreciate any insight.

On a side note, I created my own e-book from this classic and amazing article:
http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/2/21701757/
The HTML formating on the page was over-run by a crazy number of tables, and so the pictures weren't showing up on the epub on my Sony. I recreated the html from scratch without tables or font tags, added a table of contents and a cover. Then converted it to epub. It was fun to just play around with Calibre's formating and meta-data and see what it could do.

Next up, I'm trying the public libraries digital library.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:24 PM   #2
rebarnmom
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I'm probably one of the minority, but I've never used Caliber and I've never had a problem with the Sony bookstore. I had some trouble with the Sony Library when I first got my 700 almost two years ago, with syncing and creating collections, but I don't use the sync feature anymore. It's not perfect (the Library software), but I'm not a perfectionist and have lived with its quirks just fine.

P.S. Don't forget to change your profile to update your "device" from none to your 650!
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:35 PM   #3
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I have gotten some books from the sony store b/c they actually had the best price. I don't use calibre either, and I'm humming along just fine
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:37 PM   #4
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You are not alone, rebarnmom. I've never had probems with the Sony Library and I find the way Calibre creates folders for each author and book annoying (I prefer all my books to be in one big directory), plus the UI of Calibre is confusing and non-standard.

The Sony Store is all right, but I get most of my books direct from publisher sites (e.g. www.loose-id.com) or resellers like OmniLit.

You can check out the sticky thread, E-book sources beyond CONNECT for more e-book stores. The Sony Store used to be called "Connect" and the thread title's never been updated.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
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Check inkmesh.com -- you'll see that Sony's bookstore is more expensive than B&N or Amazon, and fewer e-books. http://bit.ly/aDH5kD
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bic View Post
Check inkmesh.com -- you'll see that Sony's bookstore is more expensive than B&N or Amazon, and fewer e-books. http://bit.ly/aDH5kD
Sadly, this is true. A recent search I did made me aware of this. I didnt realize the difference was so apparent. It is a non agency book.

Amazon and B&N had the ebook for $6.29 [a good price for a $27.00 list HC]
Sony, Borders, Kobo didnt offer the ebook
Book a Million had the next best price $11.95
Books on Board $19.01
Diesel $21.00
Fictionwise $22.00
Ebooks $27.00
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:01 PM   #7
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Sony has more brick and mortar stores in various states, so if they have one in yours then you will pay sales tax on every book purchased through them. Amazon only charges sales tax in a few states (3?) and for some publishers if they have a physical presence in your state. I suspect B&N and Borders are more like Sony than Amazon since they have stores in more states. Amazon definitely has more books than he others.

But all that aside, the Sony Reader Library is a bit cluncky, but with the newer readers it does a good job of loading books onto them. I've never used calibre. You can also drag and drop books directly from your computer to the Sony readers. The Sony Reader Store is so-so and a bit kluge in design.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bic View Post
Check inkmesh.com -- you'll see that Sony's bookstore is more expensive than B&N or Amazon, and fewer e-books. http://bit.ly/aDH5kD
I've never found a book I wanted to buy that Sony didn't offer but others did. I guess if you're into more obscure titles, the numbers matter.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #9
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I've also successfully bought books on kobo and used them on my sony. I usually google a title and ebook and then compare prices.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
Sony has more brick and mortar stores in various states, so if they have one in yours then you will pay sales tax on every book purchased through them. Amazon only charges sales tax in a few states (3?) and for some publishers if they have a physical presence in your state. I suspect B&N and Borders are more like Sony than Amazon since they have stores in more states. Amazon definitely has more books than he others.

But all that aside, the Sony Reader Library is a bit clunky, but with the newer readers it does a good job of loading books onto them. I've never used calibre. You can also drag and drop books directly from your computer to the Sony readers. The Sony Reader Store is so-so and a bit kluge in design.
With Calibre, all I had to do in Set-up was say I had a Sony reader. From that, Calibre knew that anything I converted should default to ePub. It also knows as soon as I plug in the USB that the 650 is connected and updates its library list letting me know which books are both on my computer and the 650 (and if I have duplicates on the device). It isn't really drag and drop, instead you right click on a book in your calibre book list and select 'send to device.' It can do 1 book or a batch.

Bad:
It doesn't seem to send periodicals to the right folder and it replaced my per-existing cover pics with some ugly ones from some data service when I added some of my old e-books to the software. Otherwise, I have no serious complaints.


Thanks everyone for the insight. I think I'll just stick with calibre and try googling books for a best price like tennoel suggested or going directly to the publisher in some cases.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:17 PM   #11
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I buy most of my ebooks from Amazon, but the Sony Store has the largest selection among ePub-based stores in the US and I buy from them fairly often. Having to buy via the Sony Windows Desktop Reader software is a pain, but it does speed up the actual download process. Another store in the US worth using sometimes is B&N. However, like the Kindle Store, you will have to strip DRM to use on your Sony. In the past couple of months, whenever I buy from B&N via a Windows PC I always get a B&N ePub (rather than the eReader format that was sometimes delivered in the past).
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:01 AM   #12
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I always use Sony Library and never had a problem. I have Calibre, but to tell the truth, never used it. Being in Canada, some of the titles in Sony ebookstore were not avaliable, but since yesterday, many of the books previously unavailable became available for purchase so i am pretty satisfied with it.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:14 AM   #13
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I've had a Sony machine for ages (a superb wee 505), but I dumped the Sony Library early on and have used Calibre exclusively.

Another grouse I have with Sony this week, though, is that we just signed a contract with Sony to carry our own indie publishing house's full catalogue -- usually about 130 current titles -- and they claim an outrageous 60% sales commission, even though we upload our own files. That level of commission is penal even in brick-and-mortar stores that carry treebook stock.

And folks wonder why most of the bigger houses insist on an Agency 5 model to maintain a realistic cover price. Those publishers like us who prefer to opt out of Agency 5 to set low prices on ebooks are hammered.

Cheers. Neil
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Another grouse I have with Sony this week, though, is that we just signed a contract with Sony to carry our own indie publishing house's full catalogue -- usually about 130 current titles -- and they claim an outrageous 60% sales commission, even though we upload our own files. That level of commission is penal even in brick-and-mortar stores that carry treebook stock.
Not to derail this thread, but did you attempt to negotiate that rate? My company has a 50/50 split with Sony. Of course we do have significantly higher volume (about 1,000 titles in publication).
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:53 AM   #15
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I've never had probems with the Sony Library ... check out the sticky thread, E-book sources beyond CONNECT for more e-book stores.
Hi,

my question regarding using just Sony's "Reader Library" (and maybe Calibre) would be:

With the current Sony Reader Library (configured for Germany), a screen with a small set of Ebook-Stores appears when clicking on the Ebook-Store tab. Is it possible to add further Ebook-Stores to this screen or has one to use ADE to get and transfer Ebooks from other Ebook-Stores?

Regards,
Spürnase
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