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Old 11-19-2008, 11:00 AM   #1
wallcraft
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BooksOnBoard offers DRM-free ePub for iPhone via Stanza

As reported by telread, BoB's has a press release: BooksOnBoard First to Offer New eBook Titles for the iPhone in Partnership with Stanza.

These are DRM-free ePubs from Samhain Publishing, see eBooks for the iPhone from BooksOnBoard. Based on the "details" pages of a couple of titles (no lock icons), it seems that all versions of these ebooks may now be DRM-free.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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Excellent. This is exactly the sort of thing I have been hoping for. Stanza on the iPhone might well be a potential market too large for the ebook sellers and Publishers to ignore. Further, I am sure that some of the Publishers would be interested in making sure that Amazon does not gain a lock on the market.

Of course, once the books are available DRM free, they are DRM free. We can buy Stanza books and convert them to other formats for our readers .

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:37 AM   #3
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Many kudos to Books On Board and Samhain (anyone ever heard of them before?) for adding another source for DRM-free ePUB books! Quite the book for both of them and Lexcycle (the company behind Stanza).

Curious how Adobe's name is stamped on an industry standard. The files are called "Adobe ePUB DRM-Free" books, and customers are cautioned that they cannot use "Adobe ePUB DRM" books on the iPhones. Further kudos to Books On Board for drawing a clear distinction... Some confusion is probably unavoidable, but hopefully the number of people buying Adobe ePUB DRM files thinking they can later transfer them to their iPhone will be minimized.

Speaking of confusion, I am confused about something myself. In addition to those two formats, they also caution buyers about a third format - Adobe Digital Editions. Anyone know what the difference is between that and Adobe ePUB DRM? On a different page (their Formats guide), they even suggest that Sony Reader customers should stick to Adobe ePUB over ADE for the best experience. No mention of what the actual difference is, though.

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GntlmnBndt View Post
In addition to those two formats, they also caution buyers about a third format - Adobe Digital Editions. Anyone know what the difference is between that and Adobe ePUB DRM?
At BoB, Adobe Digital Editions ebooks are Adobe PDF ebooks, typically with DRM. If you use ADE to read these ebooks they will reflow to the screen size within each original page, but there is always a hard break at the end of each original page. So if both are available, Adobe ePUB is generally better (although a few obsolete Adobe programs will read Adobe PDF ebooks but not Adobe ePubs).
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
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At BoB, Adobe Digital Editions ebooks are Adobe PDF ebooks, typically with DRM.
Aha! I know they sell PDFs, but I didn't even notice they did not list "PDF" as a supported format.

Thanks for the answer.

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Old 11-19-2008, 06:28 PM   #6
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BooksOnBoard DRM free epub

Hello Mobile Read community.

We at BooksOnBoard are excited about this. A step forward we were fortunate enough to be able to partner with Stanza and Samhain on.

Please note that the other formats of these titles (Mobi, MSReader, ADE) are in fact also DRM-free.

We are currently working on agreements with several other publishers to put their catalogs up DRM-free.

Regards,

Kurt Johnson
BooksOnBoard

-our Secure Adobe pdf and Secure epub are both supported by ADE, some ditributors no longer 'label' their ADE to identify whether epub or pdf, thus they are Adobe Digital Editions format. We try to stay refrain from referring to Secure (DRM) Adobe PDF (ADE format) as Adobe PDF as this creates confusion for new users of eBooks who most often see the PDF and assume it is a standard pdf file.
This mistake can create a frustrating first eBook experience, and we do not want that, we want everyone reading eBooks. (Please don't beat me with the 'thats why no DRm stick' I exist in a universe not of my making.

Last edited by KurtJohnson; 11-19-2008 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:05 PM   #7
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We try to stay refrain from referring to Secure (DRM) Adobe PDF (ADE format) as Adobe PDF as this creates confusion for new users of eBooks who most often see the PDF and assume it is a standard pdf file.
This mistake can create a frustrating first eBook experience, and we do not want that, we want everyone reading eBooks.
Well put. I had not thought of it that way, but it does make sense. Also, thank you for participating in this forum.

I do hope you make some progress on getting other publishers to go DRM-free. I also hope you will make it clear that you offer DRM-free titles to all your customers, and make an easy way to find them, even when not shopping from an iPhone. From the comments around here, several members of this forum go to <your nameless competitor> specifically for the unsecured content they offer.

While I do prefer DRM-free titles, I found it odd that you sell eReader files, but do not mention that on the iPhone announcement. You shoo customers from the DRM content, but many of those same titles can be read on an iPhone if they choose and purchase the right format. Do you intend to allow eReader files to be browsed and downloaded via the iPhone portal?

Thank you,
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:53 AM   #8
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Thank you for asking GntlmnBndt,

This is great feedback. As soon as the eReader software enables direct downloads from our site to the iPhone, we intend to test it, support it and deploy it. At the moment, the application interface from Fictionwise has not yet been made available to us. Fictionwise, who owns eReader, told us they hoped to have an interface to allow this some time this fall and, as far as we know, are still working hard at getting a solution to us and others ebook retailers. Mobipocket is, apparently, also hard at work on an iPhone solution. We are very happy to have a partial Adobe solution at the moment as Adobe format users make up about half of our registered customers. Plus the titles we have for the Adobe solution are completely ePUB compliant, a critical factor in that adopting this industry standard is one of the best hopes for industry convergence on a universally satisfying experience for customers.

In the end, we (BooksOnBoard) are agnostic about format for readers, believing in any format that will bring superior value to the individual reader. Standards like ePUB, however, can make this happen faster since everyone does not have to re-invent the wheel. Those who choose to develop proprietary solutions are ultimately working against the customer in the interest of dreams of becoming the next iTunes - which is not likely to happen in a space as diverse as eBooks. Nor is it necessarily desirable. More than 80% of content on iPods around the world is not purchased from the iTunes store. Apple makes its profit on the devices themselves, not the music. Customers like and require options for their content with variables in, among other things, selection, price and source.

At the moment, the experience of superior value and the appropriate format often varies from customer to customer, depending on reading devices and other personal preferences. Our top goal is - sometimes in an inch by inch battle - to improve the customer experience, customer options and value received by the customer, both at BooksOnBoard and with our competitors. The eBook space is still young and too small for us not to work together. We are in a very inter-dependent industry which means there are more i's to dot and more t's to cross to get to superior customer value. But this also ultimately will result in an improved total experience for customers that read ebooks, including more buying choice, additional value to that found with traditional print books, and ultimately reliable ease of use across the spectrum. We are obviously not yet there as a company or an industry, but achieving all this remains core to the BooksOnBoard mission with every one of our employees.

And thank you for also participating in this forum, it is a tremendous resource for eBook readers and users of reader devices.

Kurt Johnson
BooksOnBoard
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