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Old 04-24-2012, 01:04 PM   #1
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Tor, a MacMillan imprint going DRM free

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/04/tor...to-go-drm-free

I've had my eye an a few of their books, but since I'm unwilling to buy books with DRM on them I've gotten them from the library instead. Hopefully they actually go through with it. Tor tried to go with Baen Webscriptions years ago and had it nixed by their MacMillan overlords.

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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hmmmmm - Macmillan tests selling to Kindle users outside of Amazon?
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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It is only a test if BN, Kobo, Sony, and others sell both EPub and Mobi DRM Free books. Amazon will allow the books to be sold without DRM on the Amazon site. Unless another store sells the Mobi version at a lower price than Amazon, I will buy from Amazon.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
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Well, if Barnes and Noble (or another retailer) offered DRM free ePub along with a simple easy guide on how to convert to mobi, that'd be kind of interesting. Or if they sold the ePub and offered to convert it for you and email it to your Kindle address. LOL I bet that'd get Jeff Bezos's attention.

I can't see Barnes and Noble having the ability to price cut Amazon anyway but there's been a lot of writing lately about DRM needing to go for Publishers to break outside of the hold Amazon has on the market.

It's interesting to see one of the Big 6 floating this out there.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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I know that the people at Tor have been wanting to do this for years (going back to their aborted partnership with Webscriptions). I'm ecstatic to see it finally come to fruition.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #6
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This is a great step, one that I really hope more publishers take. Maybe this is a sign that publishers are finally waking up to the hard lesson that the record industry already learned: DRM is ineffective at stopping pirates and great at annoying customers.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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This will actually move me towards buying a few TOR books since I've essentially avoided them. The combination of over-priced plus DRM was just too annoying, so I kept my SF buying to Baen, primarily. Obviously, I'd like to see them move their prices more inline with Baen as well, but this is an important and much welcomed step. (And it's not that DRM kept me from doing what I needed to do with a book - Apprentice Alf took care of that - but it was the principle.)
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Even though I have a Kindle, with DRM free I'm still going to buy where the best price is available. As long as Tor is using agency pricing, there won't be any price difference, and therefore no reason not to buy from Amazon.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:15 PM   #9
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With the exception of some too good to refuse offers, I've avoided buying DRM'd books which has meant I've been making do mostly with freebies and Baen, always nice to be able to add another potential source of books

The reason I want ebooks to go DRM free is that it removes the need for A.Alf to keep his scripts up to date, if he ever stops and nobody else steps up, we're stuck. Also, it makes it much simpler to recommend people buy a given reader because it's better hardware or has better value added features along with instructions on how to convert books from other stores. A better situation than, "all your current books are from XYZ, so although this reader would suit you better, you'll either have to free your books or buy another reader from XYZ".
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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Apprentice Alf stopped a while back. The scripts that are posted at that site are developed by others, many of whom post here. I believe that this is posted on the site but I cannot remember where.

Removing the DRM is great, I like that. The only way it can hurt Amazon is if that means that other sites sell mobi books and at a cheaper price then Amazon. The reality is that most people are not going to take extra steps to convert even when they don't have to strip the DRM when they can buy it in the correct format.

One possible downside for folks could be that Amazon decides to sell the EPub versions at a lower price and draws people from other e-readers to Amazon's store due to lower pricing.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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Great news. It almost makes me forgive them for price-gouging Canadians by inflating their discount promo things an extra dollar for us per title.

I hope they also reduce the prices or at least allow coupons and such as some other apparently-Agency publishers do, with user-adjustable fixed store-list pricing (Smashwords et al.).
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitearrow View Post
Even though I have a Kindle, with DRM free I'm still going to buy where the best price is available. As long as Tor is using agency pricing, there won't be any price difference, and therefore no reason not to buy from Amazon.
There is one reason not to buy from Amazon: if you buy an ePub elsewhere, you'll get higher-resolution images and (unless the publisher is using KF8 already) better styles & any custom fonts the publisher used.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #13
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Apprentice Alf stopped a while back. The scripts that are posted at that site are developed by others, many of whom post here. I believe that this is posted on the site but I cannot remember where.
I wasn't aware of that, but the point just shifts from A.Alf to the new developers who may one day give up. There may not always be someone willing to tackle the DRM. Of course chances are there will be, it only takes one after all, but it's better all around when there doesn't need to be.

Quote:
Removing the DRM is great, I like that. The only way it can hurt Amazon is if that means that other sites sell mobi books and at a cheaper price then Amazon. The reality is that most people are not going to take extra steps to convert even when they don't have to strip the DRM when they can buy it in the correct format.
Yep, if prices are similar, Amazon customers will likely keep buying from Amazon even if it's just a tad more since it saves hassle converting. If a book goes on sale at another retailer though, some will now buy/convert (or even not need to convert if the other retailer does epub and mobi).

Quote:
One possible downside for folks could be that Amazon decides to sell the EPub versions at a lower price and draws people from other e-readers to Amazon's store due to lower pricing.
Assuming they're not agency priced, yeah that could happen.

Amazon could try to sell to non-kindle owners and other stores could try to sell to kindle owners, that imo is a great thing for customers Hardware readers could also then be purchased because you like one more than the other rather than based on which store you've got to buy from (assuming you don't want to constantly free the books)

One thing it does for publishers is reduce the impact of Amazon turning around and saying agree to these terms or we're not selling your books. Since they'd still have a way to sell to kindle customers albeit with a minor extra side-load or email step. Not saying it eliminates the impact, it'd still be a big one for some time most likely, but it wouldn't be the end of the world for them.

Last edited by JoeD; 04-24-2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:35 PM   #14
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And that higher resolution goes away when converted to Mobi and placed on a KIndle. So why should I buy and convert and EPUb?

Not to mention, 99% of the books I read do not have images so I could care less about image quality.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CRussel View Post
This will actually move me towards buying a few TOR books since I've essentially avoided them. The combination of over-priced plus DRM was just too annoying, so I kept my SF buying to Baen, primarily. Obviously, I'd like to see them move their prices more inline with Baen as well, but this is an important and much welcomed step. (And it's not that DRM kept me from doing what I needed to do with a book - Apprentice Alf took care of that - but it was the principle.)
Agreed.

I've been boycotting Agency6 (including Tor) so this makes me very happy! DRM removal is much more important to me than lower prices. I'd pay a couple extra dollars for DRM free books, regardless.
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