View Full Version : Kindle books and other e-book readers


sorbix
11-20-2007, 12:46 AM
Ok, so I really wanted an iRex iliad, but the Kindle has made me reconsider. The main reason why the Kindle is so appealing is that it can potentially have a large volume of books specifically for the device.

What I want to know is whether anyone predicts the Kindle proprietary storage and delivery system to be cracked so I can buy their ebooks and read them on the iliad.

It is absurd that this is even necessary... I am extremely mad at Amazon for requiring a Kindle to buy their ebooks.

kovidgoyal
11-20-2007, 01:08 AM
Then voice your anger. Buy the paper copies from other retailers, get the cracked versions from the darknet and read 'em on the device of your choice. Don't encourage people to work around Amazon DRM, that just lets them get away with having their DRM cake and eating it too.

FixB
11-20-2007, 01:11 AM
Even more : buy your books from stores without any DRMs (I like Baen :))

sorbix
11-20-2007, 01:32 AM
Well, I am mostly frustrated because Amazon has the potential to offer many more ebooks than other retailers... and I would like to read them! the books from "alternative sources" don't tend to be formatted or translated into ebook format efficiently or successfully.

AnemicOak
11-20-2007, 10:56 AM
Well, I am mostly frustrated because Amazon has the potential to offer many more ebooks than other retailers... and I would like to read them!

It would only make sense that once the publisher goes to the trouble of creating the ebook that it'll be made available in other formats too. Pretty much all the big publishers have already said there are no plans for Kindle exclusive books so don't you think with Amazon pushing publishers to get things out all the other formats will benefit as well. You may not get the same price on bestsellers if you buy them in Mobi format for the Iliad, but with Amazon behind ebooks in general the whole catalog available to everyone should grow.

People seem to be making a big deal about the 88,000, or whatever the number is now, Kindle books but how many are books you'd ever want? How many are actually short stories or specialty books/documents that most folks will have no use for? I haven't looked so I'm not sure, but I'd bet a bunch are and are just helping pad the numbers or available titles.



I know some folks are pissed because they want the same $9.99 bestsellers deal for their device of choice. Also some are pissed because it's a US only device at this point. Amazon is subsidizing the low price of those $9.99 books as an enticement to sell the Kindle so of course they aren't going to be available to any other device.

As for the US only thing, hopefully that will change but as Amazon is a bookseller I'm sure they had to offer some assurances to publishers in other countries that the books wouldn't be able to usurp sales of locally published editions or it would hurt Amazon's existing pbook relationships. How many publishing houses in the UK or Canada or Germany or elsewhere even do ebooks? I've looked for some UK ebooks of a few books I want not available in the US & found none available. It would be easy if the publishing market was global, but with all the local divisions & fiefdoms out there it's not and publishing rights are separate for a lot of those areas. In order to release a device in other markets & keep those publishers happy the books have to first be available in those markets to sell. This isn't a problem for iRex or Bookeen because all they sell are devices, but for a company that's already one of the largest booksellers out there it has to play a part in their decisions.

kovidgoyal
11-20-2007, 12:08 PM
Well, I am mostly frustrated because Amazon has the potential to offer many more ebooks than other retailers... and I would like to read them! the books from "alternative sources" don't tend to be formatted or translated into ebook format efficiently or successfully.

I agree, it's why so many of us are pissed with Amazon.

wmaurer
11-20-2007, 01:14 PM
It would only make sense that once the publisher goes to the trouble of creating the ebook that it'll be made available in other formats too.

It makes sense, but will it eventuate? I already have two examples of books that are available as Kindle Editions, and upon asking them, Mobipocket have responded that the publishers will not be making the available to sell on their site.

-Wayne

AnemicOak
11-20-2007, 01:24 PM
It makes sense, but will it eventuate? I already have two examples of books that are available as Kindle Editions, and upon asking them, Mobipocket have responded that the publishers will not be making the available to sell on their site.

We'll just have to wait & see I suppose. Are these from one of the bigger publishers or a small house? Pretty much all the big guys have said they have no plans to offer exclusives to Amazon.

wmaurer
11-20-2007, 01:56 PM
Harcourt Publishing and Grove/Atlantic. I don't know much about how big they are, but one book is the Booker Prize winner, and the other was shortlisted. I posted the link to Mobipocket's response on the 'Potentially very disappointed' thread.

Alisa
11-20-2007, 01:58 PM
Even more : buy your books from stores without any DRMs (I like Baen :))

Books aren't really interchangeable. I want to read the book I want to read. If it didn't matter which book, I'd only own one and I'd read it over and over. Amazon has many more of the titles I'm interested in. Aside from PG, I find very few things I want that come without DRM. I don't see that changing any time soon.

AnemicOak
11-20-2007, 02:00 PM
Harcourt Publishing and Grove/Atlantic. I don't know much about how big they are, but one book is the Booker Prize winner, and the other was shortlisted. I posted the link to Mobipocket's response on the 'Potentially very disappointed' thread.

Looking at the publishers sites I don't think they do much in the way of ebooks. I wonder if asking the publisher would do any good.

tirsales
11-20-2007, 02:19 PM
I guess it will be exactly like the eMusic-market:
Publishers make the same mistakes again and again - seems like "learning out of errors" isn't a used technique anymore.
NTL: They will start selling eBooks when and only when there normal pBook-Market drops. Before that they will rant about "piracy books" and "organized criminals scanning books and giving them away for free" etc etc drekcetera.
Moral of the stroy: They will serve the eBook-market only if they HAVE too.

EatingPie
11-22-2007, 02:29 PM
Look, we DESPERATELY need a single e-Book format.

Amazon has the power and numbers to make that single format happen. Every e-reader that I know can be firmware flashed, so it's just a question of licensing and implementing the Kindle format in each Reader.

Unfortunately, it looks like Amazon wants to the Kindle to be the "iPod of e-Readers" in all ways but the good. They're locking Amazon content to the Kindle like Apple iTunes to the iPod. But unlike the iPod, the Kindle is the butt-ugliest piece of shi -- er -- electronics I've seen in years...

To the pain.... Children will gaze upon you and cry out 'my God what is that thing!'

;)

I have no problem with DRM as long as its universally usable. That latter is where Amazon is blowing it... so, yeah, chalk me up as another one pissed at Amazon on this one. (Though I admit, early to call, and time will tell.)

-Pie

FixB
11-22-2007, 03:22 PM
Books aren't really interchangeable. I want to read the book I want to read. If it didn't matter which book, I'd only own one and I'd read it over and over.
Agreed :D
I just wanted to point out that there are interesting books outside amazon. Even if not all the ones you want...

rflashman
11-23-2007, 01:23 AM
Look, we DESPERATELY need a single e-Book format.

I think what Amazon wants is a single e-Book service. Since they keep a copy of everything you buy online, they could easily support different (future) devices and seamlessly transfer your purchased content between them. So they are not locked to any single format.

Liviu_5
11-23-2007, 01:41 AM
I think what Amazon wants is a single e-Book service. Since they keep a copy of everything you buy online, they could easily support different (future) devices and seamlessly transfer your purchased content between them. So they are not locked to any single format.

Like those pdf books I bought from them and they deleted ??
Trust them at your own risk...

DaleDe
11-23-2007, 02:40 PM
I think what Amazon wants is a single e-Book service. Since they keep a copy of everything you buy online, they could easily support different (future) devices and seamlessly transfer your purchased content between them. So they are not locked to any single format.

There is no reason to keep a copy of everything you buy online. The books are the same. They only need to keep track of a list of what you want and then be able to redeliver it. It would be a real waste of resources to actually keep a copy of every single book that every single person bought.

Dale

rflashman
11-23-2007, 05:11 PM
There is no reason to keep a copy of everything you buy online. The books are the same. They only need to keep track of a list of what you want and then be able to redeliver it. It would be a real waste of resources to actually keep a copy of every single book that every single person bought. Dale

I meant 'copy' as the end result, not the actual technology behind the scenes. You are right that the easiest way to do this is just to keep the list and 'master' formats behind the scenes and then reformat/delivery the file as requested.

EatingPie
11-24-2007, 01:14 PM
I think what Amazon wants is a single e-Book service. Since they keep a copy of everything you buy online, they could easily support different (future) devices and seamlessly transfer your purchased content between them. So they are not locked to any single format.

Amazon's format instantly became the most likely to accomplish this holy grail of single e-book format. Sure Amazon could supply other formats like .lit and LRF, but that means the publishers must generated the books in these formats also. From their perspective, why on earth would they want to? Why set up an LRF, LIT and a Kindle format book when you can just pump out a Kindle version and be done with it -- and (presumably) make as much sales?

Publishers are having a hard enough time embracing e-books as it is, and the plethora of piņatas.... er formats!... is just one more stopgap in the adoption process. I see one format-- preferably made by the guys that sell the most of your (publishers) books -- being key to publishers accepting this whole e-book "thing."

Amazon licensing their format (hopefully it's as good as LRF!) to other companies -- and said companies like Sony buying in -- is something I desperately want to see.

-Pie

tompe
11-24-2007, 01:46 PM
From what I have read the publishers will generate .epub.

HarryT
11-24-2007, 04:02 PM
From their perspective, why on earth would they want to? Why set up an LRF, LIT and a Kindle format book when you can just pump out a Kindle version and be done with it -- and (presumably) make as much sales?


Well, one reason is that the Kindle is only available to 5% of the world's population - those who live in the US. Perhaps publishers might like to also sell to the other 95%? :)

rflashman
11-24-2007, 06:53 PM
Well, one reason is that the Kindle is only available to 5% of the world's population - those who live in the US. Perhaps publishers might like to also sell to the other 95%? :)

Yeah, but we consume 25% of the resources. :-P

EatingPie
11-26-2007, 02:56 PM
From what I have read the publishers will generate .epub.
What's .epub? Did the article suggest that from this format, it would be up to the e-book sellers to generate the format of their choice?

Well, one reason is that the Kindle is only available to 5% of the world's population - those who live in the US. Perhaps publishers might like to also sell to the other 95%? :)
I didn't realize the Kindle was US-only. I'm sure it's not going to stay that way though. Amazon sells books to Canada and the UK. Don't they also have Europe covered?

On an international note. It's interesting that the OLPC project (one laptop per child) was motivated in part by book supplies... or lack thereof. You get one OLPC into a child's hand, then CD-Roms containing hundreds of texts -- or via wireless -- is a billion times easier than shipping the actual hundreds of texts (one textbook per child times 1000 text books is a nightmare of scale).

If the OLPC accomplishes the project goal, I'm betting THEIR format of choice will be available to the far greater majority of the world's population. Though I'm somewhat skeptical of the OLPC's chosen e-book format being the one that ultimately takes off (the aforementioned 5% is far more affluent and sends a lot more money into corporate coffers), let's hope they choose a good one just in case! ;)

-Pie

alphasun
11-27-2007, 05:12 AM
Even more : buy your books from stores without any DRMs (I like Baen :))

I wonder would your attitude be the same if you were a living author making your living from one of those books?

astra
11-27-2007, 05:32 AM
I wonder would your attitude be the same if you were a living author making your living from one of those books?

I wonder would the authors of the DRM-free content that is being offered on BAEN let it happen if they were not happy with the idea?

JSWolf
11-27-2007, 05:36 AM
Harcourt Publishing and Grove/Atlantic. I don't know much about how big they are, but one book is the Booker Prize winner, and the other was shortlisted. I posted the link to Mobipocket's response on the 'Potentially very disappointed' thread.
Can you please repost the link here? Thanks!

FixB
11-27-2007, 05:50 AM
I wonder would your attitude be the same if you were a living author making your living from one of those books?
It definitively would.
But this hypothesis is highly improbable as the texts I write (even if they were to be published) are French SFF texts, and there is no way a French author of those subgenres could live from his books (even pbooks).

wallcraft
11-27-2007, 06:39 AM
I wonder would your attitude be the same if you were a living author making your living from one of those books? Author's get paid the same for an e-book with or without DRM. The question about DRM from an author's point of view should be: do I sell more books (e-books, and p-books by the way) if the e-book has DRM or not. What seems to maximize an author's income is low cost DRM-free e-books (perhaps only available when the paperback comes out, but an e-book can sell more hardbacks). Note that if you have many once popular titles that are now out of print or not selling well, then e-books are a new way to make money and DRM-free e-books are particularly good here. A substantial fraction of your "new" readers will already have the title in hardback or paperback - why do you want to annoy them with DRM.

Some authors seem to equate DRM-free with easily stolen. I don't think this is true, but the real question is why do you care? It does not matter how many people download a bootlegged copy. What matters is how many people pay for a legal copy. Even a bootlegged e-book can lead to a p-book sale.

If Amazon comes to dominates the e-book market, and requires DRM, then authors may indeed need to allow DRM (although it isn't usually their choice anyway). I think Amazon is making a strategic (long term) mistake not allowing other e-book sellers access to the Kindle with DRMed e-books. Most of their customers would buy from Amazon anyway, but now the only way for others to access the Kindle market is with DRM-free e-books.

HarryT
11-27-2007, 08:10 AM
I didn't realize the Kindle was US-only. I'm sure it's not going to stay that way though. Amazon sells books to Canada and the UK. Don't they also have Europe covered?


Amazon are very big throughout Europe; that's what makes their decision to go with EVDO as a wireless solution so puzzling. Had they gone with EDGE, as Apple did with the iPhone, the Kindle could have easily been rolled out internationally. As it is, the hardware will need to be redesigned for the European market.

EatingPie
11-27-2007, 12:11 PM
I wonder would your attitude be the same if you were a living author making your living from one of those books?

I think iTunes has proven that people are fine with paying for downloadable content if it's available, and at a reasonable price. Yeah it's DRMed, but the main thing it showed was that Kazaa wasn't only people stealing music, it was people who wanted downloadable music and would gladly pay for it if available.

And for me that hits the nail on the head with e-books. It's not about DRM vs. non-DRM. It's about content being available. Between Amazon and the Sony store, there's still hardly anything I want to purchase because the selection is so sparse (by my tastes anyway). I go off the beaten path to find e-books for one simple reason: that's the only way I can find them!

-Pie

rflashman
11-27-2007, 01:34 PM
Amazon are very big throughout Europe; that's what makes their decision to go with EVDO as a wireless solution so puzzling. Had they gone with EDGE, as Apple did with the iPhone, the Kindle could have easily been rolled out internationally. As it is, the hardware will need to be redesigned for the European market.

They can just as easily run a separate production line with EDGE or any other data transfer technology (just change a chip). When it comes to manufacturing in the quantities that I assume the Kindle is being made, running a different motherboard revision is no big deal. So I don't think choosing in any way EVDO for U.S. means they are not bothering with international markets.

DaleDe
11-28-2007, 06:21 PM
They can just as easily run a separate production line with EDGE or any other data transfer technology (just change a chip). When it comes to manufacturing in the quantities that I assume the Kindle is being made, running a different motherboard revision is no big deal. So I don't think choosing in any way EVDO for U.S. means they are not bothering with international markets.

Of course they need CE certification for Europe.

Dale