Sony's Ebook Store Prices Too High? Try Shortcovers

Michael bought a Sony Pocket Reader last month, but with the exception of $10 bestsellers, he’s finding that other books he wants are priced higher than he’s willing to pay. For example, Tad Friend’s memoir Cheerful Money is $10 on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, but $17.49 from Sony. Michael wants to know if we have any advice on how to get Sony to lower their prices.

Yeah, can’t help you with that too much, Michael. The problem is we’re in the early stages of ebook sales going mainstream, and that means every publisher and every retailer is trying something different. The good news is sometimes it will work out in your favor as a consumer, like Amazon forcing competitors into selling new releases for $10 no matter how high publishers want to price them; the bad news is that sometimes you’ll get screwed, like every format being locked down by DRM so that you can’t read it on a competing device.

One thing you can do is buy from the independent ebook retailer, which I’ve found frequently sells ebooks at prices lower than Sony, and competitive with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (They’re currently selling Cheerful Money for $10.49.) Shortcovers sells ebooks in the ePub format, locked down with Adobe Digital Editions DRM, and they say you can read their books on Sony Readers as well as several other ereader devices currently on the market.

The site doesn’t offer as large a library as the other retailers, and as I noted the books come with the same DRM plaguing every ebook retailer. But it’s a good alternative for owners of Sony Reader devices until Sony discovers competitive pricing.

Update: You can also try to comparison shop—just make sure that whatever format you buy will work with your ereader. (Thanks to BinaryTB!)

(Photo: kevindooley)

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