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Old 08-07-2008, 11:56 AM   #16
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Another reason for preferring ebooks:

- I can quickly search for words, names or passages.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I'm not sure that a publisher is going to care that EPUB is "open source", or even know what "open source" is, for that matter.
They know perfectly well what DRM are, so I bet they know what open source is.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:06 PM   #18
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OPen sample letter to publishers

I think you need to more directly address their fears. They are concerned about pirated e-books, so you should mention that when a consumer looks for a book published by them on the internet, that their copy should appear at the top of a search result above any other source. Many people look at the internet as a place to find things and do not expect that what they may be doing has any legal issues attached, they just want to read the book when they find it, and won't always question if the source is legit. You should also mention that the e-book should be published at the same time as the p-book because timely legal availability will forstall some pirated copy sales. They should even understand that some p-sales are lost to library copies, sharing, and street book sales missing covers, so some level of e-book "shrinkage" has to be acceptable too. I know this last one may be a tough sell, but at least you will be shaping the issue, not their doom and gloom anti-e department.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TheRealBillc View Post
I think you need to more directly address their fears. They are concerned about pirated e-books, so you should mention that when a consumer looks for a book published by them on the internet, that their copy should appear at the top of a search result above any other source. Many people look at the internet as a place to find things and do not expect that what they may be doing has any legal issues attached, they just want to read the book when they find it, and won't always question if the source is legit. You should also mention that the e-book should be published at the same time as the p-book because timely legal availability will forstall some pirated copy sales. They should even understand that some p-sales are lost to library copies, sharing, and street book sales missing covers, so some level of e-book "shrinkage" has to be acceptable too. I know this last one may be a tough sell, but at least you will be shaping the issue, not their doom and gloom anti-e department.
It would be very nice to put in there, but I'm thinking that it should not be a part of the original letter, but more as an attachment. The whole "Why should you as a publisher provide ebooks" should be an attachment to the original letter where we can go into the depths of these issues.

Please help me phrase this issue in the letter.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:34 PM   #20
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Amazon

I urge people that do not own Kindles to write a friendly email to Amazon. I wrote Amazon a few days ago and asked them to pass the email to the Kindle group. I received a nice but probably canned response but still nice reply. They may never open up the ebook purchasing to other users but if enough people write to them they may start to think about it. Whatever the profits are with a Kindle sale the sale of ebooks may be the better revenue stream. If they are using the old model give away the razor to sell the blades or printer to sell the ink then they should eventually be interested in offering ebooks to other eReaders. The volume alone may eventually justify the change in policy.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:22 PM   #21
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Excellent idea, Haridasi.

I'd also recommend mentioning the ability to resize text. It sounds daft, but there are a lot of people for whom books are otherwise inaccessible, and there are times when my eyes are sore that the large text size has been a godsend. After all, it means that their books are magically available in large-print.

I wonder, if appropriate, it is worth indicating if you went and bought a different electronic book (from a competing publisher, hopefully). Some might read it and think that you are just going to crack and buy their book, rather than a concrete sale that was lost.

I'm developing an image in my mind best summed up as "Dear (ostridge-like) publisher, I know it looks as if we are trying to strangle you, but we are in fact trying to pull your head out of the sand and point out the heard that is stampeding in your direction..." Not something we would put in the letter!

Once again, congratulations on an excellent and positive suggestion.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyScot View Post
Excellent idea, Haridasi.

I'd also recommend mentioning the ability to resize text. It sounds daft, but there are a lot of people for whom books are otherwise inaccessible, and there are times when my eyes are sore that the large text size has been a godsend. After all, it means that their books are magically available in large-print.

I wonder, if appropriate, it is worth indicating if you went and bought a different electronic book (from a competing publisher, hopefully). Some might read it and think that you are just going to crack and buy their book, rather than a concrete sale that was lost.

I'm developing an image in my mind best summed up as "Dear (ostridge-like) publisher, I know it looks as if we are trying to strangle you, but we are in fact trying to pull your head out of the sand and point out the heard that is stampeding in your direction..." Not something we would put in the letter!

Once again, congratulations on an excellent and positive suggestion.
Thank you :-)

Great idea on the disability issues there. Readers can be great for those who have reading difficulties.

The reason why the take is: I am searching for a book named "title" by "author" is something tanglible. In that way they can see that we want to buy a product. There is no better incentive than money. Publishers aren't interested in a debate with their customers about their shortcomings. (Who likes to discuss their shortcomings publically?)
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timezone View Post
I urge people that do not own Kindles to write a friendly email to Amazon. I wrote Amazon a few days ago and asked them to pass the email to the Kindle group. I received a nice but probably canned response but still nice reply. They may never open up the ebook purchasing to other users but if enough people write to them they may start to think about it. Whatever the profits are with a Kindle sale the sale of ebooks may be the better revenue stream. If they are using the old model give away the razor to sell the blades or printer to sell the ink then they should eventually be interested in offering ebooks to other eReaders. The volume alone may eventually justify the change in policy.
Good take. Amazon needs a letter like that as well, but there it's about making them see that they need to make their shop available to non-kindle readers.
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Old 08-08-2008, 06:54 AM   #24
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Now I have written about the EPUB format. If there are more things you think should be in there, or have suggestions for better phrasing, let me hear it.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:13 AM   #25
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I have started editing the section about why publishers should provide ebooks, but I'm not happy with it. Especially the part where I start touching piracy. Help is appreciated.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:43 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyScot View Post
Excellent idea, Haridasi.

I'd also recommend mentioning the ability to resize text. It sounds daft, but there are a lot of people for whom books are otherwise inaccessible, and there are times when my eyes are sore that the large text size has been a godsend. After all, it means that their books are magically available in large-print.

I wonder, if appropriate, it is worth indicating if you went and bought a different electronic book (from a competing publisher, hopefully). Some might read it and think that you are just going to crack and buy their book, rather than a concrete sale that was lost.

I'm developing an image in my mind best summed up as "Dear (ostridge-like) publisher, I know it looks as if we are trying to strangle you, but we are in fact trying to pull your head out of the sand and point out the heard that is stampeding in your direction..." Not something we would put in the letter!

Once again, congratulations on an excellent and positive suggestion.
Text size seems more a property of the reader or possibly the format than the ebook, IMHO.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:38 PM   #27
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The letter is great but it probably doesn't matter what you say as long as it is friendly and intelligent. Probably the volume of emails or letters is more important. If they start to see a growing market and are convinced there can be a successful cost model then they will jump in to this space. I also have to believe that places like booksonboard are making just that case to the publishers. Regarding technical books if not already in PDF form they are actively discussing the option on their web sites. I believe we are at a point where this market is going to explode wide open in a year or two. Still, probably will take many more years before there is any real significant impact on income.
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:20 PM   #28
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I also want to add if not already mentioned that we must not forget one very important group. The publishers only producing Kindle books. They need to realize there is a large group of eReaders out there that are not Kindle.
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #29
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timezone, i believe that to some degree you are correct that it doesn't really matter what you say (as long as you are polite), it is the act of writing and the volume of letters which will be convincing to the publishers.

however i think a lot of people don't like to write letters, so haridasi's project is really useful to provide a model that anyone can easily use just changing a few details ; this will hopefully encourage more people to write who might not do it otherwise, and this will help to gain the volume of letters which as you say is really the most important.

regarding the structure of the letter, i've been thinking about it ; i think it's best to include all the text in the main body of the email, but have the (shortish) letter first, and then have the other texts with titles in bold and ALL CAPS (in case the email client cannot do bold), and call them "notes" or "appendices", just like the presentation at the start of the thread now.

this way, all the information is available immediately (i honestly don't think publishers will open an attachment, and if you are using a contact form you probably can't attach anything anyway).

the other good thing about this system is, perhaps different people will want to insist on different aspects depending on what is most important to them ; they can make their own letter from this "kit" by including different appendices in the main message. so it's very flexible.
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:48 AM   #30
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It is perhaps worth noting that any company or organisation will tend to ignore letters which are all copies of one another, or stem from some obviously common "template", (rightly) thinking that they all have a common source. It's a lot better to write your own individual letter rather than copy someone else's.
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