Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Sony Refuses to Share with Other Ebook Vendors

Sony is not being a good child. It is reported at Mobile Read that Fictionwise contacted Sony about selling its multiformat books in BBeB format (the proprietary format Sony uses). Sony has refused. The only way to get BBeB books is to buy from the Connect store. Problem is that many ebooks that are sold in other places aren’t available from the Sony Connect store, particularly the epublished ones from EC and Samhain and Multi format books from Fictionwise. It does sound like Fictionwise may be looking into offering its non-DRM’ed books in RTF format which can be read on the Sony Reader.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jayne
    Nov 17, 2006 @ 20:03:44

    Are the Sony people trying to cut their own throats? Do they not want readers to buy their little highly priced gizmo? It’s almost like getting a new plasma flat screen TV and then being told that you can only watch one channel.

  2. Judy Roman
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 11:40:31

    I am soooo disappointed!!! Santa brought me a new Sony Ebook for Christmas… which thrilled me!!! I used to have an RCA RB 1100 then all of a sudden i could no long get content!!! I love carrying my ebook with me no matter where i go. So i thought this new Sony will be great!!!

    Well first of all, The new ebook doesn’t llight up!! i had to buy an external ebook light (also from Sony). My old RCA used to have a light built in so that i could read in bed without disturbing hubby….

    Then again i was excited when i found Fictionwise and their books were so much less than the Sony website was… so i tried to order… nothing was compatible with my sony… it said multi format would work witht he Sony Ebook… but nothing on my wish list came in that format!!! Again, disappointment!!!

    I just don’t get it!! What does it take to get things standardized and compatible. It seems a company like Sony would be willing to make one good standard product, with a light for night reading and that you can get contact from any place… or at the very least to make their prices for content compatible. Maybe i just need to return my new red Christmas present and go back to using the library!

  3. Jane
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 11:47:23

    @Judy Roman The sony reader doesn’t light up because of the technology. It’s called “eink” technology and relies on it’s static screen to provide it’s paper like look. It cannot be backlit. That’s the trade off – want a computer like product to look like paper, then you have to use paper like accessories. The higher end Sony (the prs700) has a front light built in but the screen quality isn’t as good.

    No eink device (i.e, not even the Kindle) has a backlight.

    Sony has opened its platform since this post. You can read Adobe DRM ebooks on it. I don’t know if you have a PC, but if you do, you would need to authorize your computer with Adobe Digital Editions and then authorize your Sony Reader, then you can buy the Adobe versions that Fictionwise and other retailers sell.

    It’s important that you buy the Adobe EPUB versions because the regular Adobe won’t look as well on the reader.

    Finally, if you really want to take advantage of your Reader, you can use a program called converlit gui (google it) and calibre (another program) to convert almost every Microsoft Reader file into something readable on your Sony Reader. It is considered to be against the law to strip the DRM from a book even for your own personal use, so you may not feel comfortable doing that.

  4. Judy Roman
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 10:49:47

    Thanks for the info regarding my new ebook… but i have to say, that given a choice; i really don’t care whether it looks like paper or not and certainly would have chosent for it to be back lit. I don’t think i would be alone in that choice.

    I will, however, look into the suggestions and programs you suggested. Thank you.

  5. Jane
    Jan 04, 2009 @ 10:57:58

    @Judy Roman: The only dedicated reading device on the market that has a backlight is the Ebookwise. you can buy one at If you don’t mind the a smaller screen, you could read on an iPod Touch.

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