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Old 10-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #16
Hellmark
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Mine would be DRM free, multiformat, when you buy a book you get access to all the formats (in case you change readers, etc), sort and search based on price (including free, as many others drop when sorting by price), nonregional, web site based as well as an optional iTunes like client to buy and organize books through (that is cross platform).
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #17
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My ideal ebook store is one that lets me buy the books I want in a format that works on my device for a reasonable price.

DRM is an issue, but less important than price and availability. DRM can be dealt with, but you can neither authorize a device or strip the DRM from a book that's not available. Price is the same kind of issue: raise it enough and the book becomes effectively unavailable.

Right now the closest to ideal is Baen or Fictionwise as both offer (at least with some titles in the latter case) the ability to buy a book without tying it to one format or device. Baen is limited by the number of publishers they offer, and Fictionwise because the DRM best-sellers they offer are not available in a format my preferred device supports. (I could buy ereader books but then it's either strip them or read on the PDA rather than the Reader).

Good sort and search is important: especially the ability to sort by several criteria at once.

A good UI would be nice: I haven't seen any that really stand out in a positive way - but I find BoB's to be particularly bad. I like the store, but the UI is a pain.

I like a Wishlist, it saves on my memory. Bulk download is great too - especially when you have several hundred books in your library. I don't mind limits on bulk downloads (Fictionwise's limit of 100 isn't too bad) but for Thor's sake make it easy to select which hundred. Fictionwise makes that very hard because you have individually select both book and format for bulk downloads, which almost defeats the point.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:59 PM   #18
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Since geo restrictions aren't likely to go away, I'd like "you don't see books you can't purchase." Not-logged-in people see books tagged by region; when logged in, the tags vanish--and you don't see the ones you can't buy; they don't show up in searches at all.

Possibly, when you search, you get a note that says "some books matching these terms are not available in your region; click here to view." And they'd show up greyed-out or otherwise very obviously marked "unavailable." (Not, 7-point text underneath the title that says "US only.")

I expect we all want good search engine abilities, but we may have different ideas about what those are, or what's most important.

I want the ability to exclude books from a search, by author, series, genre or keyword. Or by "books I've purchased;" I generally don't need to see the ones I've already got. Or by filetype.

I'd like to know details about the book that many ebook sellers don't bother to mention. Would like to know filesize of ebooks, and ideally, word count. Would also like to know if the book includes illustrations other than the cover, or other content other than the main body. (Forward by X. Annotations by Drs. Y and Z. Includes free preview of next book in series.) If it's offered in PDF, I want to know page size. And I'd like the listing to include the back-cover blurb, if there's any from a print version.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:45 PM   #19
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From a purely personal perspective, the ideal online ebookstore should also have open access to their catalog, so search engines like Inkmesh can access and aggregate their ebooks.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #20
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My wants are pretty similar to a lot of folks:
  • DRM Free
  • Reasonable pricing
  • No geographic restrictions
  • Multi format (At least for now. I hope we eventually standardize.)
  • Free downloadable samples
  • Good search engine
  • Reviews and recommendations
  • Wish list
  • Well organized with tags
  • Minimum of visual clutter
  • Awareness of series
  • Infinite searchable periodical archive
  • Good customer service including the ability to return poor quality books
  • Ability to easily flag errors in books to improve the quality with notification of corrected editions
  • Self publishing available for a flat fee per book rather than a percentage
  • POD of purchased ebooks available for an extra fee.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:57 PM   #21
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My wishlist is similar to a lot of others. I too, wish to see all books in a series, numbered, when I do a search for an author who has one or more series. I also want an option to sort by price, format, publication date (ebook pub. date, not book pub. date! or better yet, both).
I want a wishlist where I can "store" titles I'm interested in buying, and I want those titles sortable by author, pub. date, date I added. I also don't want those books removed if for some reason the store no longer carries them - a message saying "such and such is no longer available" is great, but don't remove stuff I put there.
Availability is the biggie. I HATE that Amazon has titles I can't buy simply because I don't own a Kindle, an iPhone, or an iPod Touch. Make every title available to every device/pc/etc.
Speaking of search - make the internal search FAST and accurate. If I do a search at some sites that shall remain nameless, it takes FOREVER.
DRM isnt' going away anytime soon, and I can wait, but for now, make sure each book is available in as many formats as you possibly can.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:58 PM   #22
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Ideally, I want to buy DRM free books from sites run by the Author.

With forums and fan discussion.

Not as picky with deceased authors. Baen is a good model for that.
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:19 PM   #23
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  • Has books I want to buy
  • Buying a book buys all formats, can download any format any time.
  • Book prices always (well) below paper prices
  • Notification of updated book files when typos are fixed
  • Passes a large fraction (two thirds or more) of the purchase price onto the publisher/author

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direct Ebooks View Post
Personally, I want the store to be laid out very simply. I want to be able to find what I want when I want. Pricing needs to be competetive, but isnt the number one factor. I dont want any gimmicks, rebates etc, just clear pricing. I'd like to talk to fellow shoppers or read their reviews on books to help me decide what to buy. I also want excellent customer service to help me resolve any issues.
Forums like this one would be great for helping to organise bookclubs and general chat. Being able to post a detailed profile would also be great.
It sounds like you want webscription.net. Simple Layout, Straightforward pricing, Baen's bar for chatting. Arnold's very responsive to email.

But although webscription.net is beginning to branch out beyond Baen's offerings, it's still all SF/Fantasy, so unless that's what you like it doesn't help you.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:34 PM   #24
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No DRM, No geographical restrictions, same prices for all customers, clean layout, well tagged library.

I'm not fussy or anything.
Yup all of that, plus... I'd also like physical book stores to adapt, so they have comfortable lounges, paper reference copies of the most popular books, coffee, cake, good lighting, nice ambience, smells nice.

The kind of place that is relaxing to go to, like a mini-library, where you can flick through paper copies and read about upcoming releases, then buy an ebook. They'd host book of the month meetings and different kinds of book clubs, say one a week for sci-fi fans to discuss their recent reads, one for horror fans etc. They would have free wifi as well, so you get people lurking enjoying that.

Either bookstores adapt in that way or we will see massive amounts of stores closing in the next 10-20 years as people just buy online.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:47 PM   #25
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Selection and ease of navigating/searching that selection are the most important for me, there's plenty of other factors that are also very important, but if a store doesn't have what I want or I can't find it in the store then everything else is irrelevant.
Totally agree... Some bookstores sell mismatched titles from an author, for example sell book 1 and 3 of a given series and not book 2. This is very frustrating. So selection is big on my list.
I don't mind buying regularly priced books, but sales (seasonal or once in a while) are a nice booster I think... it makes me want to visit a store more often (that does not necessarily apply only to ebookstores )
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:14 PM   #26
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Oh and by 'epub available' I mean, not via digital editions. direct download of the epub file.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:45 PM   #27
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I can see from this thread that everyone wants a bookstore that has all the books but no access to any current mainstream publisher. This is because they want the bookstore to break all the rules set up by the publisher. Hmm, how would this be possible.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:48 PM   #28
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I agree with a lot that has already been posted. I want good select in a format that either doesn't have DRM, or where it is possible to strip the DRM out. I also want a good search engine. When I buy books, I am either looking for a specific author, subject or books, or I am browsing by category. When I browse, I like to look at the books that have come in since the last time I browsed. One of the big grips that I have with amazon is that too many books are mis-categorized and too many indies are gaming the system, meaning when I sort by release date, I have to wade through 5 pages of PD books being sold by people and self published authors to get to the first book that I'm actually interested in. One reason that I still go to the physical book store is I can to to the SF section and browse the just released section. I ought to be able to do the same thing at Amazon (a list of ebooks that have been release since a given date for a given category, sorted by author). It really shouldn't be that hard to do.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:28 AM   #29
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All available as ebooks. So, I search for Feist and get those 10 books. How do I know which belongs at which series and where? I must go to another page (wikipedia for example) to find that, while I should be able to find that easily at the selection process at the store.

Let's say the store gives related books, how can I tell which belongs where?
That's a presentation issue that all bookstores should improve on, they should be showing you related books and include relevant information like the series and what number in the series.

I guess we just want the same thing here, the only real difference is that I think this is information they should be providing automatically without the need to be messing around with filtering since its in their best interests too.
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