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Old 12-21-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
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The New Sony-Borders e-Book Store Goes Live

According to an article on The Book Standard Web site, the co-branded Borders-Sony e-book site has gone live. Access to the site is given to customers who buy a Sony Reader at a Borders store.

Here's the interesting part. With all the noise about wireless and e-books lately, Borders is providing access to the site to T-Mobile Hot-Spot customers and providing T-Mobile wireless connectivity in the store. While the connectivity really only seems useful to lubricate impulse buys, it does forecast the plans Borders has for their new Digital Media brick and mortar stores, where digital media can be browsed in a regular store, but purchased in digital form.

Publishers Weekly provides some additional information. Customers who buy the Sony Reader through Borders are given a promotion code and access to a customized version of the eBook Library software necessary to access the Borders-Sony e-book store.

Last edited by jasonkchapman; 12-21-2007 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Add the PW information
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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With the launch, all of those disabled links on the Borders beta site went live. The whole site appears to be functioning, now, though it's still tagged as beta.

It includes a section on the Sony Reader and the new co-branded e-book store.

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Old 12-21-2007, 12:46 PM   #3
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Curious. There's no new info about this on the Sony site and the standard Borders site still only talks about the Kindle. The beta site of the new Borders shows the Sony Reader for sale but mentions downloading ebooks only from the Sony site. And the article at The Book Standard cited mentions only that they sell now 25,000 titles, which is where we knew they were at and which is only modestly up from a few months ago. So the changes that are important to us are....um....what? I'm a bit underwhelmed. I was hoping at least for a substantial boost in the titles available to us although I'm not sure why I was expecting that. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:51 PM   #4
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Sony, to me anyway, seems slow updating their website. Always
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
So the changes that are important to us are....um....what?
If you mean "what's in it for me?", probably not much at all. If you mean "what makes this important to the e-book industry?", I think these are the salient points:
  • More in-store IRL exposure for e-book readers
  • A new, major player officially entering the fray
  • The first steps toward hybrid brick/digital media stores
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkchapman View Post
If you mean "what's in it for me?", probably not much at all. If you mean "what makes this important to the e-book industry?", I think these are the salient points:
  • More in-store IRL exposure for e-book readers
  • A new, major player officially entering the fray
  • The first steps toward hybrid brick/digital media stores
Well, okay, you can now buy a Reader in a Borders store who will now promote the Sony instead of the Amazon device. Maybe that would help the people who would like to see one of these things working before they buy. I'll buy that. But Borders was already in within Amazon so I'm not sure how switching to Sony helps. Maybe it does, I'm just not sure how at the moment. And I'm not sure what a "hybrid brick/digital media store" really means. Can you please elaborate on what you think this does (for ebooks, in general, not just for you and me)?
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
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I've had access to the co-branded store since I registered my Reader in October, when I bought it from Borders. Looking around today nothing has changed. I know they've said that at some point the Borders deal will have some effect on the store, but AFAIK that still hasn't happened.
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:24 PM   #8
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Umm....whoopee ?

The site works, but is not anything earth-shattering. I cannot buy a Reader from the site, nor can I search or purchase an ebook from the site. What's more, there are no links to the SONY connect store, and it's great that they list popular books that now come in a digital format, but there is no other information, such as purchase price, size, where to purchase, &tc.
I suppose that the notice that *all* Borders are now carrying the device is re-assuring, but am not so enthused that they could not link to SONY's Connect site.
Maybe I'm not so bright and cannot find these links, but really, I think any celebration is a bit premature.
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Well, okay, you can now buy a Reader in a Borders store who will now promote the Sony instead of the Amazon device. Maybe that would help the people who would like to see one of these things working before they buy. I'll buy that. But Borders was already in within Amazon so I'm not sure how switching to Sony helps. Maybe it does, I'm just not sure how at the moment. And I'm not sure what a "hybrid brick/digital media store" really means. Can you please elaborate on what you think this does (for ebooks, in general, not just for you and me)?
It's actually several things happening at once. One of them is that Borders is exiting Amazon's site and doing their own e-commerce again. Borders never did promote the Amazon device, they simply farmed out their e-commerce presence to Amazon, just like Toys-R-Us and a zillion other non-book-related stores did.

Another is that Borders is now (hopefully) going to be actively promoting the Sony and e-book sales in its superstores. An in-store, physical presence, in my opinion, is essential to getting e-books beyond the niche market that it is. The co-branded store is not about getting Sony customers into Borders. It's about getting Borders customers into e-books.

The third thing is that Borders will be launching a whole new line of stores in 2008. These stores will be media-centric stores that sell digital media in a physical, browseable, shopable environment. They're already testing mix-and-burn custom CD sales kiosks, but have also mentioned "download it onto your device" media sales. It is likely that this will include the ability to browse p-books, buy the e-book edition, and load it onto the Reader right there.

What I think this does for e-books in general is expand the market in terms of physical presence, increasing awareness; expand the apparent "mainstreamness" of the market by demonstrating that one more major player sees enough future in it to invest; and help convince publishers that there really is something to this whole "e-book thing."
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Old 12-21-2007, 01:42 PM   #10
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Looks like I should plan to visit a Borders store in a few months to see what this looks like. Thanks, Jason.
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:26 PM   #11
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I think more exposure to e-ink reading devices is great. In order to really get what's so compelling about this technology, I think people need to actually see it and try it. Does this T-Mobile thing mean they're charging people for wifi? I hope not.
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:38 PM   #12
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I think people need to actually see it and try it.
That's what finally sold me. I wasn't to keen on dropping $300 on the Reader without seeing it. Borders solved that problem for me (I guess some Best Buys & Targets have them too).
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:11 PM   #13
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I just received my reader from Sonystyle. And I just got the email from Borders regarding it's Sony store. BUT apparently it is unable to be accessed unless you have the software that came with the reader purchased only at Borders? Why won't they let me in? I'm a LOYAL Borders customer LOL! And lame
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:14 PM   #14
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What is the URL for Borders ebook website? Or is it the same site as Sony'e ebook site? I read that those readers that are bought at Border's get a "code" that allows them to download (install?) a slightly different software that allows access to the Border's site to purchased ebooks? Anybody bought a reader from Border's lately who can enlighten us? I bought mine in mid Oct from Border's...

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:23 PM   #15
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If anyone gets there I'd like to see some screenshots please...
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