So you’ve taken the plunge and splashed out about £200 for a new eBook reader, found the bundled ‘classics’ a bit lacking and are looking to buy yourself some newer titles.
The good news is some of the UK’s biggest names in book retailing have eBook stores to compliment their reader offerings, so how do they stack up? We took a look at the sites of Waterstone’s Borders, and WH Smith’s and compared their eBook prices with those of traditional books*.
Waterstones.com has a nice large selection of titles but makes life harder than it needs to by insisting the buyer prefaces every search with ‘eBook’ – forget to do so and you’ll find yourself back into paperback territory. Don’t be fooled by the search box marked ‘eBook search’, this just performs a regular site wide search.
If you’re a Waterstone’s cardholder you can collect points for each book you buy and redeem them against purchases, the site even handily shows you what savings you’ll make if you redeem your points against a specific title.
City of Thieves (Cyrus Moore) eBook:£10.17 Hardback:£9.99
Dear Undercover Economist (Tim Harford) eBook:£10.17 Hardback:£10.39
Hot Pursuit (Suzanne Brockmann) eBook:£14.30 Hardback:£15.99
Set In Darkness (Ian Rankin) eBook:£6.26 Paperback:£5.99
The Secret Shoppers Revenge (Kate Harrison) eBook:£5.47 Paperback:£6.99
Borders.co.uk has a pretty smart looking eBook store to with the Elonex eBook reader the retailer has recently started selling. Unlike Waterstone’s offering, the Borders site manages to offer a dedicated eBook search facility.
Under each book the site proactively lists the price of other editions including paperback and hardback versions making it easy to see how your selection compares.
Clough The Autobiography (Brian Clough) eBook:£8.09 Paperback:£6.74
Footballer’s Wife (Kerry Katona) eBook:£6.29 Paperback:£6.29
Making Money (Terry Pratchett) eBook:£7.19 Paperback:£5.99
Skin Privilege (Karin Slaughter) eBook:£6.29 Paperback:£5.24
Sundays At Tiffany’s (James Patterson) eBook:£13.49 Paperback:£5.24
The main WHSmith.co.uk site appears to offer a pretty paltry range of ebooks but if you’re sufficiently sharp eyed you’ll find a link to ebooks.whsmith.co.uk where there’s a huge range on offer.
Nicely laid out with shortcuts to lists of top purchases by categories and offering a 25% off promotion, this is site you’d do well to check out.
Angels & Demons (Dan Brown) eBook:£6.89 Paperback:£3.99
Angel Uncovered (Katie Price) eBook: £6.03 Paperback: £5.24
The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien) eBook:£5.24 Paperback:£5.59
Magnificent Desolation (Buzz Aldrin) eBook:£14.38 Hardback:£10.19
Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwell) eBook:£5.87 Paperback:£8.57
Methodology: Titles were selected at random from each retailer’s ebook selection to ensure cross-format availability and allow price comparison. Prices correct as of 5th August 2009.