View Full Version : Purchased new Jim Butcher book..no cover..


davers
04-07-2010, 09:18 AM
Hey everyone. I just purchased the new Jim Butcher book, Changes, from Sony's site last night. Guess what, it doesn't have a cover. It looks like a manuscript. Um..what gives? I paid $12.99 for this book and they couldn't take the extra 1 minute to add the cover picture!!?? I know there's a few people out there like me who convert Project Gutenberg books and add cover art, author pictures, and sometimes cool little filigree at the beginning of each chapter. :p I'm able to do that, spell check, correct paragraphs, broken sentences etc and convert to Sony ebook in about an hour. If I can do that, I don't understand why Penguin Group isn't able to do that. I just sent them an email with the following:

"To whom it may concern,

Iím taking time out of my busy day to file a complaint about the quality of the eBooks Iíve purchased from Penguin Group. Just last night I purchased ďChanges: A Novel of the Dresden FilesĒ by Jim Butcher, Published by: Penguin Group, Inc., Publish Date: April 06, 2010, Print ISBN: 9780451463173, Filesize: 444.86 KB. The book I just spent $12.99 for has no cover. It looks like a printed manuscript. Itís as if I went to a book store and purchased a ďstripĒ. I paid good money for this book, and I donít appreciate a product that you couldnít seem to spend time on to make complete. I see the cover on Sonyís site, I donít understand how you can sell a book like that. You donít have to print it, and I know for a fact that itís easy to put a picture in an eBook. Iíve downloaded a few books from Project Gutenberg and Iíve converted them to Sony BBeB book by using a free program. It takes me less than an hour to convert the book, correct spelling errors, and add a color cover, as well as a color picture of the author!! In less than an hour! If I can do that, I canít understand why the actual publisher who creates the book canít seem to find the technical know-how to figure out how to include the cover of a book in the book you charge money for! I mean really??!! This isnít the only eBook Iíve purchased that didnít have a cover. It happens more often than not. If you are unable to complete a project in time, donít try to pass it off as a complete book and charge money! Wait until you have reached the level of technological expertise before releasing and charging for a book. Would you put a physical book on the shelf at Borders without the cover? I think not! To treat consumers who purchase eBooks as something other than real customers spending their hard earned money on your product, is unconscionable.

To add a little insight into what kind of person purchases eBooks and whether or not eBooks will kill the book industry, I own 2492 physical books. Most are on shelves, and some are waiting for me to build more. No, eBooks will never replace a physical book for me, however, there are some situations where an eBook is much more convenient than carrying around a physical book, such as when Iím at work or on vacation. However, that doesnít mean that an eBook should be something less than the physical book. Iíve spent literally tens of thousands of dollars on books, both physical and ďelectronicĒ, and Iím sure Iíll keep spending money on both formats. Please take the time to fix this issue, Iím sure there are lots of us out there that would appreciate it.
Please pass this on to the proper people who make these kind of decisions.

Sincerely,

Dave Morrison
Allen Park, Michigan"

It just frosts my cake that I'm able to do something that a publisher is unable to do... :angry:

Sorry to vent...

Dave

lilac_jive
04-07-2010, 09:23 AM
I didn't get a chance to take a look at my copy yet, but often with ebooks a cover isn't included because they didn't get ebook cover rights from the artist. Presumably because it costs more money they don't feel like paying.

ATimson
04-07-2010, 09:33 AM
I didn't get a chance to take a look at my copy yet, but often with ebooks a cover isn't included because they didn't get ebook cover rights from the artist. Presumably because it costs more money they don't feel like paying.
They claim that that's the case, and I could even understand that for older titles where they'd have to negotiate again to use the art. But there's no excuse for that on new titles.

Given Tor's problems with getting covers in the files for the Wheel of Time books - which had covers specifically commissioned for the ebooks - unless there's an explicit statement that they were too cheap to pay for the cover art on a new book, "publisher laziness" is my default understanding of what happened.

davers
04-07-2010, 11:51 AM
Yea...this just kind of irked me because it's quite a few books I've purchased, and not just from Penguin. I kind of interepret it as them not taking ebooks and people who purchase them seriously...

Just my .23 cents though! :D

Dave

DanT
04-07-2010, 12:28 PM
I find it funny when they keep the paperback cover warning in ebooks without cover. :p

I have a couple of S&S books without cover and this warning inside

The sale of this book without its cover is unauthorized. If you purchased this
book without a cover, you should be aware that it was reported to the publisher as
"unsold and destroyed." Neither the author nor the publisher has received
payment for the sale of this "stripped book."


:D

HarryT
04-07-2010, 12:41 PM
I didn't get a chance to take a look at my copy yet, but often with ebooks a cover isn't included because they didn't get ebook cover rights from the artist. Presumably because it costs more money they don't feel like paying.

That's a totally specious argument. They may not have the rights to use the same cover as the paper book, but to add a simple cover with, if nothing else, the title and author of the book, is hardly a major task.

lilac_jive
04-07-2010, 12:49 PM
That's a totally specious argument. They may not have the rights to use the same cover as the paper book, but to add a simple cover with, if nothing else, the title and author of the book, is hardly a major task.

This is just what I've heard (rights are separate). I wouldn't think it's a major task, but it seems like the most likely explanation (that they are too cheap to buy the rights to the ebook covers). The publishers may have preexisting contracts with the artists that don't include ebook covers and they aren't up for renewal yet or they don't feel like paying extra money.

Not saying it's true (or right, for that matter), but it seems more logical than them just simply not including it because they are lazy.

HarryT
04-07-2010, 12:52 PM
Oh yes, that's certainly the reason for it, no doubt about it. I'm just saying that there's really no reason for the publisher not to add their own cover in that situation - as, indeed, many of them do.

lilac_jive
04-07-2010, 01:08 PM
Oh yes, that's certainly the reason for it, no doubt about it. I'm just saying that there's really no reason for the publisher not to add their own cover in that situation - as, indeed, many of them do.

Oh I agree too, sorry, I misread your post. This seems to be a trend for Penguin, I can't remember the last time one of their books I bought had a cover. But on the flip side, it does take up less room on my Reader, and the image doesn't look great on it anyway.

KarateMonkey
04-07-2010, 01:15 PM
That's a totally specious argument. They may not have the rights to use the same cover as the paper book, but to add a simple cover with, if nothing else, the title and author of the book, is hardly a major task.

I bought a copy of the same book from the Sony store as well, and it came with exactly the type of cover you describe.

calvin-c
04-07-2010, 01:21 PM
IMO it's misrepresentation on their part, possibly sufficient to justify canceling the purchase. That's if, as it seems in this case, they use a 'published' cover image in advertising the ebook. If that's true, then you didn't receive what was advertised, which is legally actionable-in the US, at least.

As for not having rights, if that's true then they shouldn't be using the cover in their catalog either.

susan_cassidy
04-07-2010, 02:06 PM
It would be interesting to know what percentage of ebook readers care about covers. I do not care at all - I never look at the cover in an ebook. I just want to read the book.

Maybe the publishers don't think it is worth the time and cost to put covers in, if they think the majority of readers don't care. Or, they could just be lazy.

Amalthia
04-07-2010, 02:26 PM
It would be interesting to know what percentage of ebook readers care about covers. I do not care at all - I never look at the cover in an ebook. I just want to read the book.

Maybe the publishers don't think it is worth the time and cost to put covers in, if they think the majority of readers don't care. Or, they could just be lazy.


I'd care less about covers if the ebooks were 2 dollars and not 12. I also think someday we may have color e-ink screens and the covers would be nice to have. The pictures invoke stronger memories than the vague rememberance of what the story is about.

I can look at a cover and it instantly brings to mind the story inside. Where as without the cover I'd have to read the blurb/summary. Too many stories share the same title but I don't know of any two seperate novels that share the same cover.

bookfanmd
04-07-2010, 03:46 PM
Most of the secure epub books I've bought from Fictionwise don't have a cover. Just the title and author in black and white.

LDBoblo
04-07-2010, 05:09 PM
In a word, janky.

stxopher
04-07-2010, 05:37 PM
Now, now, let's stop all the bad feelings towards the houses and try and be a little more understanding.

Did it never occur to all the complainers that they may have only gotten 1 file for the cover art? Yes, just a single file to use for all the books sold of that title that go out over the wires. Just imagine how ratty and worn that file would look if you put that cover on every digital book you sold? After a few thousand it would look horrible and entirely unprofessional. Who then would buy them? No one! And then they would have to quit putting that cover on later issues.

Imagine the riots, the chaos that would erupt as people started dividing themselves between 'covered' and 'coverless'. The toll on an already weakened global economy would be devastating. A possible world collapse and new dark age of society could occur.

Personally, I think we should THANK those forward thinking and altruistic publishers for helping to stave off global calamity and I would appreciate it if you would please keep that in mind before assuming that their actions are all based on incompetence, sloth and selfishness.

I said Good Day, Sir.

davers
04-07-2010, 08:16 PM
I printed out the cover from Sony's site and I pasted it on the front flap of my 505's cover... :rofl:

Dave

calvin-c
04-07-2010, 08:59 PM
It would be interesting to know what percentage of ebook readers care about covers. I do not care at all - I never look at the cover in an ebook. I just want to read the book.

Maybe the publishers don't think it is worth the time and cost to put covers in, if they think the majority of readers don't care. Or, they could just be lazy.
Eventually (not today, but eventually) I'll have a touchscreen monitor dedicated to my ebook library. It'll display the covers, with 'page' tabs I can touch to browse my library and, by touching a cover I can transfer that (wirelessly) to my reader. (Actually the touch will probably bring up a shortcut menu which will have, as one option, transfer to my reader.)

I actually have most of the design done-but implementing it will take some time-like maybe a few years. But it's a nice retirement project.

So there's a (future) reason for nice covers.

Stitchawl
04-07-2010, 09:12 PM
It would be interesting to know what percentage of ebook readers care about covers. I do not care at all - I never look at the cover in an ebook. I just want to read the book.


I'm with you on this one, Susan. I don't care a bit about covers for e-books. There seems to be a trend here during these past few months to complain about different really serious problems such as e-books missing semi-colons, improper use of italics, right-hand justification that isn't exactly lined up, etc., and now... OH MY GOD!!! THE COVER IS MISSING!!!

Fortunately, we have been told that we can take the publishers to court and file suit over this issue. I'm relieved. :rolleyes:

Stitchawl

riemann42
04-08-2010, 02:03 AM
Hmmm. I confess to having a script that adds the cover to all my eBooks. Of course I don't decrypt it! You can add content to encrypted epub.

Can't you? If not ignore my post.

Damn good book. Just finished.

HarryT
04-08-2010, 04:26 AM
I'm with you on this one, Susan. I don't care a bit about covers for e-books. There seems to be a trend here during these past few months to complain about different really serious problems such as e-books missing semi-colons, improper use of italics, right-hand justification that isn't exactly lined up, etc., and now... OH MY GOD!!! THE COVER IS MISSING!!!


Perhaps you don't have a reading device on which the primary method of selecting a book from the library is by its cover. If you did, you'd perhaps feel differently about it. There are a number of devices which do it this way, such as the Bookeen readers.

Stitchawl
04-08-2010, 04:33 AM
Perhaps you don't have a reading device on which the primary method of selecting a book from the library is by its cover.

I was taught at an early age not to pick a book by its cover... :rofl:
(Sorry. I couldn't resist. :o )


Stitchawl

HarryT
04-08-2010, 04:53 AM
Joking aside, the point is, Stitchawl, that there really are valid reasons why it's important to have a recognisable cover for an e-book. It's not just "complaining for sake of complaining" as you suggest in your earlier post. On many devices it's a real pain not to have a cover on a book.

Stitchawl
04-08-2010, 06:24 AM
Joking aside, the point is, Stitchawl, that there really are valid reasons why it's important to have a recognisable cover for an e-book. It's not just "complaining for sake of complaining" as you suggest in your earlier post. On many devices it's a real pain not to have a cover on a book.

Now that you point it out and explain it, I can understand that there is a valid reason to want a cover. If I used a device that required them, I'd certainly want them too. My reader lists books by title, author, date, or collections. I only see a cover (if one even came with the book) when I begin reading something new. I wasn't aware that other readers had such limitations. My fault for assuming that all readers gave options. Thanks for helping me understand. :)

Is there as valid a reason for keeping track of misused semi-colons? :p

Stitchawl

davers
04-08-2010, 09:06 AM
I think some may be missing the point concerning the missing cover and say missing semi-colons, spelling errors or whatever. Are you really willing to spend that much money on something a publisher didn't feel it was worth spending the time on to make sure was both correct and complete? My point is why should a book I pay for electronically and download be inferior to one I purchased at a store? I could make a better book than that, and I have. Could the same argument then be made for hardcover books? You pick up your new book and walk to the counter and pay for it. When you get home, you realize they removed the dust jacket and kept it before putting it in the bag. Should you then say "I never look at the dust jacket so who cares that they didn't include that?" Or I never read the dedication so who cares they didn't include that? ...etc etc? When I spend hard earned money on something, I expect what I'm purchasing to be what is displayed on their site.

Dave :stunned:

TallMomof2
04-08-2010, 11:20 AM
I disinfect any of my DRMed titles and then use Calibre to add covers where necessary. Most of the time a suitable covrt is found in Calibre so it's a fairly painless operation. In the rare cases Calibre doesn't find a cover I download one and add it manually. An extra step or two but worth it for me.

calvin-c
04-08-2010, 01:30 PM
I disinfect any of my DRMed titles and then use Calibre to add covers where necessary. Most of the time a suitable covrt is found in Calibre so it's a fairly painless operation. In the rare cases Calibre doesn't find a cover I download one and add it manually. An extra step or two but worth it for me.

Of course doing so potentially violates the copyright on the cover image. I'm not certain, legally, but I'll make the assumption that if the cover you download is from the catalog where you purchased it, then you presumably have a right to download that image. Unless the seller is using it in violation of the copyright, anyway. You probably don't have the right to download images from other sources though. (There's a pretty gray area right now though, as to what constitutes the image. I'll sometimes download the 'same' image as was in the catalog, but from another source, because the image in the catalog is lo-res whereas the other source has it hi-res. Assuming I do have the right to download the image, to which version do I have the right? The right would be under copyright, and the same copyright would apply to both versions so, possibly, I would have the right to download either. I'm not sure about that though-haven't seen any cases covering it yet.)

davers
04-08-2010, 02:32 PM
This is a bit off topic...but you guys are doing that with DRM'd books? Using Calibre? And if so, why am I using the Sony software again... :blink:

Dave

Hellmark
04-08-2010, 04:40 PM
Calibre will add covers to DRM'ed ebooks. You just need the Sony software if you want to buy from Sony's ebook store. If you buy DRM'ed books elsewhere, the Adobe Digital Editions software works good too. I normally strip DRM, because not all my devices support ADE (plus I'm a linux user, and ADE is cludgy with WINE), but you can buy with ADE and then import straight into Calibre.

Stitchawl
04-08-2010, 08:13 PM
Are you really willing to spend that much money on something a publisher didn't feel it was worth spending the time on to make sure was both correct and complete?

Yes. :)

As Harry pointed out to me, in some cases a cover is really needed. To my way of thinking that is quite different from getting upset over poor typography. If I have to experience a ration of wrath I prefer it to be over the lack of world peace or the homeless problem in California.


You pick up your new book and walk to the counter and pay for it. When you get home, you realize they removed the dust jacket and kept it before putting it in the bag. Should you then say "I never look at the dust jacket so who cares that they didn't include that?"

Absolutely not!!! You should simply pay it no mind at all. It's not worth the time or effort to get upset over something so trivial.

When I buy a book, I'm buying what the author says. That being said, when I purchase a painting, if I got home and found the canvas bare I'd most likely take it back to the store and ask for the paint. ;)

Stitchawl

davers
04-09-2010, 08:20 AM
You know what would really make me mad..if I purchased donuts and I got home and they were not in the bag! :smack: That scenario makes a missing book cover seem trivial! :p

As a side note, I stripped the DRM off my first book last night so I could add the cover, picture of the author, and delete the hyperlinked chapters! Hah! Take that large corporation! :D

Dave

HarryT
04-09-2010, 09:24 AM
You know what would really make me mad..if I purchased donuts and I got home and they were not in the bag! :smack: That scenario makes a missing book cover seem trivial! :p

As a side note, I stripped the DRM off my first book last night so I could add the cover, picture of the author, and delete the hyperlinked chapters! Hah! Take that large corporation! :D

Dave

Your post provides a good example of why missing punctuation in books matters:

"Take that large corporation!"

means something very different to:

"Take that, large corporation!"

;)

davers
04-09-2010, 10:52 AM
ROFL Harry! Touche' :p

TallMomof2
04-09-2010, 12:41 PM
Of course doing so potentially violates the copyright on the cover image. I'm not certain, legally, but I'll make the assumption that if the cover you download is from the catalog where you purchased it, then you presumably have a right to download that image. Unless the seller is using it in violation of the copyright, anyway. You probably don't have the right to download images from other sources though. (There's a pretty gray area right now though, as to what constitutes the image. I'll sometimes download the 'same' image as was in the catalog, but from another source, because the image in the catalog is lo-res whereas the other source has it hi-res. Assuming I do have the right to download the image, to which version do I have the right? The right would be under copyright, and the same copyright would apply to both versions so, possibly, I would have the right to download either. I'm not sure about that though-haven't seen any cases covering it yet.)

This is for personal use and I can't imagine anyone coming after me for that. Plus, couldn't using the cover art for personal use be considered fair use?

LDBoblo
04-09-2010, 01:16 PM
If the publisher isn't going to do their job, I'd be happy to pay the author's normal take plus a $1 hosting and marketing fee. I don't want to pay them for a job they're not doing.

whitearrow
04-09-2010, 04:29 PM
I'm with Susan -- I don't care about covers. I'm far more concerned about proper formatting and proofreading.

ATimson
04-09-2010, 04:48 PM
I'm with Susan -- I don't care about covers. I'm far more concerned about proper formatting and proofreading.
Whereas if they can't even be bothered to include the cover art, my confidence in their ability to have properly handled more subtle details goes way down.

starrigger
04-09-2010, 05:26 PM
IMO it's misrepresentation on their part, possibly sufficient to justify canceling the purchase. That's if, as it seems in this case, they use a 'published' cover image in advertising the ebook. If that's true, then you didn't receive what was advertised, which is legally actionable-in the US, at least.

As for not having rights, if that's true then they shouldn't be using the cover in their catalog either.

I had a conversation recently with a publisher's art director on this very question. The reason they can use the original cover art in the catalog when they don't have the rights to it for the ebook proper is that standard contracts with the artists give them the right to use the image for promotional and marketing purposes. In some cases, it's ambiguous whether they could also use the art in the ebook itself, so they take a conservative approach--and in others they just don't have the rights (though according to this art director they are now acquiring ebook rights with new art commissions).

So that's the explanation. That said, I feel the same way when I buy an ebook--I'd like to have the cover art with it, and feel gypped if I don't get it. Usually I use Calibre to add the cover image myself.

calvin-c
04-10-2010, 05:06 PM
I had a conversation recently with a publisher's art director on this very question. The reason they can use the original cover art in the catalog when they don't have the rights to it for the ebook proper is that standard contracts with the artists give them the right to use the image for promotional and marketing purposes. In some cases, it's ambiguous whether they could also use the art in the ebook itself, so they take a conservative approach--and in others they just don't have the rights (though according to this art director they are now acquiring ebook rights with new art commissions).

So that's the explanation. That said, I feel the same way when I buy an ebook--I'd like to have the cover art with it, and feel gypped if I don't get it. Usually I use Calibre to add the cover image myself.
Thanks for clarifying that, starrigger. And to TallMom, I can't imagine anyone coming after you for that either-but (this is a general comment, not an assumption that what you're doing is, in fact, illegal) when I break a law I prefer to do so knowingly. I, personally, don't mind breaking laws in the pursuit of justice (well, depends on the law-I probably wouldn't kill someone just because the prosecutor blew the case against them, although there was one guy who, after being found not guilty of raping & killing a teenage girl, held a press conference to admit he did it. And they couldn't re-try him because of double jeopardy. Him, I might consider killing-but that would be an exception.)

Anyway, what I dislike is being caught breaking a law when I'm not doing it intentionally. So I do concern myself with questions of legality even when those questions don't affect what I do. Sometimes that makes others seem me as what, persnickety? Whatever-I don't mean to imply that you should stop, I'm just commenting, deliberating as it were, about whether or not it is legal.