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Old 05-10-2010, 10:20 AM   #16
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Thanks to Blue and Alvico for their helpful suggestions. I've also discovered Inkmesh, thanks to the OP. I'll keep looking (Alvico, thanks for the new bookshops!) and hope someone with actual commercial sense does surprise the "publishing" industry.

It amazes me that publishers in general have been so slow to catch on to changes in media. The music industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into iTunes, the book industry still seems to have its head in the sand, and the TV/movie industry is even further behind. "Media" means the "way" we access things. Access has changed. Even the artificial boundaries between these kinds of information/entertainment have to go. I always thought consumers drove the market, but this market has just dug its heels in and refused to move. :S

No, it is endemic to the media. Their CEOs all missed the 'study history or be doomed to repeat it' bit in school it would appear.

Even one of those early media pirate groups - Hollywood - way back when. Read up on their reactions to television.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:59 AM   #17
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No, it is endemic to the media. Their CEOs all missed the 'study history or be doomed to repeat it' bit in school it would appear.
The asteroid is visible but the dinosaurs do not want to acknowledge it's heading their way.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:08 PM   #18
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Hmm... a bit puzzled here. Using Inkmesh, I looked up the first book of a series of which I have volumes 2-4 (I hadn't previously seen it available in ebook), so it's not a recent book. Inkmesh gave me a list of retailers who had the ebook, with Amazon at the top at $6.39 (~ AUD $7.20).

However, Amazon shows a price of $8.29. Is this disparity the cost of getting the ebook "wirelessly delivered to your Kindle", which in my case would be an app on my Mac or iPhone?
Yes, Amazon add $2 to the price for everyone outside the US to cover the cost of the Kindle's 3G data connection, even if you don't download the book that way.

Note though that if you're a US customer in Australia you don't pay the extra $2 and they don't charge wireless fees to download your books.

I'm hoping that agency pricing will drive them to change this - if Amazon can't discount, then they won't want to be $2 more expensive than everywhere else.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #19
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Hey Folks - if you think things are bad in Australia, have pity on us poor Kiwis. PBooks are even more expensive here, and we dropped parallel importing restrictions 10+ years ago (so that's not an excuse), and there is no interest in selling ebooks or ebook readers here.

BooksOnBoard was my saviour, but now since the agency pricing thing, almost all my wishlist has disappeared, and I can't tell if its because they're still implementing the new pricing system or because of geographic restrictions.

All I want to do is be able to buy books at a reasonable price so that I can support authors whose work I love, and have the pleasure of reading them. Why does it have to be so hard!!!!
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:37 PM   #20
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Yes, that is true. Kiwis are worse than Australians when it comes to that. Telecommunications ripoffs, too, so makes it worse.

However, one thing about books - a dial-up modem will get them to you for free plenty fast enough.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:01 PM   #21
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One thing perhaps though Karen, if we give the publishers enough of a kicking here, you might get some flow-on, as often book deals are Aus+NZ - so if titles open up you could probably get them too?

e.g. at readwithoutpaper.com for example or dymocks.com.au : will they let you buy?
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:11 PM   #22
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Thanks Tyson. Here's hoping that things come our way. We have both Borders and Dymocks in NZ (destroying the local booksellers but there's another story) so it should be a possibility. But the problems are still selection and price ... Many titles are simply not available down this way (geo restrictions) and I don't quite see why I should pay more for an Australian edition of an ebook than a US version ...

(By the way, many of us here in NZ do have broadband ... Some of us even have cable broadband!)
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:19 PM   #23
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Hmm, just checked out readwithoutpaper and dymocks ... Very limited availability of stuff I would want to buy (fantasy - checked Australian, US and Canadian authors), and the one book they had by an Australian author (Jennifer Fallon) was Geo Restricted to Australia only! The prices were not flash either ranging from $7.95 (good) to $25.95 (ridiculous) all for books which have been out in paperback for more than 1 year.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:22 AM   #24
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Yeah, limited selection is a different issue and a problem for sure (a while ago rwp didn't have Alastair Reynolds). So is pricing, some very nice, some poor as mentioned, as you discovered.

That was what I was wondering about, yes, if there were some crazy Australian only books.

Fallon is holding out for the big money from New Zealand then? Or is there seriously a NZ only edition of her books?
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:36 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by karenr_nz View Post
Thanks Tyson. Here's hoping that things come our way. We have both Borders and Dymocks in NZ (destroying the local booksellers but there's another story) so it should be a possibility. But the problems are still selection and price ... Many titles are simply not available down this way (geo restrictions) and I don't quite see why I should pay more for an Australian edition of an ebook than a US version ...

(By the way, many of us here in NZ do have broadband ... Some of us even have cable broadband!)
Yeah. That was more a reference to the fact that Australians are around the highest per capita downloaders of tv shows, and if we thought Telstra was bad, we should have your telco. Kiwis would beat us here probably, if they had the opportunity having our bandwidth limits. Lots of NZ plans are only a few GB a month, aren't they?

No, very few of us see why we should pay more for exactly the same thing, you are right, there.

In Australia we will have to pay GST - but you should not, on Australian books? So booksellers here will be at a competitive disadvantage from Amazon (as are the poms with their nutty VAT rates).

Now bandwidth, server hosting, etc., is a bit more expensive here, and real estate is maybe a lot more. So we'd expect higher prices perhaps, but not on the order of double.

So presumably there is some sort of middleman in there. E.g. the local publisher. Who just happen to be 100% superfluous when talking about digital books from another country, from the reader point of view.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:30 AM   #26
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Karen, Baen Books has some good classic and new fantasy, some of it in their Free Library. I used to be able to buy directly from them, but it looks like now they refer to external retailers. Worth checking though (search directly for a name from the author list, or for a title, as their cataloguing links seem to be broken), especially the free library. Baen believe in free access to books (no DRM and some excellent articles on the subject) so you have a wide choice of unlocked, convertable formats.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:25 PM   #27
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Hi Clytie - Baens website is one of my favourites. I love their free library and have bought more books from there than anywhere else. Unfortunately, there are many authors tha they don't carry, and some authors I like where they only have a few works.

Tyson, I don't quite understand the 'Australia only' geo restriction either. You would think that it would at least be Australasian. I can't get over how few Australian authors have ebook editions. Some of my favourites are Australian (Jennifer Fallon, Sara Douglass, Fiona McIntyre, Trudi Canavan to name a few) and I've only been able to find one book (out of 30 or 40) from those authors in ebook format. On another topic, from the sounds of things, I don't think many Aussies would like what we call 'broadband' in NZ - slow, expensive and with data caps (around $50NZ for 5GB per month)... Luckily book files are small!
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:50 AM   #28
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Luckily book files are small!
On that note, I've noticed that 'Adobe ePub' books are up to twice the size of other formats. Are we actually getting more information or entertainment for that extra data download? And how does it compare with non-DRM ePub (apart from being full of DRM, I mean )?
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:52 AM   #29
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I got some books form Double Dragon Publishing last night. All DRM free and no Geo restrictions.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:13 AM   #30
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There's nothing at the ebooks link yet - don't know whether 19th means midnight or business opening hours tomorrow, but

http://www.borders.com.au/

They have a flash banner of the home page - touting the Kobo eReader at $199 and 2 million books.
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