Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Exclusive Digital Bundling To Sell More Tin

Bundling a ebook reader to an exclusive ebook launch is a bit scary, as it sets yet another ‘exclusive’ deal and feeds on scarcity and demand.

Sony UK has announced another of its spray paint limited edition models of their Reader Pocket Edition™. Remember the John Lewis and the Mills and Boon Romance ones, well we now have the thriller one. They appear to have have now found some midnight blue paint for the reader and created a ‘premium case’ with an embossed Alex Cross logo on the front. Obviously that by itself would not generate much interest, so they have thrown in The James Patterson’s best selling Alex Cross novel, ‘Cross Country,’ selected excerpts from two James Patterson books and a letter from the author. However the real offer really revolves around every customer who purchases the bundle being able to download a new James Patterson novel ‘Worst Case’ from Christmas Day. The hardback and eBook will go on general sale from January 21st 2010. The bundle will be available from 30th November. So unless you are a Patterson freak or like very expensive books the deal looks a bit weak.

So the ebook is not only coming out on first, which we fully support, but exclusively to Sony for some 3 weeks, which we feel is a bundle too far. At a time when we are trying to combat piracy and grow the digital market, it is questionable whether creating scarcity and bundling demand in a clear exclusive deal, is good for the industry or merely good for Sony. Why should other buyers who have invested in supporting the ebook movement be penalised so blatantly so Sony can ship more tin at Christmas? More importantly this sort of exclusive deal just encourages pirates to break the restrictions which will not be hard to break and therefore merely feeds the very people we are all trying to restrict.

We hope Random House will see sense and respect that James Patterson’s readers do not just want a midnight blue premium ticket reader to enjoy their reading.

No comments: