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Old 12-08-2008, 09:05 AM   #1
alehel
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Email from Penguin concerning ebook covers

I just got a reply from Penguin explaining why they don't have book covers on their ebooks. I thought I'd put it here as it might be of interest to others.

Dear Aleksander

Sorry that you did not receive a reply to your email about book covers on ebooks. I'm afraid the answer is quite prosaic - we bought the rights to use certain images and designs on our book jackets prior to the launch of ebooks and (perhaps shortsightedly) did not acquire electronic rights in these jackets images. For this reason, we cannot use them on the 'covers' of our ebooks though we are embarking on a process to get these rights which will mean that at some point in the future our ebooks will have jacket images. Tasters are exempt from this as they are a marketing sample rather than a retailed title.

Please rest assured that the content of the ebooks is identical to that of the printed title. Also, if you are using an ebook reader (rather than desktop software) jackets will not be displayed in their full multi-coloured glory.

Again, apologies for the delayed response. Since I hope this answers your question I have removed your comment from the blog.

Best

Digital Publisher
Penguin UK

So it turns out they weren't being lazy after all. I hope they'll be able to fix this soon.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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This reminds me of something I've been thinking for some time, but haven't asked yet...

If you buy an ebook in some online store and, after some time, the publisher updates the book (I'm maybe being na´f, but I'd like to think publishers might release updated versions with corrected mistakes, new covers, or whatever), can you re-download the new improved version at no additional cost?

I assume the answer depends on the store and the publisher, but is there any experience in this matter?
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:07 AM   #3
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That's an interesting information.

What I find strange is the following :
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehel View Post
Since I hope this answers your question I have removed your comment from the blog.
Why remove the comment instead of adding the explanation they sent you below ?
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
This reminds me of something I've been thinking for some time, but haven't asked yet...

If you buy an ebook in some online store and, after some time, the publisher updates the book (I'm maybe being na´f, but I'd like to think publishers might release updated versions with corrected mistakes, new covers, or whatever), can you re-download the new improved version at no additional cost?

I assume the answer depends on the store and the publisher, but is there any experience in this matter?
i don't know whether this is true for all publishers / stores, or whether it applies to cover images, but i seem to remember that when l'ÚlÚgance du hÚrisson was first available as an ebook many readers complained because there were a lot of errors in the text. the text was eventually corrected, and the people who had bought it previously were allowed to download a new file to replace the one with the errors.

i think it probably depends whether they consider it an update to the original book, in which case i imagine that just downloading the one you purchased from the site of the bookseller would get you the new version (it replaces the previous version), or whether it is considered a new edition, in which case i imagine they would want everyone to pay for it, even if you previously bought the early edition.

i certainly hope they wouldn't consider the inclusion of a cover image grounds for a new edition.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Why remove the comment instead of adding the explanation they sent you below ?
it gave me the impression they were hoping that nobody else would ask about covers, they wanted to keep it quiet... seems strange to me.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
it gave me the impression they were hoping that nobody else would ask about covers, they wanted to keep it quiet... seems strange to me.
You mean it is a cover-up!?!
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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You mean it is a cover-up!
aaaarg !!!
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
This reminds me of something I've been thinking for some time, but haven't asked yet...

If you buy an ebook in some online store and, after some time, the publisher updates the book (I'm maybe being na´f, but I'd like to think publishers might release updated versions with corrected mistakes, new covers, or whatever), can you re-download the new improved version at no additional cost?

I assume the answer depends on the store and the publisher, but is there any experience in this matter?
Generally most dealers let you download as many times as you want. However, there is no method to tell you that the eBook has changed so you have a hit or miss when to download it again.

Dale
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:45 AM   #9
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Generally most dealers let you download as many times as you want. However, there is no method to tell you that the eBook has changed so you have a hit or miss when to download it again.
I would be pretty annoyed if they had changed the book. If they do a correction it should be a new book that you can choose to download.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:48 AM   #10
alehel
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I've also noticed that Penguin isn't the only ones who haven't included ebook covers. Random House seem to be having the same problems as a book I purchased from them didn't have any cover either.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:50 AM   #11
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Webscriptions.net updates ebooks occasionally, mostly shortly after release if specific problems are reported.

But I haven't noticed any other publisher or retailer issuing updated ebooks.

Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
This reminds me of something I've been thinking for some time, but haven't asked yet...

If you buy an ebook in some online store and, after some time, the publisher updates the book (I'm maybe being na´f, but I'd like to think publishers might release updated versions with corrected mistakes, new covers, or whatever), can you re-download the new improved version at no additional cost?

I assume the answer depends on the store and the publisher, but is there any experience in this matter?
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Webscriptions.net updates ebooks occasionally, mostly shortly after release if specific problems are reported.

But I haven't noticed any other publisher or retailer issuing updated ebooks.

Paul
According to reports here, Sony have done so, on occasions, when formatting issues have been reported.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
i don't know whether this is true for all publishers / stores, or whether it applies to cover images, but i seem to remember that when l'ÚlÚgance du hÚrisson was first available as an ebook many readers complained because there were a lot of errors in the text. the text was eventually corrected, and the people who had bought it previously were allowed to download a new file to replace the one with the errors.
I complained to Fictionwise recently about the high number of errors in Hybrids, by Robert Sawyer, and they gave me a full refund. Great customer service - instead of being disgruntled, I will happily buy from them again.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:51 PM   #14
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Boy--I wrote to Ballantine complaining about the lack of cover art on Victory of Eagles and got a rather snotty answer about how they contract out ebook production so it's not their fault. Um, could you maybe pass it on to your contractor, then?
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Webscriptions.net updates ebooks occasionally, mostly shortly after release if specific problems are reported.
But let's be honest. Baen uses such a sophisticated error reporting system that it's very easy to see why they can fix errors so fast.

"Toni, the covers are missing on this release of BookX, HTML version."

"Really? Thanks, we'll get it fixed today or tomorrow."

And THEN you have to download the fixed copy (if you need it) the next day. It's horrible!

Curse their high-tech trouble shooting and complex reporting requirements!

I prefer how the major houses do it.

"Dear Major Publisher, the covers are missing from this release of BookX, mobi version."

Then you receive a reply of either "..." or "So?" and can then rest easy in knowing you have no reason to re-download your ebook since they have no real reason to fix it. This actually gives you MORE time to read!

Yet another proof that the benign neglect of large, faceless publishing is better than the responsiveness and communication of smaller publishers. Hurray for Benign Neglect!
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