No end for 20p offers

No end for 20p offers

Sony has said it will continue to offer 20p e-books into the new year, extending the promotion that has seen titles from Ken Follett and James Herbert sold at the low price.

The offer began in July as a way to draw readers to Sony's Reader Store, and was matched by Amazon, which began selling the same e-book titles at 20p on the Kindle. Five of the top 10 paid-for books in the Kindle Store are currently 20p titles, including the top spot which is held by Safe House by Chris Ewan (Faber).

A spokesman for the Sony Reader Store said: "Pricing activity at Reader Store remains  focused on offering curious readers an engaging way to experience digital books, and we have chosen to do this by making a small selection of great titles available at the unusually low price of 20p. Over the holidays we believe this pricing remains interesting to our customers, especially those being introduced to digital books for the first time during this period."

The company also insisted that readers will not come to see 20p as the standard price of e-books. It said: "It remains our view that the British reading public is able to discern that a handful of e-books priced at 20p does not make 20p the new price of e-books."

Earlier in the year, James Herbert's Ash (Macmillan) was included in the 20p offer just days after its hardback release at an r.r.p. of £18.99, as was Ken Follett's Winter of the World (Macmillan), priced at £20 in hardback.

Asked if the offer had been successful in drawing customers to the Reader Store, the Sony spokesman said: "We have no figures to share at this time, but as can be seen we are continuing this pricing activity."

Other big-name authors included in the offer have been Man Booker Prize-winner Alan Hollinghurst, Jeffrey Archer and Peter James. Alice Peterson's Monday to Friday Man (Quercus) became the first title to knock E. L James from the top of the Kindle store after months of dominance.