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Old 12-19-2010, 05:11 AM   #1
lustyd
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Penguin

OK I decided I wanted a book badly enough to put up with stupid DRM. I'm now rather annoyed though that the book was several pounds more expensive than the pBook and they couldn't even be arsed to put cover art on it! So now I have an inferior book that is less flexible for more money. Is this normal when buying ebooks?

Yes, I feel stupid. No I will never buy another Penguin book.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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I would complain to Penguin and to the online site where you bought the book. Let's face it - if you purchased a P book and it had blurry printing or pages falling out, you would ask for your money back or at least complain very loudly. Ebooks should be treated the same way - you deserve a quality product and if you don't get it, complain! All of us ebook readers need to make it very plain that we will not be fobbed off with 3rd rate rubbish done on the cheap, and with DRM as well!
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:17 AM   #3
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I would complain to Penguin and to the online site where you bought the book. Let's face it - if you purchased a P book and it had blurry printing or pages falling out, you would ask for your money back or at least complain very loudly. Ebooks should be treated the same way - you deserve a quality product and if you don't get it, complain! All of us ebook readers need to make it very plain that we will not be fobbed off with 3rd rate rubbish done on the cheap, and with DRM as well!
Good idea, hadn't thought of complaining to Waterstones. I tried mailing Penguin previously and they didn't even have the decency to acknowlege the mail!
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:23 AM   #4
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Penguin tends to be expensive for ebooks. However, they also generally produce well formatted ebooks (although they seem to have more that one "house" style, and they may have several independent ebook production lines).

All the publishers have a problem with covers because they typically did not buy the rights to use the cover in an ebook. This is made worse by on-line ebook sellers using the images anyway. I suppose this is legal some how, but in any case it means that the publisher has zero reason to include the cover in the actual ebook. Don't forget the only reason for the paper cover was to make it more likely you buy the book. So some publishers have gone for generic covers in all their ebooks, and with others it depends on the rights situation.

As usual, Calibre comes to your rescue. Strip the DRM and download a cover for your ebook. I have no tolerance for DRM, but I am slightly conflicted on the cover. I would like the artist to get paid, but I don't see how this is possible as a book buyer.

I assume for recent works artists do get paid for the ebook version. Also, the new technology for embedding a sample of an ebook in a web page will make the ebook cover more visible. This may push publishers into using covers again.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:38 AM   #5
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Thanks Wallcraft, I see what you're saying about the image rights etc. On the flip side to that I don't think that should be your or my problem. Before publishing the ebook at inflated price they could easily have commissioned another piece of cover art just like they do for a second edition paperback. I don't see that they have any excuse for second rate products so I'll continue to complain as loudly as I can. Hopefully someday the publishers will read these forums and realise their mistakes even if they ignore all of my direct mail
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:42 PM   #6
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hmmm, what was the book if you don't mind my asking?

For "paperback/ebook" comparisons Penguin usually discounts $1 for US books.

Ie the paperback book costs $7.99 and the eBook costs $6.99 is the standard. Still agency pricing but it is among the more reasonable Agency pricing from what I've seen.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:28 PM   #7
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hmmm, what was the book if you don't mind my asking?
It was "Any Human Heart" by William Boyd at £6.99 for ebook instead of £4.49 for the paperback. I'm not overly bothered by the price difference but the DRM and lower quality really annoy me. It's very much like I bought a book and someone ripped off the cover then super-glued the book to my house to ensure I read it there. As others have said before, this doesn't feel as much like the future and progress as I thought it would!
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:02 PM   #8
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You are lucky ... this title is not available in Canada in paper or electronically.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:31 PM   #9
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You are lucky ... this title is not available in Canada in paper or electronically.
If only there were some global computer network that could cross physical boundaries...oh yes, DRM again!
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:39 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks for the thread. I was just about to buy a handfull of books from Penguin.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
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I purchased a Penguin Classic, Selected Poems of William Wordsworth, from Amazon UK, but the formatting looked terrible on my iPod Touch and almost as bad on my MacBook: something to do with line numbering in the left hand margin, I think, that made the verse lines run off the screen or into the next line. I complained to Amazon and they refunded my money within hours and withdrew the book from my Library. It probably looks fine on the Kindle, but I don't have one (yet).
As an experiment, I bought the same book from iTunes. Same problem, and this time I couldn't read it at all on the Mac, only on the Touch. I fired off an email to iTunes and got the refund a couple of days later, but they haven't deleted it from my account, so I can in theory still read it.
I therefore see no reason to buy Penguins from either Penguin direct or from Waterstones. I can use Hotspot Shield and buy from B&N if I want and sometimes the dollar price is cheaper than sterling.
My main grouse with Penguin is that so little of its catalogue is available in ebook format. No Gabriel García Marquéz! Come on publishers, this is perhaps the world's greatest living novelist and all that's available is on collection of short stories, in Spanish! I can think of countless other writers of distinction whose work is still not available, so I for one won't be giving up treebooks yet awhile.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:49 PM   #12
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I therefore see no reason to buy Penguins from either Penguin direct or from Waterstones.
I feel the same. I think I may even put an entry or two in at lostbooksales.com
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