I receive a few newsletters from ebook retailers such as Fictionwise, eReader, Books on Board and All Romance eBooks. I’ve begun to notice large price discrepancy between ebook prices, depending on the e-tailer. I first thought that only price matters but when I sat down to make out a list of what I looked for in an ebookstore, price was only one component.
In shopping online, the following are important features:
- Eternal bookshelf. I want to be able to redownload my purchase as many times as I want.
- Paypal. I think I am twice as likely to spend as a payment option
- Wishlist. Where I can store books that I am thinking about purchasing but haven’t quite made up my mind
- Rating System. I like to see what others are saying about a book that I am thinking about purchasing.
- Bulk Download. Fictionwise offers this and it is great when you are setting up a new computer.
- Timeliness. Fictionwise is terrible in that they release books on a Monday instead of Tuesday so their releases are ALWAYS one week behind. I hate that.
Things that I don’t find so important
- Customer Service. I have found that customer service varies a great deal from very good (All Romance eBooks) to fairly bad (Fictionwise) but that it does not affect my purchasing habits. There is very little customer service to be had from an ebook vendor.
- Ease of Navigation. I find eReader to have the best navigation system and Fictionwise, one of the worst. eReader is clean and uncluttered with the book covers serving as the primary visual aid. Fictionwise is cluttered and one glance at the front page is enough to send one screaming in the other direction. Again, though, I haven’t been deterred by Fictionwise’s lack of glamour.
- Publishers. This one is fairly important, but as long as all the main publishers are included, I can find the one book or two that I am interested in by going to the epublishers’ websites.
What do you guys think? What are you looking for in an ebookstore? What is the most/least important feature? Is price the most important aspect of an etailer? I did a price comparison for ebooks from 10 different vendors. You’ll be surprised at who giving you the best bargains. I’ll share that with you next week.