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Aussie bookseller challenging Amazon with 'Kindle Amnesty'

Pages and Pages bookshop
Kindle Amnesties are planned for the third Saturday of each month
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An Aussie bookshop is taking on Amazon, offering a $50 voucher when customers trade in a Kindle device and replace it with a different ereader.

Pages and Pages of Mosman in Sydney is urging its customers to avoid Amazon's lock-in business model and to choose a comparable e-book device that supports more common and widely available ebook formats.

"We want to educate our customers about how a Kindle works and what it does, and to show them that there is other choices in the market," says Jon Page, General Manager of the store. "They don't have to default to Kindle and be locked in to Amazon to do all their reading."

Freedom in formats

As an alternative, Pages and Pages is selling the BeBook Touch ereader, which is compatible with ePub, PDF, .txt, HTML and mobipocket formats. It also supports ePub files with Adobe DRM copy protection.

"ePub format is the international standard ebook format that every ebook retailer uses," explains Page. "What Amazon does is convert ePub files from publishers to its own format, and because of digital rights restrictions, consumers are not allowed to copy or convert files to a different format... so they are forced to read these files using a Kindle device."

Concerned that Kindles were becoming the acknowledged name for ebook readers generally, Pages and Pages decided to launch a "Kindle Amnesty", where customers can turn in their Kindle readers and receive a gift voucher with the purchase of a BeBook reader.

The first amnesty happened last weekend, with future events planned for the third Saturday of each month going forward.

The $50 voucher can be spent on other items in the store, including e-books. Pages and Pages recenlty partnered with Sydney's based publisher Readcloud to distribute ebooks, which are sold in the ePub file format. The store advertises that it stocks up to 75,000 titles from many of the major publishing houses.