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Old 07-20-2007, 09:50 AM   #1
dhbailey
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Buying e-books at Borders / Barnes & Noble, etc.

Yesterday I walked into Border's and was struck with a terrific idea (well, I think it's terrific, others may easily point out that I should be locked up in a padded cell, but that's beside the point).

We need to have publishers know there's a large marketplace out here, correct? We need/want to have easy access to all their titles, old and new correct?
We currently can only buy such ebooks for our readers from Sony's Connect store through our own computers, or by having our registered reader connected to someone else's computer, correct?

My idea is that there would be a kiosk in all these bookstores (takes up very little costly floor space) which would have USB connectors so any portable reading device owners would bring their connector with a USB plug on the end to plug in and which we could plug our reader into and turn it on and it would perform some sort of handshake (just like it does now with Sony Connect) so that only registered devices would be allowed to buy the books, and we could download them right there, and also access them from our home computers once purchased.

So the bookstore would earn a percentage of each sale, making it economically worthwhile for them to promote it, potentially earning more for that square footage in a day than if it had been a bookshelf, the publishers wouldn't have to each maintain a web-site for sales, or relegate such sales to the horrible Sony Connect store, so the responsibility would be removed from their shoulders and they'd only have to sign the contracts to allow the issue of their books in e-book formats and would only have to cash the checks.

And we could have instant access to the same books that we might have bought paper copies of in the same bookstore, rather than having to write down the name of the book and then wait hoping against hope that it might someday show up at Sony Connect.

I am very hopeful about this potential especially with the new Adobe Digital Editions, where there would only have to be one single format of e-book for all devices which are enabled with Adobe Digital Editions software. And I remain hopeful that it will be incorporated into a forthcoming update patch for our readers so that the current jungle will become much simplified and such a kiosk system could be setup and become available in airports, shopping malls, bookstores, electronics stores (buy your reader and immediately buy some books for it!).
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:00 AM   #2
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If you need to be locked up, then so do I, since I thought of the same idea a while back. Kiosks with large catalogs of the ebooks they have available for purchase and on-the-spot downloads. Plus racks of flash memory card pre-loaded with books nicely packaged in tiny versions of the books' covers. And it would be nice if they sold ebook-reading devices at them too.

These kiosks could be in malls, airports, etc.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:45 AM   #3
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The closest thing to this idea I have seen is the book-making machine. A Kiosk that "prints" a book for you.

I think the biggest problem with your vision is that the Reader--so far as I know--is not really all that "smart," i.e. it is not a client or whatever, so it is not recognised as a storage device by other devices. However, if you had a USB drive, or maybe attached a card reader to the Kiosk, we might have something.

Of course, in 2003 Barnes & Noble said that they would not sell e-texts, and all the publishers and bookstores think of e-text as a filthy little stepchild they would smother to death in its sleep were there less attention.

I wholeheartedly support the notion, and think I will mention in next time I am in Borders. How can a store sell hardware and not software?
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:15 PM   #4
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The idea works for me, too, and I think it could be expanded to any PC device with USB or wireless connectivity.

Brought into the store, your PC device could connect with the store's LAN the same way you might in a Starbucks. Then you browse the catalogs, find the book you want, purchase through your device, and download the e-book. If you have your own device, all you need is a place to sit and browse. If you don't have a device of your own, you can use a kiosk and either have the e-book e-mailed to you, or dispensed on a memory card that you input (or purchase on the spot).

Now, if only we could raise the few million dollars we'd need to put up the first prototype store...
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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Then most of us will have to be locked up, because we've ALL thought about it!

Just remember, dude [isn't that what the 20-25 year-olds say?], when your Iilliad runs out of juice , don't expect any sympathy from me and my Reader

(This is all in good fun, for those who view Most Sacred whatever device is owned.)

Don



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
The idea works for me, too, and I think it could be expanded to any PC device with USB or wireless connectivity.

Brought into the store, your PC device could connect with the store's LAN the same way you might in a Starbucks. Then you browse the catalogs, find the book you want, purchase through your device, and download the e-book. If you have your own device, all you need is a place to sit and browse. If you don't have a device of your own, you can use a kiosk and either have the e-book e-mailed to you, or dispensed on a memory card that you input (or purchase on the spot).

Now, if only we could raise the few million dollars we'd need to put up the first prototype store...
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:05 PM   #6
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I have been waiting for something like this for a long time. I remember reading an article in Popular Science just before the Rocket Ebook came out saying that something just like this was the plan. Its been quite awhile now but I believe that article specifically mentioned Barnes and Noble. Whatever the case, the in store kiosks never came to be.

I visit book stores, normally Borders or Barnes and Noble, about every two weeks to see what's new and to just look around. If I see things that catch my eye I normally whip out my phone and type the titles into a text file so that I can look for them on Connect when I get home. It would definitely be much more convenient to just load up the reader at the store or airport.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:46 PM   #7
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Why on earth would anyone want to visit stores when there's the internet?
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:01 PM   #8
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Um... Coffee? Comfortable chairs? Clearance table?
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Why on earth would anyone want to visit stores when there's the internet?
Because you happen to be at the bookstore anyway. Or maybe someone gave you a gift card or you got one as a credit card promotion. Heck, because fo the Barnes & Nobels credit card, I got $50 credit just for my first purchase and my points got me another $25 gift card. If they had ebooks, I could have used some of the credit for ebooks.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:04 AM   #10
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I just like bookstores, myself.
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:15 AM   #11
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The internet is great if you just want to buy a specific book, but personally I enjoy just browsing in a good book shop to see what's available.

Queued up for 2h last night at my local Waterstones (the biggest book shop chain in the UK) for my "Harry Potter". That was a fun "event" which I couldn't have enjoyed online .
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:52 AM   #12
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Two answers (Revealed within, o mystic one)

1) Seriously - Human interaction
2) Humorously - You can't drink coffee over the internet (cafe)

3) If not 1, then 2; repeat





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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
Why on earth would anyone want to visit stores when there's the internet?
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
1) Seriously - Human interaction
2) Humorously - You can't drink coffee over the internet (cafe)

3) If not 1, then 2; repeat





Don
Considering how horrible coffee is, that experience is one I can easily miss. All it does is end up costing even more money for something that should not exist.
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:02 PM   #14
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I go for the italian sodas, myself. Never could abide the way coffee tastes (love the smell, though )
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:48 PM   #15
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Hmm I actually prefer browsing online, much more efficient. As for coffee, hate the stuff and human interaction, why go to a bookstore for human interaction?
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