Sony ends 20p promotion

Amazon is raising prices on its 20p e-books after Sony ended the 20p promotion on its own eReader store.

Sony began the promotion, offering selected books at 20p, in July 2012 in an attempt to attract readers to its e-book site. The offer was soon matched by Amazon offering the same books for the same price. However, following a re-design of the Sony website, all books that were in the 20p offer have now been returned to higher prices.

Sony has held the door open for a return of the promotion, or an alternative, saying: “Discounted 20p pricing is not currently offered on the newly relaunched UK Reader Store. However, pricing is always subject to revision. The duration of our 20p pricing is indicative of our commitment to provide great e-books at exceptionally accessible prices, which is a philosophy we continue to hold."

“With over 200,000 more titles and eight languages now represented in the relaunched UK Reader Store, customers can anticipate further opportunities to explore great, accessible reading soon.”

On Amazon, titles which have topped the Kindle chart while at 20p have also returned to higher prices. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Hesperus) is at £3.99 on Amazon (£5.59 in the Sony store), changing this morning (Monday 18th March). Life of Pi (Canongate), which spent weeks at the top of the Kindle chart is now at £3.47 (£5.49 in the Sony store). John Lanchester's Capital (Faber) moved to £3.66 this morning, with Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd (Quercus) rising to 99p.

Sony said when they started the offer that it would not be time limited, and that the selection of titles would change frequently. During the eight months the offer has run, authors including Peter James, Alan Hollinghurst, Ken Follett, James Herbert and Jeffrey Archer have seen their books sold at 20p.