A post at the Smashwords blog unfolds the details of Sony's announcement to close the Sony Reader store in the US and Canada. Purchasers of Smashwords distributed books should follow the links http://www.kobo.com/sony and http://blog.sony.com/2014/02/the-future-of-reader-store/ for information on how to migrate their Sony Purchasers to Kobo.
However large or small the market share of the Sony reader store it was valuable, it gave a choice, a dash of variety to a world that seems bent on channelling everyone down the same route and crowding everyone inside the same store, be it bricks and mortar or digital. It was an essential part of the ebook publishing revolution, an early player in the field for ereaders and ebooks and had its part in bringing authors like myself to a wider audience in the partnership with Smashwords. Sony was there before Amazon and the Kindle but couldn't keep up with the competition. In the relentless struggle of Store Wars there will be those who fall, and others who build on the foundation that they set in place. The ebook revolution is changing the way we read and the way we access that reading, and Sony's contribution to that shift should be noted.
There have always been independent authors and publishers, what was massively underestimated was the number looking for a way to be heard. Sony, and Smashwords played a part in that. The closure of the store will mean the end of a partnership, but the story goes on. The indie author is here to stay, working alongside the traditional author and publisher, but doing things their way and long may that be so.
A few months ago I posted a question; who`s the hero? In the rapidly changing environment of publishing the heroes and villains of the ebook revolution have yet to be determined, though we all have our own. Whatever your choice may be a new country needs its pioneers and that will be Sony's contribution to the ebook and the ereader: pioneers. Thank you.