The Smart Bitches Test Drive with Sony Readers and Harlequin

VrreadThanks to the fine people at Sony and the very savvy folks at Harlequin, I’m announcing a very cool and unique opportunity. For those of you who have expressed an interest in the Sony Reader 505 and the Sony Reader 700, but were wary of the pricetag, it’s Test Drive Time.

HQN RULZSony has given me 30 refurbished models – twenty 505’s and ten 700’s – for the Smart Bitches Sony Reader Test Drive. I’ll select 30 Test Drivers, and those folks will have 60 days to use and experiment with their Sony Reader.

But wait, there’s more! We interrupt the awesomeness for a special message from Harlequin: Harlequin invites you to try out our eBooks along with the Sony Reader. To get you started, we’re giving a you an exclusive gift of $25 off Harlequin titles. We’d love for you to enjoy some of the series and authors that you already read and perhaps try out some new series or authors – on us. We’d love to hear your feedback on some of the eBooks you read!

Harlequin and Sony: bringing new meaning to the words, “Damn, you’re swell.”

Want more info? Keep Reading!

I get a Sony Reader?

If you are selected, yes, you’ll get a Sony Reader, either a 505 or a 700, to use for 60 days. 

What’s the catch?

Catch? Like I want your kidneys or something? No, no catch. I want to spread the word about digital reading, and allow people the chance to experiment with the Sony Reader without having to spend what for many of us is a huge amount of money. The Test Drive is open to residents of the United States and Canada – sorry, folks. I fully expect hatemail from Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I still love you and think you are fab.

For those chosen for the Test Drive, I will ask for the following:

1. Two reviews of the Sony, in any web-friendly format. An essay? Epic poem? Limerick series? A video? Photo essay? Collage? Hideously obnoxious Flash animation? (Oh, yes, that!) Your choice, but I’d like two pieces of review, reaction and feedback.

2. One book review. Because Harlequin has been so generous as to hook Test Drivers up with the free books, I ask that you review one of them.

3. A credit card number on file with Smart Bitches Trashy Books LLC (that’s us) as deposit against loss or damage to the Reader.

4. Return postage at the end of the Test Drive.

Really, that’s it.

So how do I get in on this EPIC PILE OF DIGITAL AWESOME?

Easy: Send an email to testdrive@smartbitchestrashybooks.com with the following information:

Your Name:
Your Location: (city, state or province or territory)

In 250 words or less: Why do you want to Test Drive a Sony?

Email entries are due by midnight Eastern Time on 27 June 2009. I’ll be selecting 30 Test Drivers from the pool of applicants. You can flirt with or harrass me over Twitter (@SmartBitches) to pick your application, if you like – the hashtag is #sbtd – Smart Bitches Test Drive.

Those selected will be sent a PDF contract outlining all the terms of the Test Drive to be signed and sent back to me (digitally, please). The contract is all formal and contains words like “whereas” and “hereunto” and “monkeybutt’ (ok not so much that last one) and spells out the terms for the Test Drive for both the Driver and me.

The program begins 1 July (or as soon as the Test Drivers receive the Sony Reader) and the Test Drive will run for 60 days. Two months of summer in which to vrrrread, vrrrread, vrrrread.

For additional details, please feel free to ask questions in the comments. I’ll answer as quickly as I can. Happy Test Driving!

Categorized:

General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Alyssa Day says:

    That is so freaking cool (and you could totally have one of my kidneys if you needed one, after what you did for me re: Peanut).  Don’t enter me – I’m going to go ahead & buy one next week as release prezzie to myself for Atlantis Unmasked. Just wanted to say THIS IS SO FREAKING COOL!!!!
    Hee.

  2. 2

    Will there be a buy-out option, or will a Test Driver who’s been seduced to the Sony Side have to return test model and buy a shiny new one?

  3. 3
    Sabrina says:

    This is freakin cool! And also super smart of Sony to realize they have the perfect audience here at Smart Bitches for a test drive. Romance readers are the big users of ebooks/ereaders, and no one has better readers than the Bitches!

    Thanks for having this great opportunity for us!

  4. 4
    ev says:

    But the harlequins are only for the test drivers of the Sony? Damn. I haven’t bought any eharlequins yet since I am unsure of how well the pdf format works with my 700. I am assuming that they use the pdf for the Sony. Any info would be appreciated.

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    Shannon: Unfortunately I can’t confirm any buyout option or discount off purchase of new model at the end of the program. Details as soon as I have them.

    ev: The harlequin gc is good for use in the Sony eBookstore, thanks to Sony’s ebookstore team and the Harlequin Digital Team having conference calls about it and generally being made of win and excellent.

    So the books downloaded with the GC will be for the Sony Reader from the Sony eBookstore.

    I’ll also be including instructions on how to download and load up the Sony with the Readers themselves, and doing tutorials here on the site as well.

  6. 6

    Ev, have you tried out the free Harlequins available from http://www.harlequincelebrates.com/ ? They’re available as pdfs, though I think it may be a slightly different kind of pdf from the kind that’s sold on the eHarlequin website, because those seem to need a different kind of Adobe to work (i.e. I can get the free Harlequins to work on my computer running Linux, but the ones I bought only worked on Windows.

    I’m in the UK, so not eligible, but Shannon Stacey’s question made me wonder what happens to the Harlequin books loaded onto the Sony if it has to be returned. Do they have DRM? If so, will the person lose their books when they send back the Sony?

  7. 7

    Oh wow! That would be awesome. I’m a huge eHarlequin fan (I get the Blazes each month, PLUS the Presents and Desires when I can scrape the cash for the whole collection of each month’s). I currently read them on my laptop, which means if we’re on a long trip (or anywhere without a plugin), I’m not gonna be reading for long :(

  8. 8
    Madd says:

    I’ve got a Sony 700, so I won’t be participating, but I’ve got to say that this sounds really awesome. If I didn’t already have one, which I totally love, I’d be all over this.

  9. 9
    Madd says:

    I’m in the UK, so not eligible, but Shannon Stacey’s question made me wonder what happens to the Harlequin books loaded onto the Sony if it has to be returned. Do they have DRM? If so, will the person lose their books when they send back the Sony?

    They use an .lrf format for their books and the DRM format is lrx. The eHarlequin books will be DRM. You can read them using the eBook Library, the software you use to access their eBook Store. The lrf files can also be read with Calibre.

  10. 10
    Silver James says:

    I’m in! And my spam word is new63. I would LOVE 63 new ebooks to read!!!!

  11. 11
    Marna says:

    Oooo, too cool! I’ve been trying to convince my husband he needs an e-reader—he’s active-duty Navy and complains all the time about not having enough room for his books.

    Hmmmm, I wonder if I could talk the ship’s library into having a ereader on board for their next deployment? Have to talk to the Chaplain about that.

    *snerk* My security code is “his77”.

  12. 12
    Lisa J says:

    The Sony 505 is a great reader.  Borders had a coupon for $100 off of one a couple of weeks ago and I jumped on the chance to buy one.  I love mine. 

    Enjoy your test drives!!  Great promotion Sarah!!

  13. 13
    azteclady says:

    Awesome beyond words (email sent, of course)

    And I’ll be checking back for the buy option—that would be really cool.

  14. 14
    JenD says:

    Will a visa check card do or does it have to be an old skool credit card?

  15. 15
    JaneDrew says:

    That is FANTASTIC. Awesome, awesome, awesome. As somebody who a) is a voracious reader, and b) is facing a regular long train ride next year, the e-reader concept is one that has been horribly, horribly tempting.

    And, even though yielding to temptation would probably involve money I ought not to be spending… I am totally going to sign up for the test reader program giveaway thing. Because it is just that awesome.

    …must… resist… temptation… to… use… both… working… e-mail… addresses….dangit

    spamword: could16—- I could see so many more than 16 ways an e-reader would be an awesome thing.

  16. 16
    AmyW says:

    @Ev and Laura Vivanco

    If you want to test PDFs from the eHarlequin eBook Store as opposed to the 60th downloads (which are DRM-free & such), there are a couple free stories you can try such as “Triple Threat” (a Harlequin Blaze short story) and a couple of the Harlequin Minis.

    Full disclosure: I work at Harlequin. On eBooks. Hi :)

  17. 17
    SB Sarah says:

    JenD: Will a visa check card do or does it have to be an old skool credit card?

    I am not charging the card for the deposit, so it can be any card you want. Just not, like, your Bergdorf’s charge or anything like that.

    Laura V: I’m working on the question about DRM and the Sony ebookstore. I’m 99% sure that whether or not Test Drivers return the Readers the books themselves belong to the person. I do know that they do have DRM (*SOB*) but the Sony ebookstore allows users to connect more than one device.

  18. 18
    Kalen Hughes says:

    This is so cool, but be warned: you’re all going to want to keep it!

  19. 19
    Erin Thompson says:

    Please enter me!  I would love to win one and am a huge Harlequin fan!!!

  20. 20

    Doh!  I just realized one must use the malevolent Windows OS.  I’m a MAC girl, so I guess this counts me out.  So sad, Sony, because you could have had another customer after the trial run.

  21. 21
    Sela Carsen says:

    I am duly entered and wrote my exactly 250 word essay, thoughtfully including the phrase *neener neener* which I was never able to work into anything I had to turn in for school.

    So excited about this!! It may be just the thing to tip DH over the edge into spending some of his paycheck. He’s a gadget geek and I just want to read.

  22. 22
    Rae says:

    Can I just tell you how much this rocks my bobby socks? I suck at product purchase without the test drive, and while the iPhone app (Stanza) does a pretty good job, not really the same and I’m wondering if it is a size issue.

  23. 23
    ms bookjunkie says:

    *Commence wailing and gnashing of teeth. Also pulling of hair and rending of clothes.*

    Why? Why? WHY didn’t my ancestors emigrate across the Atlantic? Their siblings did. Cousins. Neighbors. Why did my ancestors have to be the ones to inherit the stupid farms? On both sides of the family! Both my parents grew up on the stupid farms…and scraped the manure off their shoes, moving into ‘the city’. Aaarrrgh! I could’ve grown up in the Bread Basket or a mining town or anywhere else, speaking Finglish but no, I’m still in the Old Country, not so much speaking Finglish but ineligible to test out the Sony. WAHHH!

    *loud sob*

    *Sulking off to watch the BeBook2 video yet again.*

  24. 24
    Michelle says:

    What a great opportunity! I’ve been in a tizzy for months trying to figure out which e-Reader to buy, and this just might help me to decide! I will most definitely be emailing you!

    Summer fun, yay!

    Michelle (AntinMitchfield)

  25. 25
    CaroleM says:

    Okay – I don’t want one.  I’m so torn about any e-reader – best thing for the planet, but as a bookseller -it’s the kiss of death for my small home biz.  And as a book reader, I really love the feel of the book.  I can’t think of any situation in my own life where I’d need/want to use it.  But most of all,  what if I like it?  I mean really, really like it?  Then I have to deal with guilt feelings over the whole biz thing, plus look around at my approx 10,000 volume library and think how much more space I’d have if they were e-books, but, worst of all, I’d have to return it, and I’ll never be able to afford to buy one.  So, no, I don’t want one.

  26. 26
    Laura T says:

    I’d love to try one, and I’d love to get hooked on some new HQ authors. I see this costing money eventually..;);).. new HQ authors a must have and also the Sony Reader a must have lol… I checked out the Sony Reader at a B&N, it looked awesome… I’m not really sold on the Kindle yet either. Can’t decide between the 2—almost everything in our house is Sony though, so someday I think I’ll get it.

  27. 27
    Malle says:

    All,

    You can still get the 16 free harlequin books at Sony in their format (BeB) which of course looks great on their reader. I didn’t find the one page with all 16 books listed, but I went to http://www.harlequincelebrates.com copie,d the titles and then searched by title at Sony ex. B.J. Daniels Crime Scene. It works! the price is $0.00.

    Full disclosure, I’m a Harlequin person.

    Thanks, Sarah, for pulling together this great opportunity (and Aideen on our digital team).

  28. 28
    Maggi G says:

    What a great promotion! I would love the test drive! I have been using my iTouch, but am dying to try the Sony Reader and love, love, love Harlequin – have for years!

  29. 29
    Breia Brickey says:

    What an awesome thing to do for your fans. Smart Bitches/ Sony/Harlequin swamps me in a sea of teh awesome!

  30. 30
    Delia says:

    Mac users, take note that it is difficult—and slightly illegal—to get Harlequin books on your Reader.  Sony Readers don’t play well with Macs, and the DRM on Harlequin eBooks requires Adobe Digital Editions to sync up with your Reader (which it will not do on a Mac).  In order to get Harlequin books on it, you’ll have to crack the DRM.

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