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Old 03-20-2012, 09:12 AM   #16
DrNefario
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If you want to actually download the .mobi for conversion, I assume you'd need the PC software. Amazon don't have anything so simple as a download button.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:23 PM   #17
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True, I can get it in the "Cloud." But then I can't use my ereader, carry it with me, or archive it in case it disappears from Amazon. I would need to install Kindle for PC -- and I'd rather not install more software on my computer.

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Old 03-20-2012, 03:12 PM   #18
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True, I can get it in the "Cloud." But then I can't use my ereader, carry it with me, or archive it in case it disappears from Amazon. I would need to install Kindle for PC -- and I'd rather not install more software on my computer.
You don't have to install Kindle for PC to download the book for your ereader. Once you have purchased the book, go to "Manage My Kindle" under your account settings on Amazon. Beside the title of each book should be a button that says Actions. If you click on it, it'll give you a menu. One of the options should be "Download & Transfer via USB." You should be able to load that file on your ereader (providing it really is DRM-free) or add it to your Calibre library.

ETA: Weird. It asks what Kindle I want to transfer the file to when I click download so the method I just outlined might not work after all. Anyone know if this is different for DRMed & non-DRM books? I'm not sure which are which in my library...

Last edited by Keslynn; 03-20-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:38 PM   #19
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D/T via USB is only an option for physical Kindle device owners. K4Mac/PC install is an iffy proposition for people with older Macs and non-Windows PCs. K4iDevices/Android requires having one in the first place and resquires additional tweaking to access the actual book files IIRC.

B&N have many faults, but at least they let you buy and d/l their book files directly via the website without insisting on feeding through an extra app. As long as you're in the US or can successfully pretend to be.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:01 PM   #20
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B&N have many faults, but at least they let you buy and d/l their book files directly via the website without insisting on feeding through an extra app. As long as you're in the US or can successfully pretend to be.
You don't have to have a working Kindle, though - any registerable serial number will work, so you can buy a broken (but not stolen) Kindle and use it for downloading DRM-free titles and convert them.

At least with Amazon, they have made a VERY public commitment that your titles won't ever disappear, once purchased (and you'll always get the edition purchased, unless a newer edition is uploaded to the same ASIN, the publisher marks it as an update available selection AND you choose to get the update). With B&N, Smash and others, pulling a book from sale means you lose the book forever (something most ebookstores have had a problem with for many years - what Amazon is doing may be what we all expect, but isn't the norm, sadly). Some stores go so far as to only allow downloads for a set number of times or for a short time period (the worst I've seen have been 14 days AND only 1-2 downloads, places I almost never buy a book from, as a result).
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #21
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You don't have to have a working Kindle, though - any registerable serial number will work, so you can buy a broken (but not stolen) Kindle and use it for downloading DRM-free titles and convert them.
Honestly, at that point I'd start questioning whether it was even worth the bother of getting books from Amazon to convert at all. There's a limit to how much hoop-jumping I'm prepared to do simply for e-books, free, DRM-free, or otherwise and I'm a lot less willing than I was a year ago. Spending actual money on workarounds would not even enter into consideration for me, although I suppose someone more desperate and less able to run WINE on their non-Windows Intel-based machine might resort to it.

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At least with Amazon, they have made a VERY public commitment that your titles won't ever disappear, once purchased (and you'll always get the edition purchased, unless a newer edition is uploaded to the same ASIN, the publisher marks it as an update available selection AND you choose to get the update).
Except in those cases where one's Amazon account gets shut down for whatever reason, though at least the guy managed to get it reinstated for accessing his digital content, if nothing else.

And as mentioned previously, I did see on the Amazon discussion boards last year someone who was complaining because some of her indie books disappeared from her archives when the authors pulled them and IIRC there was that Selena Kitt incident just over a year ago which made it to the News forum here, although some of that may be due to the wonky way that Amazon handles the archives in the first place and stuff which is still there just not being easily accessible any more.

Frankly, while it's nice that they've made that public statement towards archival commitment, I'd personally consider Dropbox et al. more of my friend for keeping backup copies of my paid purchases secure than I would Amazon.

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Some stores go so far as to only allow downloads for a set number of times or for a short time period (the worst I've seen have been 14 days AND only 1-2 downloads, places I almost never buy a book from, as a result).
Ellora's webstore, IIRC, used to be just 5 days and 5 downloads, plus choice of only 1 format, but then when they switched over to their current system, all the freebies I picked up out of hoarding habit became redownloadable presumably ad infinitum in multiple formats and automatically added back into my account without any further action from myself.

So possibly other retailers may learn better, with time. I'm certainly hoping so in the case of several of the smaller specialty sf/fantasy author stores. 24 hours and 2 download attempts for $9.99 a book. Thanks, but I think I'll pop by the used bookshop for my C.J. Cherryh needs instead. (But to be fair they do offer a multi-format bundle for no additional charge (which should be the default option, really) and they've stated that if your download is wonky or you have other problems, you can contact them and they'll resend a new link.)

I have this personal suspicion that many of the decision-makers for the terms that e-books are offered under for purchase/download/re-download/finding in one's 3000+ item library do not use the product they are selling at all (at least, not on a regular basis, and they don't have more than one device/re-read stuff). It would explain so much.

In a way, it's weirdly more relaxing to know explicitly that the stuff you spend money upon could become inaccessible at any moment if you don't do your own proper backups. When it's upfront like that, at least you're less surprised when it happens than if you go on trusting the store to take care of things for you.

As someone who lives in a notoriously inclemental part of Canada, I know for a fact that the main reason "the cloud" exists is for the express purpose of one day raining down upon me at an unfortunate moment. <-- these are not the conditions I cynically anticipate, but we have no other weather-appropriate smileys. Well, okay, maybe this one -->
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:01 PM   #22
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Except in those cases where one's Amazon account gets shut down for whatever reason, though at least the guy managed to get it reinstated for accessing his digital content, if nothing else.
That is a danger - and you can get it shut down for any reason (including someone trying to hack your account or just typing in the wrong password too many times, I suspect, which would look the same to the bots that detect such things.

Of course, if you did lose the account and were not able to get it turned back on, that would be pretty solid grounds for a suit (esp. after the big Amazon announcement).

Over at B&N (and not just there, I've had it happen once or twice in others stores), you also run the risk of your book becoming something else the next time you check on it. Although the product page has changed at Amazon, I still could download the original book (but it's title was wrong on my Kindle), when a publisher pulled a similar switch (they replaced a completely different title, under the same ASIN, different author as well, so not the usual James Patterson bait-and-switch of titles on this freebies).

So far, I haven't seen any of the indie books disappear from my account (including Kitt's), unless I purposely moved them to the TRASH folder in my media library (which hides them from the online login, but not the archives on the Kindle).

On the other hand - get over about 3200 books in your archive and you can't see any past the magic number on any Kindle on your account, only on the MYK web page. I don't know what the equivalent is for a B&N or Kobo account, as I refuse to let those devices sync anymore, as they do such a poor job of it (esp the Kobo, which insists I should download every single book on my account if it syncs ... even though it would take days to do so and it won't fit on the device).

And yes, dropbox or box.net are both good backups (it's harder to accidentally delete at box.net, but also harder to upload). I would avoid amazon's free cloud storage, simply because you are back to a single source (and companies do go bankrupt or change offerings -- and legally cannot give notice of such to their customers).

I think one I had a lot of issue with was on the Read an eBook week program - used to be PDF only and had to download then (they now appear to have a library shelf and multiple formats, but all their books were repeats this year).

The worst, of course, are authors who set up their own "special" stores and download facilities (you probably know who I'm talking about, in one case). Sure, it's DRM-free, but now you aren't depending on a company staying in business, but a person remembering to pay their website fees (and stay alive), along with their store software. At least one of these is using a limited time download, also. Others have moved from their old download stores to offering titles at Amazon (and presumably removed the old downloads - one of whom used to sell a lifetime, all-books subscription, which I believe is now missing for redownload).

Speaking of authors doing their own things, I just noticed that FLP has removed the Harry Potter books from their reservation lists (although all my reservations are still in place). No idea if they'll be able to honor the ones they set up (I hope so, though) before they had to remove them.

Perhaps this is the one you were thinking of, for when the cloud dumps upon thee?



No, he's not thinking, those are air bubbles rising to the surface!
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:25 PM   #23
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The worst, of course, are authors who set up their own "special" stores and download facilities (you probably know who I'm talking about, in one case). Sure, it's DRM-free, but now you aren't depending on a company staying in business, but a person remembering to pay their website fees (and stay alive), along with their store software.
I think I actually like it better when buy-direct single authors don't bother with the attempted storefront software* and just have something set up so that you drop your money into their Paypal tipjar or whatever with a note about what you're buying and the author or their fanboy assistant or whatever just emails you the books directly as an attachment (or has some sort of auto-Paypal add-to-cart button thing set up to do so, which I've seen a couple of authors do).

No pretense, and something of a personal touch, and it's probably more cost-effective in the long run than having to spend time and money on the special solutions.

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Perhaps this is the one you were thinking of, for when the cloud dumps upon thee?



No, he's not thinking, those are air bubbles rising to the surface!
Needs some swimming fishies but otherwise, that's kind of what it's like around here. Verily do the clouds believe us to be like unto pod persons who needeth watering for a plurality of all our mortal days.

* I'd like it even better if they took their books to Baen or something like the Book View Cafe which I have to say are examples of How To Do It Right (even if the latter could stand to have more sample chapters proportionate to book length and it would be nice if they ever held sales or at least made a note of which authors were special-discounting some of their titles for a limited time, instead of my having to find out via fortuitous 3rd party alerts).
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:24 AM   #24
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At least with Amazon, they have made a VERY public commitment that your titles won't ever disappear, once purchased (and you'll always get the edition purchased, unless a newer edition is uploaded to the same ASIN, the publisher marks it as an update available selection AND you choose to get the update). With B&N, Smash and others, pulling a book from sale means you lose the book forever (something most ebookstores have had a problem with for many years - what Amazon is doing may be what we all expect, but isn't the norm, sadly).
Do we really know this for sure about Amazon? After all, most of the ebooks pulled from the other retailers were pulled because they were being sold exclusively by Amazon. Now that Amazon and IDP (or whatever that indie press distributer is) failed to renew the contract, are those books still available for download even though they are no longer available for purchase?
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:46 AM   #25
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I think I actually like it better when buy-direct single authors don't bother with the attempted storefront software* and just have something set up so that you drop your money into their Paypal tipjar or whatever with a note about what you're buying and the author or their fanboy assistant or whatever just emails you the books directly as an attachment (or has some sort of auto-Paypal add-to-cart button thing set up to do so, which I've seen a couple of authors do).
I have bought from one or two of these authors, but it's a big pain in the you-know-where. Yes, I saved money, and the author presumably got the entire proceeds, but it's all word of mouth, and you have to know of the author, know of the website and trust the website. If most authors followed this route, they'd starve to death.

I just had an email conversation with an author who had recently put up a Kindle edition of his short story collection. I asked him if he had an epub edition, and he does not. He said that if he had time, he might convert it and sell the epub edition on his website. Bad, bad, idea. The reason why I went to his website in the first place was because I wanted to ask him about an epub edition because I was pretty sure there wasn't one, and I'm tired of the Amazon exclusivity. Granted, Amazon gives you 75% of the ebook reading population, and you probably have to work with at least 3 different retailers (assuming Sony and Kobo support self-publishing), so it's much easier to do only Amazon and get a big audience. If you don't have a Kindle, and you don't want to (strip DRM and) convert to epub, and you can't find it at one of the bigger ebook retailers, you'll probably just give up and go to another author before ever thinking of checking to see if the author has her own website and finding the epub there.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #26
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I have bought from one or two of these authors, but it's a big pain in the you-know-where. Yes, I saved money, and the author presumably got the entire proceeds, but it's all word of mouth, and you have to know of the author, know of the website and trust the website.

...

I asked him if he had an epub edition, and he does not. He said that if he had time, he might convert it and sell the epub edition on his website. Bad, bad, idea. The reason why I went to his website in the first place was because I wanted to ask him about an epub edition because I was pretty sure there wasn't one, and I'm tired of the Amazon exclusivity.

...

If you don't have a Kindle, and you don't want to (strip DRM and) convert to epub, and you can't find it at one of the bigger ebook retailers, you'll probably just give up and go to another author before ever thinking of checking to see if the author has her own website and finding the epub there.
I don't think we're really commenting on the same thing.

Mine was in relation to authors with established audiences who were already managing direct sales via their websites and using special shopping cart/store management software to do so, which seems mildly inefficient for a single-author as far as economies of scale go if it's a 3rd-party pay solution, not ones who sold primarily via other outlets and maybe held the occasional DIY sale via their site.

Yours seems to be about authors selling directly from their sites at all. And I'd think that an author-direct ePub would be better than no ePub at all.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:04 AM   #27
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Thanks for responding, Shahid. ... but, Amazon won't even sell me an ebook, even though my Jetbook Lite will read a non-DRMed .mobi file, because their records show I don't have a Kindle. I could get the Kindle for PC program, and then read it on my Jetbook, but I'd rather not do that.
Hmmmm, there's seems to be something missing here. I may be mistaken, but I do think there is a way to do it....maybe someone here can better elaborate (I'm not the most tech-saavy guy...heck I still don't read ebooks myself). I was sure some of my readers are doing conversions from Kindle.

In any case, right now our plans are to revert all books given to Amazon for their exclusive period back to a wider distribution as soon as the initial exlusive period is over. So even if you can't convert it, the book should be available within 90 days.

I know that's not ideal, but like I had mentioned, there is a fair bit of money involved and unfortunately or fortunately, no one has the access like Amazon does to customers.

On the plus side, you will see more of our books being offered for free through Amazon (and I'll try to plan them better so I can also announce the date of the promos in the newletter I send out). So if you can figure out a way to convert these, you'll have access to more freebees--not that that should actually stop you from actually buying some of our books

I have also asked BN for clarification of the re-download issue, lets see what they say.

Cheers,

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Old 03-23-2012, 04:57 PM   #28
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Ok, here's the word from Barnes and Noble which should alleviate re-download concerns for those books being taken ‘Off-Sale’ for Amazon's Select Program (and I would like to reiterate that these titles are fully expected to put in wider distribution once the initial select period if finished).

"Hello,

If a customer purchased an eBook (while it was On Sale in the past),
they will not be prevented from re-downloading that purchase in the
future, even if the eBook is subsequently taken Off Sale by the
author/publisher.

Sincerely,
The PubIt! Team"

I'm pretty sure Amazon has a similar policy as well.

Not sure about other venues, but it really is a policy decision made by them. As the publisher of these books we would definately encourage all stores to allow continued downloads of the files once bought.

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