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Old 06-26-2009, 08:10 PM   #1
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Books on Board UK bookstore

Apologies if everyone knew this already, but when I visited the Books on Board website today I saw that they have a uk bookstore now, which I have never noticed before, and haven't seen mentioned here either.

Books aren't necessarily cheaper, but they do seem to have a good range, and are offering their rewards as they do on the US site. I checked a couple of books I've been browsing recently, and one was more expensive than waterstones, the other one cheaper, and both were available as epub.

There have been a lot of discussions recently about buying books given geographical restrictions, and this might help.
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Old 06-27-2009, 03:32 AM   #2
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Well looks like another site I won't use anymore and Books on Board just lost a customer. A shame as it was my favourite.

Neal Stephenson - US: 18 books, UK: 3 books all considerably more expensive. And I am no longer allowed to shop in the US stores.

I realise it's not BoB's fault, but this side of the industry is absolutely ridiculous and I'm sick of it to the point where I'm close to sticking my Sony in the cupboard and forgetting about it. Digital distribution should make international availability and pricing easier to deal with rather than harder. It's almost as if they want ebooks to fail.

The frustrating thing is I have the first two books in a trilogy I'm reading. Now I am not longer able to buy the thisrd at Books On Board of Fictionwise and not available in digital format in the UK.

Last edited by AshW; 06-27-2009 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:07 AM   #3
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I hear you , The Canadian thing is just as bad on the sony store too .
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:10 AM   #4
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The frustrating thing is I have the first two books in a trilogy I'm reading. Now I am not longer able to buy the thisrd at Books On Board of Fictionwise and not available in digital format in the UK.
Why are you not able to buy it from FictionWise? FictionWise's "geographical restrictions" are trivial to avoid - just set the country in your profile to "USA" and pay by micropay.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AshW View Post
I realise it's not BoB's fault, but this side of the industry is absolutely ridiculous and I'm sick of it to the point where I'm close to sticking my Sony in the cupboard and forgetting about it. Digital distribution should make international availability and pricing easier to deal with rather than harder. It's almost as if they want ebooks to fail.
Actually I think these kind of things will push more people towards the darknet...
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:25 AM   #6
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That's shooting yourself in the foot...

For example, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
US price: US$ 7.50
UK price: UK£ 8.30 (~= US$13.70)
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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I can still use the US store. I've been swapping between the two to have a look. My location is set as US, and when in the UK store I just click on the "Not from the UK" link and go back to the US store. I think they're using cookies to identify you, but if you click to go back to the US store it overrides the UK setting.

I would say that the problem is that fewer ebooks are officially available in the UK - as for paper books there are different agreements for different geographical locations. What you see in the UK store is just what's available in the UK. When we buy from the US store, we're sometimes buying ebooks that are not available in the UK.

I had a funny thing with pricing. Because I had things on my wishlist from the US stores, when I moved to the UK site the prices were just converted to pounds, only when I added these books to my shopping cart did they show the UK price. One book went from £8.37 to over £18, which is definitely not all VAT.
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Old 06-27-2009, 06:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Why are you not able to buy it from FictionWise? FictionWise's "geographical restrictions" are trivial to avoid - just set the country in your profile to "USA" and pay by micropay.
Maybe the same thing applies at BoB US. Set your country to US, buy a gift certificate and pay for your books with the gift certificate.
It hasn't affected me here in Oz just yet but it may some time in the future.
Testing the prices with a sample ebook available from all sites(Hannibal by Thomas Harris) I found Waterstone's the dearest(no surprise, eh), BoB Uk middle and Wh Smiths cheapest but BoB US cheapest for me in OZ taking exchange rate into consideration.
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:49 AM   #9
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Why are you not able to buy it from FictionWise? FictionWise's "geographical restrictions" are trivial to avoid - just set the country in your profile to "USA" and pay by micropay.
I hadn't tried that. I'll give it a go. Thanks!

Although I do wonder if it's going to be a matter of time before they start plugging up those loopholes

The other thing I haven't tried is switching to the Sony store and using vouchers. I'm not sure how to un-UK my reader.

Edit: That worked. I thought it hadn't at first but I had to log out and in again after paying. Hooray!

Of course the next book I want is only available in the UK at present, so I have to sort out my Waterstones account as well.

Last edited by AshW; 06-27-2009 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:00 AM   #10
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These online bookstores should not do any limiting based on your IP address as that is not always an indication of where the person is from. In December, we went to the UK to spend the holidays with family. The IP address I was using in the UK would have shown me not to be from the US even though I am. And then to use that IP to limit what I can and cannot do would be wrong as I am from the US.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:06 AM   #11
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Maybe the same thing applies at BoB US. Set your country to US, buy a gift certificate and pay for your books with the gift certificate.
I just gave it a try to confirm this and you are correct. I'm glad I can still use both these sites. Thanks for the help.

I guess I over-reacted a little bit this morning, but it was particularly frustrating a the book I wanted was not even available in the UK. I'm a massive fan of books and am more than willing to support authors and the publishing industry, but the issue of access and availability is such an important one. It's the basis of the tradition of literature and the written word after all!
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #12
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These online bookstores should not do any limiting based on your IP address as that is not always an indication of where the person is from.
I think that's exactly what's intended. The restrictions are supposed to work based on where the purchaser is located at the moment of the transaction, not on the country of birth or residence.

Anyway, IP-based restrictions are useless, since IP addresses can be faked and proxies or remote machines can be used.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #13
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These online bookstores should not do any limiting based on your IP address as that is not always an indication of where the person is from. In December, we went to the UK to spend the holidays with family. The IP address I was using in the UK would have shown me not to be from the US even though I am. And then to use that IP to limit what I can and cannot do would be wrong as I am from the US.
It does not matter where the person is from, but where the person is located at the present time. The geographical restrictions prohibit a store from supplying to a location. The "nationality" of the person involved is entirely irevelent.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:34 AM   #14
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It does not matter where the person is from, but where the person is located at the present time. The geographical restrictions prohibit a store from supplying to a location. The "nationality" of the person involved is entirely irrelevant.
But, that does make it unfair on perfectly legal customers. Just because I am not at home and using a UK IP does not mean I am not legally entitled to shop there. The fact that I have an account with a US address and a US bank card should be enough to let me purchase.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:36 AM   #15
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You are a "legal customer" while you are in the US. You are not one while you are in Scotland .
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