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Old 01-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #16
amjbrown
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The Amazon model works very well for me. High quality dedicated device for most of my reading, recent page synced to my iPhone / iPad / your-handy-device-goes-here for when I am out and about and have some spare time.

In terms of book choice, I'd like feedback when I click the "tell the publisher" you want this book on the Kindle link. Did you tell them, what did they say? Keep me up to date. Keep harassing them. Let me know you are doing so! Amazon should try and secure backlist rights on their own digital imprint when publishers don't want to bother. They could be much more proactive in this respect.

Finally, when the publisher makes an update correcting typos, let me know, and give me an easy way to update my library. If a new edition comes out, offer me an upgrade price.

Otherwise, they have my business for a very good reason - their model works for me. Yes, I'd prefer no DRM, but if I can read my books on many devices, I don't really care. And I'd like the books to really *be* mine, but I pretend they are, so no issue there.

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #17
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I'd like a cart.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:51 PM   #18
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Same here. Epub, no DRM, download from browser... uhm, like BAEN?

I don't mind if I have to visit multiple stores/sites to find all books.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amjbrown View Post

In terms of book choice, I'd like feedback when I click the "tell the publisher" you want this book on the Kindle link. Did you tell them, what did they say? Keep me up to date. Keep harassing them. Let me know you are doing so! Amazon should try and secure backlist rights on their own digital imprint when publishers don't want to bother. They could be much more proactive in this respect.
True! There are books whe reI periodically click the "tell the publisher" link, but I don't even know of it goes through more than once, and it does not seem to get my books onto the kindle either - they are still only available used, in PB form.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #20
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Let me pile on..

No DRM, buy, download direct to my PC, done.

If I'm going to pay money for it, I insist on being able to download a physical copy that I can make backups for and put on my own devices.

I am tired of this proprietary app/software crap.

There are plenty of sites that are doing it correctly: Smashwords, Book View Cafe, Robot Trading Company, Peter David's website, Tobias Buckell's website, etc.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:04 PM   #21
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There are plenty of sites that are doing it correctly: Smashwords, Book View Cafe, Robot Trading Company, Peter David's website, Tobias Buckell's website, etc.
For Peter David I'm not seeing books available on his web site. I went to check it out (and was sorry to see he's suffered a stroke), but what I see on his site mentions Crazy 8 Press, Amazon or B&N. Was Crazy 8 the site you mean when you mention Peter David's site?
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:18 PM   #22
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Here is a few of mine:

1. No DRM
2. ePub format
3. Download to PC
4. Download directly to device if I choose
5. Synchronized meta data - if I rate a book, I want my rating to be visible to me on my PC, ebook reader and android smart phone
6. Night vision option on the Android app - choice of night colours
7. Offer some free ebooks - perhaps #1 in a series. If I like it, I will buy more in the series.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #23
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I miss Fictionwise.

Sort by price, length, popularity, recent upload, author.

Download in several formats for non-DRMd books. (Which is all I would buy, but I don't care if other formats are carried--as long as they're clearly marked as DRM'd.)

I'd like the ability to download or view samples. Fictionwise's couple-hundred words was tolerable when they sold formerly-in-print books, but as soon as the self-pub market took off, it was inadequate. For print books, I can go to a store and flip through the book, read half a chapter if I like, to see if I like the writing style. I want the equivalent ability for ebooks.

Wishlist. SORTABLE wishlist. With subsections.

Lots of categories and subcategories. Ebooks aren't stored on shelves; you can put books "next to" each other by many types of tags.

Clear mention of publisher. (I'd hope that wouldn't need to be mentioned, but the EZReader bookstore didn't show that detail.)

I don't read DRM and I don't do wifi, so I have no stake in how or whether those features work. I just don't want them getting in the way.

Clear return policy--what happens if the store delivers the wrong file? If the ebook is corrupt, or has a cover but no text?

Customer service that responds to emails. As long as I'm talking fantasy features, how about customer service that's available by phone.

Ability to filter books out of search--either by genre/category, or format ("don't show me anything with DRM"), or by region, so non-US readers don't get halfway through a purchase before being told they can't buy that book.

Public domain texts clearly marked. Creative commons texts clearly marked. Let people know when they're allowed to play with the contents.

If the site uses Adobe DRM, clear instructions provided for that, not just "click here to visit Adobe's site and good luck figuring out how that works on your OS."

Ebooks listed by file format, not device. Or in addition to device.

Easily-findable sales/free ebooks.

No constantly-scrolling/changing images ANYWHERE unless they have an "off" button.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:54 AM   #24
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Thanks to all of you for your input!

danskmacabre, thank you in particular for your detailed "wants". We greatly appreciate it!

Please understand that a bookstore's ability to fulfill a number of the requests I see here is limited based upon the many contractual requirements of publishers and/or distributors. Generally speaking, though, I'm in favor of your suggestions whenever possible. Here are a few specific points to consider:

** DRM-Free eBooks: I'm for them, whenever possible. However, many publishers STILL require DRM. That's not the bookstore's fault. When eReading.com is contractually required to use DRM, we will use Adobe. We believe this choice will offer our customers the most flexibility we can when it comes to DRM-protected content, for better or for worse. It's not a perfect world, but as an end-user myself I much prefer Adobe over being effectively locked into a walled-garden. Obviously, this excludes people who are hobbyists and comfortable breaking DRM.

My take on breaking DRM is that it's illegal. I don't do it and I wouldn't want people to do it to my work if it's something my publisher has elected to require, despite my wishes to the contrary. The fact is, no one is "required" to buy ebooks; they can always buy paper books. The rules are as they are, at the moment. Fortunately, though, I see that changing in favor of customers. Still, there is one practical, common-sense approach that I think should be considered by ALL readers, myself included:

If you purchased a physical book, you’d be able to lend it to one person at a time, as often as you like. You’d also be able to sell it to someone else as you like, but only ONE time every time (unless, of course, you bought it back and then resold it again). I don’t see why a similar policy is unfair for ebooks. For example, a family can own an ebook and share it among their devices, but only one may read it at a time.

As for authors, I think some kind of protection is needed (such as watermarking) to help prevent unfettered piracy. Authors make precious little money as it is, on average. If an individual buys 1 copy of a novel from a so-called "midlist" author and allows it to be distributed to the point that there are 10,000 or more illegal copies out there, it just might destroy the digital market for that novel. Really. Right now, digital sales are helping push print sales; but as print goes away, authors most assuredly WILL suffer from pirated digital content undermining their paid digital sales. Some authors who are friends of mine, names that you would recognize, already are suffering from pirating affecting their ability to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

** "Spamming" via newsletters: I would hope that any bookstore would have a clearly-defined policy where a newsletter subscription is requested by the end-user. I would also hope that a newsletter would actually be useful to the customer, although I must admit I get virtually no use out of the newsletters I receive from the “Big 3” or even the smaller stores. If you don't want a newsletter, however, then you shouldn’t get one if you’ve opted out.

As far as I know every online bookstore gives customers the option to opt-in or out of newsletters and other marketing communications; in my view it should always be a clearly defined option for the customer and not something that is in any way forced upon them.

** Goodreads: Integration with them is just not realistic without the cooperation of their management team. eReading.com has approached them about this idea, but I expect they probably have their own plans for a bookstore in the future.

** Regional sales and distribution issues: These are largely a product of the publishers and their contracts, not the booksellers. As more authors put their backlist work into digital form and maintain more control over their ebook contracts with traditional publishers, I think you'll see this change quite a bit for the better.

** Re-downloading your books: You should always be able to do this. Who does not allow it? Fortunately, I’ve never had to re-download any of my books from any of the stores I frequent, so I’m curious about other people’s experiences.

** Owning your books outright: Not possible because of the contract between the bookstore, the distributor, and the publisher/author. More importantly, however, granting ownership of a digital file is obviously not the same as granting ownership of a physical copy of the same product, for obvious reasons—some of which I indirectly touched upon above.

** Subscriptions: I think there is a bright future for a subscription-based ebook model, but obviously it won't be for everyone. Your mileage will vary on this one, of course. Either way, I don’t believe such programs will interfere too much, if at all, with traditional online bookselling programs.

** Browser downloading: I see things moving more this direction, but it will be a while. While I know some people don’t like readers, I’d have to say that the average customer does like a value-added, non-intrusive app for managing their libraries and other reading-related tasks. However, I think there is room for both. It will be interesting to see if there is a way for the online bookstore space to accommodate both methods in a way that is practical, cost-efficient, and meets all of the legal requirements that a bookstore must adhere to.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:01 AM   #25
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Elfwreck:

Many, many of the things you've requested are part of the eReading.com production website and even our app, PocketReader. Your detailed list is incredibly useful, though, as it gives us real-world feedback on what avid readers like you really want out of a store and its services.

I'm curious how people feel about social networking/social interaction integration for online ebookstores and their apps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I miss Fictionwise.

Sort by price, length, popularity, recent upload, author.

Download in several formats for non-DRMd books. (Which is all I would buy, but I don't care if other formats are carried--as long as they're clearly marked as DRM'd.)

I'd like the ability to download or view samples. Fictionwise's couple-hundred words was tolerable when they sold formerly-in-print books, but as soon as the self-pub market took off, it was inadequate. For print books, I can go to a store and flip through the book, read half a chapter if I like, to see if I like the writing style. I want the equivalent ability for ebooks.

Wishlist. SORTABLE wishlist. With subsections.

Lots of categories and subcategories. Ebooks aren't stored on shelves; you can put books "next to" each other by many types of tags.

Clear mention of publisher. (I'd hope that wouldn't need to be mentioned, but the EZReader bookstore didn't show that detail.)

I don't read DRM and I don't do wifi, so I have no stake in how or whether those features work. I just don't want them getting in the way.

Clear return policy--what happens if the store delivers the wrong file? If the ebook is corrupt, or has a cover but no text?

Customer service that responds to emails. As long as I'm talking fantasy features, how about customer service that's available by phone.

Ability to filter books out of search--either by genre/category, or format ("don't show me anything with DRM"), or by region, so non-US readers don't get halfway through a purchase before being told they can't buy that book.

Public domain texts clearly marked. Creative commons texts clearly marked. Let people know when they're allowed to play with the contents.

If the site uses Adobe DRM, clear instructions provided for that, not just "click here to visit Adobe's site and good luck figuring out how that works on your OS."

Ebooks listed by file format, not device. Or in addition to device.

Easily-findable sales/free ebooks.

No constantly-scrolling/changing images ANYWHERE unless they have an "off" button.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 AM   #26
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ereadingdotcom: I appreciate most of my wishes are not currently not possible given the legality and the way the system works, but the question was "Your dream online bookstore" not "What, realistically speaking is your dream online bookstore"?.

Anyway, I mostly read public domain books anyway or DRM free where available.
Only if I absolutely must have a book will I jump through hoops to get it.

Actually for me it's changed my reading habits as I often read books by new authors who release their first books for free instead of spending my money on books.

If the system ever changes so I'm not penalised for buying (or as is the case buying the right to read, drm, ADE etc) books, then I will spend a hell of a lot more money on books, like I did when I bought pbooks.

I rarely buy pbooks now as they just take up too much space and are a pain to transport when moving.

The bottom line is the law regarding ebooks and their distribution doesn't change (and accepted work practices), then publishers and authors will increasingly suffer from lost revenue.
I appreciate piracy is a problem, but as a case in point, the Harry potter books weren't available in ebook format for ages. but they were downloadable from piracy sites within days (scanned and converted from the pbooks). so not even making a book available in ebook format didn't stop it being pirated.

I donot condone piracy, but making buying a book a hassle is doing noone any good.

This has been discussed time and time again on this forum though and I doubt any more discussion about it will be more enlightening, so I'll just stop here.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:50 AM   #27
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Social networking: I could care less, and never link any social networking accounts to my kindle account.
It could be that teenage readers need this feature, or less avid readers, or readers of specific genres....so you could create polls (integrate yes/no and age/number of books read in 2012/genre/whatever else you can think of, into the questions, like: "I am 20-25 yrs old and I need SN features".

Also, it wasn't clear to me what the opening post was getting at. Like danskmacabre, I, too, thought you were asking about an imaginary perfect ebook store.

I'd venture to say that most kindle users are happy with their store (apart from the obvious: DRM and georestrictions), so knowing what it is they like about Amazon may help you.

I have one more that I forgot: the ability to return a book within 7 days. Though seldomly used, it gives me piece of mind.

Last edited by xendula; 01-23-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:48 AM   #28
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I'm curious how people feel about social networking/social interaction integration for online ebookstores and their apps?
Have absolutely zero interest in them.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:17 AM   #29
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Have absolutely zero interest in them.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #30
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Social networking: I could care less, and never link any social networking accounts to my kindle account.
It could be that teenage readers need this feature, or less avid readers, or readers of specific genres....so you could create polls (integrate yes/no and age/number of books read in 2012/genre/whatever else you can think of, into the questions, like: "I am 20-25 yrs old and I need SN features".

Also, it wasn't clear to me what the opening post was getting at. Like danskmacabre, I, too, thought you were asking about an imaginary perfect ebook store.

I'd venture to say that most kindle users are happy with their store (apart from the obvious: DRM and georestrictions), so knowing what it is they like about Amazon may help you.

I have one more that I forgot: the ability to return a book within 7 days. Though seldomly used, it gives me piece of mind.

I'm with you on the social networking - I'm not on Facebook nor any other such site, and have no desire to share what I'm reading with anyone else. I wouldn't care if a bookstore had it, as long as it didn't require, say, extra clicks every time for me to avoid it.

Seven days may be too long a return period - somebody could easily read the book in that time and claim they bought the wrong one, and return it, getting a free read.

It would be good if there was some kind of limited return period, though, in case someone did actually buy the wrong book by mistake, or open the book and find it has a lot of errors.

If the store sells books in multiple formats, it would be good to be able to filter by the type of book the buyer wants.

Something I would like, but probably is regulated by the publisher rather than the bookstore, would be to have bundles or a multi-book discount for books in a series.
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