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eBooks by Sainsbury’s

15 February 2013

Sainsbury’s is a large UK supermarket chain. It’s just opened an ebook site that is “brought to you by Penguin Books, Harper Collins Publishers, The Random House Group and anobii”

From the site, following links for reading apps for Apple and Android devices:

You can also read our eBooks on your Mac or Windows computer, on Nook, Kobo or Sony eReaders – or any other device which supports Adobe DRM.

Unfortunately Amazon’s Kindle won’t open eBooks bought from us or any other eBook retailer.

Link to the rest at Ebooks by Sainsbury’s and thanks to John for the tip.

PG invites UK visitors to opine about whether the Sainsbury’s brand will sell ebooks or not.

Amazon, Ebooks, Non-US

17 Comments to “eBooks by Sainsbury’s”

  1. “Unfortunately Amazon’s Kindle won’t open eBooks bought from us or any other eBook retailer.”

    I think Mark Coker would be surprised to hear this.

  2. Yeah, my Kindle opens Baen eBooks just fine.

  3. Kindle won’t automagically open books bought from other retailers, is what they mean, and in terms of minimizing stupid questions and customer complaints, it’s not an unreasonable thing to say.

    It’s just that saying it in that particular form is sort of kind of maybe just a little bit of a tiny blatant lie, is all. You people are such nitpickers. You’d think you were attorneys.

    • Isn’t the process a Nook owner would use to get a book to their ereader for a book purchased from this vendor different from what it is if purchased from B&N? Isn’t that process about the same as it would be getting the book to a Kindle if they sold a non-DRM version in a file format compatible with a Kindle? I’m not sure of the answers, but I think I know what they are.

      • If Amazon started selling epubs and e-ink Kindles read the format, I’d think most other online book retailers would probably have to close their stores and go home. They wouldn’t be selling many e-books of any kind. Amazon is all around better. That’s not necessarily good, but that’s the way it is right now, like it or not.

      • Yes.


        But most people won’t go to the bother. To them, the original assertion might as well be true. That’s all I was trying to point out. Doesn’t make it any less of a lie.

  4. The context is that in the UK Kindle owns 80-90% market share.
    So the warning is a sniffy way to warn away Kindle owners.
    Otherwise they’d be up to their gills in upfront querries.

    • The problem is this this part: “or any other eBook retailer.” Up to that point, the statetment was true and necessary… Then they appended the lie to make themselves look better and Kindle look bad.

  5. So as a consumer I thought I would test the site – a Jack Reacher novel [by Lee Child] is in the top ten crime list. The click through takes you to a book page [http://www.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/edition/4481773] where it says –

    Available from eBooks by Sainsbury’s for £0.00

    But clicking that just refreshes the page.

    Hmmm. Still in beta, then.

  6. A couple of years ago The Bookseller Magazine awarded Sainsbury the Chain Bookseller of the Year award, presumably for their ability to shift vast numbers of celebrity memoirs and a handful of best-selling novels. They’re a good supermarket, positioned somewhere between budget and Waitrose where the posh people go. (And they haven’t found any horse meat in their products yet, either!) But I don’t associate them with books in any form – or only as an impulse buy and I’ve never felt that impulse yet. I sometimes shop online with them – they have a very efficient grocery delivery system – but again, I’d never buy eBooks from them. Maybe some people would. But almost everyone I speak to over here associates eBooks with Kindle or a Kindle app on some other device, so the market share stats don’t surprise me. There is, it has to be said, a real mismatch between our media’s constant sniping at Amazon and the feedback I get from ordinary readers who use it all the time.

    • A mismatch? Or a causal relationship?
      Traditionalist media is no fonder of amazon than traditionalist booksellers and book sniffers.

  7. Both J. Sainsbury and its far bigger rival Tesco could make serious inroads into the UK ebook market if they take things seriously.

    Tesco has had an ebook store up and running for a year or two, but it is virtually unknown, even to Tesco customers.

    But Tesco is a sleeping giant, with serious resources and a serious grip on the UK consumer market. Maybe Sainsbury’s latest innovation will be the wake-up call for Tesco to make use of the goldmine it is sitting on.

    Amazon may well have 80-90% of the UK ebook market now, but as we saw in the US, that can soon change.

  8. You mean it can go higher still? 😉

  9. I tired to down load free book to my Sony reader. Unable to find the Sony app called the help line, 4 different people gave differing amounts of help. Result I can only download books from any supplier on to my desk top PC. asked for tec help. Still waiting 24 hours later, no call no help. I am now the not so proud possessor of a non working Sony reader.
    My advice give Sainsburys a big miss their customer service for eBooks is non existent.

  10. Well several calls to Sainsburys supposed help line I was called b a wonderful lady from the Tec dept. Ok it took around 3 hours but we got there in the end. Turns out you must have upto date software on the sony reader. Also the leads are not easy to follow. Ignore “get an app for Sony”.
    Pitty the “help line staff” don’t know what ot do & are happy to muddle through hoping it will work or you will go away.
    Many thanks to my helper who helped sort things out.

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