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Waterstones being lethargic with their pre-launch marketing of Sony Reader?

Waterstonesreader So with only 4 days remaining until Waterstones unleash the Sony Reader PRS-505 into the UK market, you’d expect their ‘wheels of marketing’ to be in full motion, chipping away at their customers, convincing them that they REALLY NEED to invest £199 in some ‘new-fangled’ book/reading technology.

Sadly, not so. Any notion of Waterstones’ wheels of marketing ‘chipping away’ seems not to have materialised.  The stores I visited in the past week may have had one or two ‘pre-order online’ posters on display, but from what I saw that’s about as far as Waterstones’ marketing wheels seemed to have turned on this.

If that’s not bad enough, the sales staff I questioned seemed bewildered about the impending launch of the Sony Reader (other than knowing the launch date), and showed little to no enthusiasm for its arrival. I did manage to speak with one member of staff (nice guy), who was tasked with setting up an in-store Reader display ‘in the next few days’, but again he was foggy (perhaps purposely) on any detail.

All of this lethargy makes me really disappointed in Waterstones. Here they are, in the enviable position of being able to host a landmark launch in the UK, one where they can build some real pre-launch excitement, and it looks like they’re just going to let the Sony Reader pretty much slip in the back door next Thursday.

In fairness maybe I’m just being a bit premature and Waterstones are waiting until post-launch to really set their marketing wheels in motion. However in light of the pre-launch excitement and hype that has surrounded other key gadget launches in recent months (key gadgets such as the iPhone, which can pretty much sell themselves anyway), it’s a huge disappointment that Waterstones, or Sony for that matter, have failed to build any kind of feverish anticipation.

Personally I don’t need Waterstones’ help in getting excited about the arrival of the Sony PRS-505 in the UK. As regulars know I’ve already pre-ordered mine - I know how good they are. But it’s not me that Waterstones need to convince. It’s the traditionalists; those who balk at the thought of parting with almost £200, for what they must see as an alien technology, one that has no place in the tactile world of books and reading. It’s going to be no easy job winning over these readers, and Waterstones should really set out on winning that tough 'battle' sooner, rather than later; it isn’t going to be easy!!

Anyway only 4 days to go so let’s see how this pans out. Roll on launch day!!

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Sadly, not so. … The stores I visited in the past week may have had one or two ‘pre-order online’…I did manage to speak with one member of staff who was tasked with setting up an in-store Reader display

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