Would You Buy E-Books From A Bookseller?

Would You Buy E-Books From A Bookseller?

Australian booksellers are planning to sell e-books via vouchers at physical stores. Any option that gives more e-books should be applauded, but is this really sensible?

An AAP report at ZDNet suggests that as of next year, booksellers will allow customers to purchase e-books in store; the sales process will send a download link to your email address for access at your leisure. The service is expected to activate in the first half of 2010.

With the Kindle going on sale this week for Australian customers, this seems like a timely choice (albeit a little slow on the delivery front), but to be frank it doesn’t sound that convenient. While there’s a healthy divergence in how we choose to read e-books, the fact remains that if you’re committed to electronic reading, hitting a shop to buy new books sounds unlikely. So is this a wise move or a last desperate lunge? Tell us in the comments.

Aussie ebook access opens up [ZDNet]


  • i think that it’s a good idea. would make it really easy to give people gifts. but there might be issues with different readers and the product you buy not being able to be read on them all..

    and if they are selling them from normal book shops, then that might set the standard to charge an amount closer to the normal book.. where eBooks should cost F all really.. sell more books at lower costs IMO..

  • Depends on price (after all, I already buy iTunes vouchers from physical stores when they are discounted enough) and availability (I’ll buy a book I really want through a physical store if I can’t just buy it online).

  • I think it’d be a good idea for book shops to sell ebooks along with their physical book version. For example, the next time I buy an Iain M. Banks novel, it might be nice to be offered the ebook version for an extra few dollars in addition to the paper version.

    Also, because of their very low cost, they can easily be used in promotions, e.g., “join our book club and get 10 free ebooks”, “buy Dan Brown’s new book and get his whole back catalog as ebooks”, “buy a James Patterson novel and get 5 similar genre ebooks from lesser known authors”, etc.

    And of course they’ll be making money from selling ebook readers, or doing cross promotion deals with Apple or Amazon, etc.


  • I use an ebook reader for reading online articles which I save as PDF and transfer to my ebook reader. Also, I download all my ebook PDFs for free from various sources.

    I am yet to purchase an ebook from a bookseller.

  • hmm I’m not sure I see the point in going to a physical store to buy something that I have to go online to get. I might as well just buy it online to begin with. I guess it might be good for people that use them as gifts, or who dont like to shop/use credit cards online.

    I’d rather see an option where you could buy the ebook at the store and then get it sent to your device via bluetooth or wireless right there at the counter.

  • The article after this one on lifehacker is “Coles Offering 15% Off iTunes Cards”.
    Whilst Coles isn’t a traditional music vendor, it is a bricks & mortar store selling downloadable content.

    If I were booksellers, I’d not worry so much about the advent of e-books, but how to stop the likes of Coles from commoditising eBooks and taking the market from under their noses.

    The iPod hasn’t stopped the sale of CDs but it has hit smaller music retailers, pushing some/many out of business. I would expect book retail to head the same way.

  • It works for technophobes, who don’t want to post their credit card details online, but in the end it just pushes the prices up for the rest of us.

    Somebody is going to start offering the brand new novel with the inflated price, and piggybacking on one of the authors previous books.

    Really, if you’re buying a brand new book, shouldn’t the ebook come included as well, it’s the same material, just different medium.

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