Originally Posted by Valloric
Waterstone's is not the only place where you can buy ebooks. Take a look at fictionwise
or Books On Board
. They all stock new stuff, and you can even get rid of the DRM if you download in LIT format. You can also download all sorts of free books from places like this forum
and there's more free books on gutenberg
than you could read in several lifetimes.
There's more than one way to skin a cat.
I agree that there's more than one way to skin a cat. Fictionwise and Books on Board were both sites I'd already visited before signing up here. Anyway, as an example, do Fictionwise or Books on Board stock the Rough Guide to Thailand? No. Any Michael Marshall Smith? Well, Books on Board has "The Servants", 3 versions of "The Straw Men" (the first part of a trilogy, for crying out loud - none of the sequels are there!) and "The Intruders". All of these are good novels, but not his best - his best are nowhere to be found.
I do take your point about Project Gutenberg having lots of free books to read, but I'm a fan of modern fiction...and whilst I enjoy many classic (and thus out of copyright and free) books, a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo isn't going to help me find a good hotel in Bangkok, is it?
Imagine if you went into a normal bookshop and said "Hello, I'd like to buy the Rough Guide to Cambodia", and the shop assistant said "No, we don't stock it. Why not buy Jerome K. Jerome's 3 Men in a Boat instead?" If I'm a fan of a particular book, and I want to buy an ebook version of it, then I'm not really going to be satisfied by the knowledge that lots of free books other than the one I want
Content is king - and to my mind, there simply isn't a broad enough selection thus far. As I said, I'm aware at least part of this is subjective, but I don't feel particularly catered to by the ebook market so far...and that doesn't look likely to change for some time.
Coming back to there being more than one way of skinning a cat - we don't need lots of ways to skin a cat, we just need one good way of doing it!
By the way, I'm not worried about converting formats (although I think the casual, less tech-savvy buyer would be)...I just don't think there's enough of the right stuff out there to convert.
Hope this clarifies my position somewhat.