View Full Version : How often do you not find an ebook you want?


Hellmark
03-15-2010, 11:10 AM
Recently, when I was going through trying to find a ebook of a story referenced on one of my favorite steampunk blogs, only to find no ebook was available, sans a really atrocious google books scan, despite it being a public domain book from some what of a historical figure. Now, I just write it off as just being lost in the shuffle of the multitude of books still needing to be scanned. However, then afterwards, my girlfriend was looking into some ebooks of the more contemporary stories she likes, and was finding still published books, or even brand new releases, with no ebook.

Now this got me to thinking about really how many books don't get digital copies. You guys run into this very often?

Steven Lyle Jordan
03-15-2010, 11:19 AM
For me... regularly. I am constantly searching for everything from old pub-domain books, to a-few-decades-old books (Boulle's Monkey Planet aka Planet of the Apes, English translation, and Childhood's End, immediately come to mind), to 1- to 5-year-old SF novels like Wild Cards: Death Draws Five or The Sapphire Sirens. A lot of the books I'd love to get on e-book have not been made available, and I suspect many never will.

And yes, it's frustrating. As someone who has about max'ed out on space at home, and has made every effort not to buy printed books, I'm losing out on some great reads because they disappear from store shelves while I'm waiting in vain for e-product.

Hear that, publishers? You are losing sales, here, plain and simple.

Hellmark
03-15-2010, 11:25 AM
I know for me, I grabbed what resources I could and started working on an ebook of the PD book I was after. However, if I am able to edit and layout one book a month, that still isn't even scratching the surface. Plus that is still limited to the public domain books. Makes no sense to not make an ebook anymore.

poohbear_nc
03-15-2010, 12:07 PM
To get more perspective on missing digital editions of mainstream titles - look at the titles listed in the Amazon forum in the Classic Book Request List.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56842

Elfwreck
03-15-2010, 12:41 PM
I don't know of ebook versions of any of the religious books I read. And there's a lot of sci-fi from the 70s & 80s that's never been released as ebooks. (And earlier, of course, but I can think of several 70s/80s midlist titles I've looked for and not found.)

However, "can't find the book" is not my main problem; "not available without DRM" is. I'm not willing to support DRM by paying for it, so authors & publishers who only sell books with DRM don't get my business.

If I *really* want to read the book, I'll find a cheap secondhand copy, chop the binding off, and scan & convert it.

leebase
03-15-2010, 12:46 PM
I'd say "regularly" for me as well. I still check out books from the library primarily because I can't buy an ebook version.

Lee

HorridRedDog
03-15-2010, 12:51 PM
All too many books are not published in ebook format. The publishers don't seem to want to bother with (old) low profit books on the ebook market. Personally, I think that they hope this FAD will just die out.

There might be a solution.

The Monticello Drug Company (http://www.monticellodrug.com/mdc-about-us.html) buys "old" products that other companies did not want.

"We believe that these brands were considered non-core under previous ownership and, in most cases, did not benefit from the focus of senior level management or strong brand support. Our management has taken advantage of this opportunity by providing each acquired brand with the marketing support and attention necessary to enhance the brand's market position, expand its distribution and successfully managing each line effectively."

If only the old non ebooks could be bought up, converted, and sold anew by someone who cares. There could be peace and happiness in the world again.

Any publishers out there want to do what Monticello Drug Company did?

Lemurion
03-15-2010, 02:29 PM
All too many books are not published in ebook format. The publishers don't seem to want to bother with (old) low profit books on the ebook market. Personally, I think that they hope this FAD will just die out.

There might be a solution.

The Monticello Drug Company (http://www.monticellodrug.com/mdc-about-us.html) buys "old" products that other companies did not want.

"We believe that these brands were considered non-core under previous ownership and, in most cases, did not benefit from the focus of senior level management or strong brand support. Our management has taken advantage of this opportunity by providing each acquired brand with the marketing support and attention necessary to enhance the brand's market position, expand its distribution and successfully managing each line effectively."

If only the old non ebooks could be bought up, converted, and sold anew by someone who cares. There could be peace and happiness in the world again.

Any publishers out there want to do what Monticello Drug Company did?

Baen is already doing that, releasing several authors' backlist SF/F in affordable ebook editions. Unfortunately it doesn't always work as sometimes they can't get the rights. (See Mountain Magic for an example).

HorridRedDog
03-15-2010, 02:39 PM
Baen is already doing that, releasing several authors' backlist SF/F in affordable ebook editions. Unfortunately it doesn't always work as sometimes they can't get the rights. (See Mountain Magic for an example).

I didn't know that was an active program on their part.

HEAR THAT EVERYBODY! HELP BAEN ADOPT ANOTHER ORPHAN!

I've given more money to Baen Books than any other. I'll be giving them more money soon too.

phenomshel
03-15-2010, 03:57 PM
All too many books are not published in ebook format. The publishers don't seem to want to bother with (old) low profit books on the ebook market. Personally, I think that they hope this FAD will just die out.

There might be a solution.

The Monticello Drug Company (http://www.monticellodrug.com/mdc-about-us.html) buys "old" products that other companies did not want.

"We believe that these brands were considered non-core under previous ownership and, in most cases, did not benefit from the focus of senior level management or strong brand support. Our management has taken advantage of this opportunity by providing each acquired brand with the marketing support and attention necessary to enhance the brand's market position, expand its distribution and successfully managing each line effectively."

If only the old non ebooks could be bought up, converted, and sold anew by someone who cares. There could be peace and happiness in the world again.

Any publishers out there want to do what Monticello Drug Company did?

Yeah. Google. But then everyone wanted a piece of the pie and now it will be tied up in court forever.
Ok, that was a kneejerk response, and I apologize. But I had high hopes for the Google Books initiative for exactly this reason. I don't think even Google has the money to pay the prices the rights holders would want for everything that's been orphaned by publishers or "forgotten". And whoever said publishers are hoping this FAD will die out is probably more correct than not.

Darqref
03-16-2010, 01:57 AM
Yeah. Google. But then everyone wanted a piece of the pie and now it will be tied up in court forever.
Ok, that was a kneejerk response, and I apologize. But I had high hopes for the Google Books initiative for exactly this reason. I don't think even Google has the money to pay the prices the rights holders would want for everything that's been orphaned by publishers or "forgotten". And whoever said publishers are hoping this FAD will die out is probably more correct than not.

Actually, the core part of that "everyone wanted a piece" is what's critical.

I have read the editors at Baen saying that they couldn't re-publish Wild Cards stuff, because it was impossible to find all the writers to obtain the rights to their individual stories. Just like "WKRP in Cincinnati", which couldn't get new licenses for all the background music, so it doesn't get released on Dvd. A much harder problem than finding the single (or at least small number) author for a typical novel. Single author collections are much more likely to get the rights cleared for new publication.

Blue Tyson
03-16-2010, 04:59 AM
For me... regularly. I am constantly searching for everything from old pub-domain books, to a-few-decades-old books (Boulle's Monkey Planet aka Planet of the Apes, English translation, and Childhood's End, immediately come to mind), to 1- to 5-year-old SF novels like Wild Cards: Death Draws Five or The Sapphire Sirens. A lot of the books I'd love to get on e-book have not been made available, and I suspect many never will.

And yes, it's frustrating. As someone who has about max'ed out on space at home, and has made every effort not to buy printed books, I'm losing out on some great reads because they disappear from store shelves while I'm waiting in vain for e-product.

Hear that, publishers? You are losing sales, here, plain and simple.

Death Draws Five was tied up in a corporate collapse, twice, I think - not sure if that was ever resolved. So the only way you likely to get an ebook is scan your own - something I will probably do one day I suppose.

jayne80
03-16-2010, 01:30 PM
if i have a list of Authors I'm looking for in general half of them arn't in ebook form, and they are books published in the last 10-15 years, of the remaining Authors they may have some books published in ebook but at least some of those won't have the book in particular that i am looking for. I would mind so much if there was consistancy in which books are available.

For example Jill Mansell has written 20-21 books 15 of those are available, the remaining 5-6 one is her brand new book, the others aren't her oldest books or her newest books but are dotted around, so it isn't as if she changed publishers. So why 15 not all of them?

pendragginp
03-16-2010, 07:19 PM
I keep looking for some of my childhood favorites in ebook. Some of them are re-published, but none are in ebook. :chinscratch: I'll have to find somebody who will make ebooks out of my own copies for me. Is there a business which does that? And doesn't charge an arm and a leg and your grandma?

Elfwreck
03-16-2010, 07:24 PM
I keep looking for some of my childhood favorites in ebook. Some of them are re-published, but none are in ebook. :chinscratch: I'll have to find somebody who will make ebooks out of my own copies for me. Is there a business which does that? And doesn't charge an arm and a leg and your grandma?

It quickly runs into copyright problems. While you might have the legal right to make a copy for personal use, including making a digital copy from a physical book, it's entirely unclear how permissible it is to hire someone else to do the labor involved.

pendragginp
03-16-2010, 07:29 PM
Hmmmm.

Thanks for replying, Elfwreck. =)

fugazied
03-16-2010, 07:56 PM
Probably... 25% of the time I would say.
My taste is also pretty mainstream so that's quite high.

kdf9511
03-16-2010, 08:14 PM
It happenes to me quite frequently. There is one book that I have been trying to find for a while but it is out of print and there is no ebook version anywhere.

pwalker8
03-16-2010, 09:14 PM
I have a long list of books that I want to get in ebook format. One problem is works where the author is dead and the current rights holders don't seem to be terribly interested in ebooks, or are simply not active in getting the books published. The other issue is mid list authors who dropped out of writing.

rebarnmom
03-18-2010, 04:04 PM
All too often!!!
But I always make a point to contact the publisher to ask if there are any plans for an ebook edition for the books I'm interested in & in a format that is universally available. (I don't expect them to read my mind.)
Some I get responses from and some I don't, but I'll just keep pestering them!

Joebill
03-19-2010, 09:29 PM
Trying to find a reasonably priced computer ebook is a major pain.

Ken Maltby
03-19-2010, 09:53 PM
I have taken "The Darknet" to mean torrent or "sharing" sites on the internet, but
I guess you might consider that a part of the USENET had a "dark" side, the binaries
newsgroups. While the USENET is dyeing out, if you have a newsgroup provider with
good retention of binaries newsgroups, you can find where a great many ebooks are
available for download. I have found many SciFi and public domain classics at:
alt.binaries.e-book.palm and alt.binaries.e-books.palm. None of these will have DRM
on them, of course.

Luck;
Ken

jgaiser
03-20-2010, 11:46 AM
For my niche interests (cooking and cooking related), nearly all the time.

For the older, non-PD fiction and non-fiction, anywhere between 25-50%.

For classics... Everything I need is here at MR. :thanks:

Hamlet53
03-21-2010, 05:56 PM
Quite often actually, and not only for obscure titles. Then until I recently started actively viewing this web site once more ( I had taken a break from all things related to reading for a while due to eyesight problems) I had never even heard the term “darknet.” Still would not know how to find things there, and would rather not take what is at best a dubious route. I am not saying that I agree with all of the current copyright restrictions, especially the forever in copyright that seems to be current in the U.S for items not already in the public domain, but things are what they are.

Anyway right now to provide some excellent youth reading for the child of a friend I would love to have the following titles on e-book, but just not available as far as I can tell:

Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

Actually I would like to read Laughing Boy at least once more myself.

GyGeek
03-22-2010, 11:29 AM
I have pretty much restricted myself to audio and electronic books, with most of what I read coming from audio books I have stored on my computer gleaned from libraries, and what is available at librivox and audible. There are some I read on my reader, in circumstances that aren't appropriate for having earbuds in.

There is so much that I can't hope to consume it all. However, I participate in a very informal book discussion group, and it happens at times they pick a book that can't be found in either format. Recently the group did Blood Makes The Grass Grow Green, and although I found it at B&N, I almost gave up and skipped that one because I couldn't get it on my reader easily. I managed eventually, but I probably wouldn't have finished if I'd have had to read it from the computer.

Lirael
03-23-2010, 03:08 PM
Sadly, if I compare the number of times I've gone looking for a specific ebook vs. the number of times I've actually found it (legally), I've *not* found what I'm looking for more often then I've found what I wanted.

This is probably due to my taste in books - less mainstream, lots of not-very-old-but-not-brand-new fantasy and scifi. If it's something I *really* want I've taken to dropping a line to the publisher about it. If I don't find it, I don't buy the paper version either - just check it out of my local library when I want to read. It doesn't bother me a whole lot; I'm holding out hope that it'll all be made digital someday. XD

Though, I don't know about anyone else, but the one thing that *really* gets my goat is when certain books in a series are available, but there's no rhyme or reason as to why they were digitized and the others weren't (say, books 2, 3, and 5 of a five book series or something.) If it were, say, only the start of the series or only the end, I'd get it, but why so random?

begem0t
09-22-2010, 05:03 AM
For many of my favorite authors, I seldom find a legal e-book. For example, Jonathan Carroll (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_16?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=jonathan+carroll&sprefix=jonathan+carroll) has a SINGLE e-book (which I immediately purchased). An that is one book in a serie of six books.

Sorry, dear “big publishers”, Darknet IS the alternative to your incompetence. It’s up to you – either learn to swim, or drown.

The only pity is it’s the authors paying for your swimming lessons, but I really think they are already finding ways to eliminate the publisher and go directly to the readers.

Ravensknight
09-22-2010, 08:25 AM
I'd say about 50% of the time? I had to create my own ebooks of Michael Moorcock's second Corum Trilogy. Buy the paperbacks, razor, scan, edit. Bleh. But now I have them for when I want to reread them in 10 years time :smack:

MrPLD
09-22-2010, 08:28 AM
Ravensknight,

I've got a book here, non-fiction (computer book actually) that I've been seriously considering slicing and scanning... just a bit of a torment because the author was my lecturer at University... so now I'm not wanting to destroy the book just to eBook it :(

Paul.

Quake1028
09-22-2010, 08:34 AM
I'd say about 10% of the time or less.

Ravensknight
09-22-2010, 08:36 AM
well, depending on how easy it is to fully open the book, it can be scanned without razoring. Just can't really do that with massmarket paperbacks :D
Or you could get a second copy to slice&dice [if it is reasonably priced that is!]

MrPLD
09-22-2010, 08:44 AM
Ravensknight,

Been trying to find another copy for years... that's the curse of limited print runs from nearly 20 years ago :eek: