99p bestsellers: opt into the eBook price wars

Miss Thrifty4 October 10, 2013

cheap ebooks Before I spill the beans, I’d like to make one thing very clear: to read digital books, you don’t have to own a Kindle or any of those special e-reader things. You can read them on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Amazon, for example, allows you to download free apps to read Kindle books on just about every gadget going: you can view the full list of devices and downloads here. Similarly, eBooks from Sainsburys can be read across pretty much every device with the notable exception of Kindles. You can access the free app downloads here.

Now, where were we? Ah, yes. Amazon and Sainsburys…

Ever since Amazon’s eBook sales overtook its print book sales, publishers have started to take the humble digital tome more seriously. Now the burst of new enthusiasm has spread to book retailers, too. Waterstones is now selling Kindle readers. Earlier this year Sainsburys bought a 64% stake in Anobii, which has more than 60,000 eBooks for sale.

Sainsburys has decided to make a splash entry into the eBook market by launching a cutprice eBook promotion throughout October 2013. It is offering a wide range of popular and hothothot fiction titles for just 99p. Some of the titles are to be priced at 99p throughout the month, but there are also daily flash sales, all of which feature “frontlist” books at this bargain price.

Now Amazon is getting in on the act. As of this week, it is price-matching the Sainsburys bargains.

So what does this mean for you, the humble reader?

In short, you can get some highly-rated read for just a fraction of the paperback price. Think of a current bestseller and there is a good chance that you can purchase the title for just 99p from Sainsburys eBooks or Amazon’s Kindle Store.

Here are just some of the titles currently on offer:

sainsburys ebooks 99p Sainsburys ebooks

A note: these book covers are all taken from the Sainsburys 99p page. At the time of writing, Amazon UK doesn’t seem to have a section dedicated to 99p books – not one that I can find, anyway. So I suggest that if you are a Kindle user, you select your book on the Sainsburys site and then search for the same title via the Amazon Kindle books homepage.

P.S. If you want to go one better, it is worth noting that Kindle users can get the popular classics – and many other titles besides – for free. You can find them here.

[Sainsburys eBooks]

[Amazon Kindle Store]


Image credit: The Library of the United Nations.



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4 Responses to “99p bestsellers: opt into the eBook price wars

Sandy says:

In the interests of all things thrifty, did you know you can also download thousands of free books from Project Gutenberg? These are books that are no longer subject to copyright and have been released into the public domain. There are literally thousands upon thousands of books here: http://www.gutenberg.org/

Also, for free audiobooks (which I love to listen to when I’m doing boring stuff like housework), you can use LibriVox, which takes those Project Gutenberg books and turns them into audiobooks. These are read by volunteers, so the quality is variable, but for example I have recently listened to P.G. Wodehouse’s The Adventures of Sally and The Girl on the Boat, which were fantastic, plus The Woman in White read by a cast, which was brilliant, rivalling a BBC production. You can find them here: http://www.librivox.org

October 10, 2013 at 9:44 am

Catmac says:

Thank you so much for the tip! I have a kindle, so I did as you suggested and checked out Sainsbury’s site, then headed over to Amazon to find the same priced at 99 p. Have bought three so far.

Happy reading!

October 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm

rhodak says:

Fantastic! Thanks so much for this. 😀

October 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Wayfarer says:

The Sainsbury offer is more useful overall. Partly because the Amazon deal is reactionary – they’ve been vastly overcharging for ebooks. Plus the Kindle format is the least portable format around – designed more with DRM in mind than the user.

But either way it’s good news. Until now, ebook prices have been outrageous. The traditional way of publishing books generated huge overheads which, of course, had to be recovered in sales. With ebooks, the journey from author to publication is much simpler and cheaper – and there’s now no excuse for ebooks prices beyond a pound or two. Not necessarily bad news for publishers/booksellers – with prices cheaper people will buy more. Bundles will probably become common.

Good news all round – not just prices, but the fact that competition is starting to make the industry realise that – perhaps – it’s a new game, and the traditional publishing gravy train is history.

October 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm

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