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Old 05-14-2011, 01:24 AM   #1
mjmcleod
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Australian ebooks

So, today I got it into my head that I really wanted to read Tim Winton's Cloudstreet. It's a pretty major work, so I figured it wouldn't be difficult to buy a copy, right?

Wrong!

It's available in the US. If I were an American, I could pick it up from Amazon, B&N, Powell's, or direct from the publisher. Probably from a bunch of other places too.

But it's geographically restricted. Which is particularly frustrating as it's basically an Australian classic, but none of the Australian ebook stores have it, and none of the ones overseas can sell it to an Australian!

I checked ReadWithoutPaper and Borders. Am I missing an Australian ebook store who does have this? It seems like a pretty major omission...
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:51 AM   #2
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This sort of thing seems to happen quite a lot, I know some Canadian authors have ebooks not available in Canada. Completely daft. Your best bet is probably the library but that's not much help if you want an ebook, unless you are one of the lucky people whose library lends ebooks.

Last edited by amward; 05-14-2011 at 01:52 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:11 AM   #3
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Unfortunately I'm blind enough that dead-tree just isn't viable -- if I can't get something as an e-book, I can't read it.

As it happens my local city library does do ebooks -- through Overdrive -- but of course they have no Tim Winton available that way. Presumably the local publisher just can't be bothered, even though all the work has already been done.
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:55 AM   #4
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Bummer! At least your library does do ebooks unlike mine. What about an audio book, always supposing there is one? I find them good for when I'm sewing or driving but I think I would probably go to sleep if I were just listening. Hope you manage to get something sorted, it is a great read.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:50 AM   #5
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The problem is, MJ, that publishing rights will have been sold to different publishers in different countries by the author's agent to maximise sales potential and royalty advances. Obviously, whoever holds Australian rights hasn't properly geared up to ebooks yet, but the stores cannot sell another publisher's ebooks in a country where rights are already held by a local house. It's a pain. Unless somone comes up with a better idea, you might consider taking foreign membership of the massive Philadelphia Free Library in the US. There's a modest annual membership fee, but they'll probably have all you want. I think they offer ePub and PDF formats (both good for Galaxy). Not sure about Mobi. Luck and best wishes. Neil
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:35 AM   #6
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This sort of thing just makes me angry. I have had the same problem and it is the result of the restrictive practices of book distributors in Australia. Is it any wonder people resort to illegal downloads of books? The ludicrous part is that you can order the p-book version of a book from USA without any problems, but the ebook version can't be supplied. How crazy!
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:05 AM   #7
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Yep

Same thing has happened to me. How ridiculous it is when an Aussie author cannot sell ebooks to fellow Aussies. I went through hoops to buy Graham Sharp Paul's SF Helfort series. His publisher is Random House.

Geo restrictions is far more a problem for me that DRM will ever be.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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The reason for that, Caz, is that a treebook's legal point of sale is where it is bought and dispatched from, so if you order, say, a paperback in the USA, you're buying the authorised version locally. An ebook's point of sale, though, is the actual location of the device onto which it is downloaded so the holder of US rights may be different from the holder of rights in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, etc, etc.

The only way around this will be for agents and publishers get around a table and discuss some kind of international rights deal (possibly shared) so that print sales are still maximised by individual publishers who know their local markets but ebook rights are internationally shared and available to online buyers anywhere.

It wouldn't be easy, of course, because cover and even content can differ according to each edition produced to local reader taste and an international ebook edition would have to take this into account. It's a sticky problem and there's no easy answer.

Fortunately for my own wee house, we saw something like this coming as soon as online book selling became big and major ebook stores began to open. We have not signed in our eleven-year history a single contract that does not allow us full international rights to print and digital. Now seeing the results, our authors all agree that this was a wise policy.

Bestests. Neil
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:37 PM   #9
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This is exactly what I was complaining about! Not the same book, but the fact that we can't get Aussie ebooks over here. I have a ton on my tbr list but have to wait an entire year until they can sell it over here, if some of them are even being sold over here.

It's like, "Hey, I have money I want to give you for your books! Take it! But nope, they can't." And shipping from Australia is a lot. Can't win.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
The reason for that, Caz, is that a treebook's legal point of sale is where it is bought and dispatched from, so if you order, say, a paperback in the USA, you're buying the authorised version locally. An ebook's point of sale, though, is the actual location of the device onto which it is downloaded so the holder of US rights may be different from the holder of rights in the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, etc, etc.

The only way around this will be for agents and publishers get around a table and discuss some kind of international rights deal (possibly shared) so that print sales are still maximised by individual publishers who know their local markets but ebook rights are internationally shared and available to online buyers anywhere.

.......
You would think that this would be slightly easier than deciding on world peace or banishing poverty but I guess the book publishers don't think so.
At least you had the sense to see that your own business would run much better if you had the international rights sorted out - and I would bet that you suffer less from piracy than publishers who try to stop people being able to buy their product!
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post

Fortunately for my own wee house, we saw something like this coming as soon as online book selling became big and major ebook stores began to open. We have not signed in our eleven-year history a single contract that does not allow us full international rights to print and digital. Now seeing the results, our authors all agree that this was a wise policy.

Bestests. Neil
And very glad we are too Neil.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:49 PM   #12
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Cloudstreet appears to be available from ebooks.com

http://www.ebooks.com/493232/cloudstreet/winton-tim/

I didn't actually purchase the book, so maybe the sale would have been blocked when I gave my Australian credit card billing adress. But the price was quoted in AUD including GST so I think there is a pretty good chance you will be able to buy the book.

Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:06 PM   #13
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No, that lot are another useless US-only type seller.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:45 PM   #14
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If you look at the listing on ebooks.com it lists Australia as one of the 'available countries' for the book.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:06 AM   #15
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Cloudstreet appears to be available from ebooks.com
Thanks for the pointer!

It does indeed seem willing to sell the book to me, and I now have it sitting in ADE on my computer.

Suspect it may be an oversight, as none of the other stores have it available for Australians. But I'm not going to complain...

(Note: it's the same publisher here as in the US, so really they have no (good) excuse.)
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