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Old 02-08-2009, 07:32 AM   #1
ericthelobster
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Struggling to obtain free ebooks for Sony in UK

Hi, Newbie here - first post, please be gentle...

I've recently acquired a Sony PR-505 Reader, and am having trouble tracking down much of the stuff which I see people mentioning on this forum.

I'm in the UK, and my Sony ebook library software only lets at Waterstone's to buy ebooks, which is a bit limiting compared to what it seems others are able to, elsewhere in the world?

I've downloaded various generic stuff OK from public-domain sites like Gutenberg, but I'm striking out with the commercial sites. For example, there's lots of chat in this forum about the free 15 Harlequin romances (not my bag, but 'She' is keen!); but I can only find it in secure e-reader format. People (including other UK members) have posted about them being available in Sony format from the Sony site; however I don't seem to be allowed to do so being in the UK. Confused!

I feel I'm mising a trick here... can any other UK-based PR505 owners enlighten me?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:47 AM   #2
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Hallo,

I'm new here, too.

I'm not that much into Romance either, but I need more fodder for my 505 in March so I follow the freebies adverts. In case of Harlequin, just go to:

http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=1317

use your Internet browser not the Sony software and pick and download the books you like. I recommend to use ePub format. I can read them on my iMac using Adobe Digital Editions, but I'm sure as they aren't DRM'ed that they will work on 505, too.

And yes, the US Sony store is for US/Can citizens only, which sux a bit.

have fun
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:21 AM   #3
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Hi ericthelobster and welcome to the Forum. I think UK residents can buy from Sony online if they use a gift card. I've seen other posts about that. You might try posting your question in the Sony section. Or, alternately, introducing yourself in the Introduce Yourself section here http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=49
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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Fictionwise is good for their multiformat eBooks.
http://www.fictionwise.com/

If you like SF/Fantasy, Webscription.net has lots in SOny format without DRM
http://www.webscription.net/

Otherwise, most people with Windows just download Microsoft Reader (.lit) format, remove the DRM with ConvertLit, and then use Calibre to convert into Sony Reader (.lrf) format.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthelobster View Post
Hi, Newbie here - first post, please be gentle...

I've recently acquired a Sony PR-505 Reader, and am having trouble tracking down much of the stuff which I see people mentioning on this forum.

I'm in the UK, and my Sony ebook library software only lets at Waterstone's to buy ebooks, which is a bit limiting compared to what it seems others are able to, elsewhere in the world?

I've downloaded various generic stuff OK from public-domain sites like Gutenberg, but I'm striking out with the commercial sites. For example, there's lots of chat in this forum about the free 15 Harlequin romances (not my bag, but 'She' is keen!); but I can only find it in secure e-reader format. People (including other UK members) have posted about them being available in Sony format from the Sony site; however I don't seem to be allowed to do so being in the UK. Confused!

I feel I'm mising a trick here... can any other UK-based PR505 owners enlighten me?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
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I'm also from the UK and have recently bought the 505. Before that I read mainly on my laptop by downloading Digital Editions and Sony ebookstore software from the US site. When I bought my reader, I just authorised it at the US store, I didn't use the UK software as Waterstones tends to be quite expensive. I can still buy from Waterstones though. I have had no problem downloading the free books from the Sony site. I can't of course, buy books from the US site, but my folks in the US can buy me gift certificates which I can use.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:57 AM   #6
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I recommend the "buy LIT" approach if you have a Windows PC. Use "ConvertLIT GUI" to strip the DRM and Calibre to convert to ePub or LRF. Note that this isn't legal everywhere, and in the UK I think even the "convert" part is illegal. However, it is hard to see who is hurt by doing this on ebooks you bought for your own personal use.

If you don't want to do this, then Secure Adobe PDF and ePub are widely available and work on the PRS-505. You are familiar with Adobe ePub from Waterstone's, and the only difference is that you use Adobe Digital Editions on your PC to download them. A good place for ePubs is Books on Board. They also have Secure Adobe PDFs (probably called Adobe Digital Editions), as do many other ebook sites. These work on your PRS-505 too, but ADE/Sony's "reflow" only works on a per page basis - so you will get lots of partial pages of text on the PRS-505 with PDFs. This bothers some people a lot and others not much. If you use Books on Board, note that they have multiple suppliers of ebooks and the same ebook can be listed several times. Sometimes two suppliers will have PDF, but only one of the two will have ePub so watch out for that.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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WHSmiths ebooks is a good site for books with 25% off
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:30 PM   #8
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Also check out our own Book upload section. (Click on Ebooks at the blue bar towards the top of this page.)

I'm in the UK. When I first imported my Sony PRS500, in May 2007, I had no choice but to register it at the US Sony site. But I ticked the box claiming to live in the USA.

I got a PRS505 for Christmas. So far, I haven't registered it anywhere, but expect to add it to my US Sony account. I cannot see any benefit of registering it with Waterstone's.

What sort of books are you looking for, ericthelobster?

Welcome to the forum, by the way.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:06 PM   #9
ericthelobster
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Thanks a lot for all the advice and tips, everyone - fantastic! I've now successfully grabbed the 16 ghastly Harlequin books (no offence intended ) for SWMO, who's now happy - the link that akwant kindly provided is different to those I'd seen before. And I've now cottoned on to using Adobe Digital Editions thing for downloading epub format material. I'll have a play with some of the file conversion stuff mentioned, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
I'm in the UK. When I first imported my Sony PRS500, in May 2007, I had no choice but to register it at the US Sony site. But I ticked the box claiming to live in the USA.

I got a PRS505 for Christmas. So far, I haven't registered it anywhere, but expect to add it to my US Sony account. I cannot see any benefit of registering it with Waterstone's.
Well initially I tried downloading and installing Sony software from the US site, but once it sussed from my IP address that I was in the UK, that was the end of that! As far as I can see the UK version of the Sony software only interfaces with Waterstones - doesn't have a wonderful choice and isn't great value either; so I think I'll forget that...

Quote:
What sort of books are you looking for, ericthelobster?
Personally, thrillers/adventure stuff - off the top of my head, Ian Rankin, Harlan Coben, Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham are the sort of thing.
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:12 PM   #10
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Thanks for the above - having only been bought my reader at Christmas i have been having similar problems, pleased to hear i am not the only one. I agree - Waterstones is limited and expensive!
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:17 PM   #11
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The three best places to buy ebooks for UK Sony Readers are:
WhSmiths (Adobe Epub and PDF)
BooksOnBoard (Adobe Epub and PDF)
Fictionwise ( Sony LRF available in Multiformat area and some Adobe PDFs)
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #12
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One thing to note about Whsmiths is that they add the 15% VAT at the checkout which can make them more expensive than Waterstones (though they have more choice)

For me I have bought 90% of my ebooks from fictionwise.. its a bit more work to get the various formats to work on the Sony.. but worth it. Plus Fictionwise have a excellent choice and pricing with lots of offers.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
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For me I have bought 90% of my ebooks from fictionwise.. its a bit more work to get the various formats to work on the Sony.. but worth it.
Is all the functionality of 'proper' Sony .LRF ebooks usually retained if its necessary to convert between formats?

If .LRF aren't available (as with Fictionwise), is there a 'preferred' other format which gives the best results?
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #14
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Hi, I'm also new to this forum though I've been "lurking" for a while and have found the answers to many of my questions through various previous posts. Like others, I've found Fictionwise excellent (far better than Waterstones, and they actually do respond to queries, have found them extremely helpful) - and quite easily got to grips with CLIT and Calibre. I've had my Sony PRS 505 since the first day it was available in UK, and I LOVE it!
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:59 PM   #15
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.... sorry ErictheLobster, forgot to mention, I always download the Secure Microsoft Reader format (.lit) it's easy to convert, and does seem to retain full functionality.
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