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Old 07-21-2014, 11:58 PM   #16
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Amazon doesn't care about the minority of people who use epub eink ereaders. Between Kindle eink ereaders and the Kindle app on smartphones and tablets, they have most of the market covered.

Last edited by tubemonkey; 07-22-2014 at 12:07 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:24 AM   #17
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What's not being gotten here is that when you add up all of the people using ePub capable Readers/programs/apps, there are more people reading ePub then Kindle formats. Remember, this is world wide, not just in the US.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
What's not being gotten here is that when you add up all of the people using ePub capable Readers/programs/apps, there are more people reading ePub then Kindle formats. Remember, this is world wide, not just in the US.
Worldwide, which format sells more - epub or Kindle?
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:33 AM   #19
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What's not being gotten here is that when you add up all of the people using ePub capable Readers/programs/apps, there are more people reading ePub then Kindle formats. Remember, this is world wide, not just in the US.
Which flavor of ePub? DRM-free, Adobe's, B&N's, Apple's, Kobo's?


Amazon's definately way ahead in the US & UK markets. I know some countries in Europe are heavily ePub (especially where watermarked ePub is used instead of other forms of DRM), but don't know how big digital reading is in many of those countries.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:19 AM   #20
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As far as dedicated e-readers it is still limited, but when you factor in phones and tablets it is becoming increasingly popular.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:40 AM   #21
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Do these "more people reading EPUB than Kindle" include people who buy Kindle books and conver them to read on their EPUB app?

Also, why is anyone surprised that an Amazon service requires using an Amazon app/device?

How would non-DRMed EPUBs be removed at the right time?

Last edited by eschwartz; 07-22-2014 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
What's not being gotten here is that when you add up all of the people using ePub capable Readers/programs/apps, there are more people reading ePub then Kindle formats. Remember, this is world wide, not just in the US.
The original question was about Kindle Unlimited, which is (currently) US-only.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Which flavor of ePub? DRM-free, Adobe's, B&N's, Apple's, Kobo's?


Amazon's definately way ahead in the US & UK markets. I know some countries in Europe are heavily ePub (especially where watermarked ePub is used instead of other forms of DRM), but don't know how big digital reading is in many of those countries.
Don't forget Intertrust's Fairplay epub.
http://www.intertrust.com/in-the-new...ent-protection

That makes five proprietary and one unencrypted epub mutants.

As to the other markets, most (if not all) where epub variants are "bigger" are smaller countries to start with and ebook penetration runs in the low single digits. Which is why Intertrust thinks there's room for them; no significant installed base to push back.

The only big market I know where Amazon isn't the majority format is Japan and even there they were still the single biggest player.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:08 AM   #24
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It's the walled garden: Amazon wants to give you the convenience of the hardware, software, and content all working seemlessly together. Well, Amazon would call that convenience, others would call it "locking you in." (Apple has the same strategy and wants you inside THEIR walled garden.) According to Amazon's party line, they can offer more features by controlling their own ebook format. And I do think they have actually done this. Kindle format has page numbers that correspond to the print edition of the book. Kindle format can sync audiobook progress to ebook progress. Kindle format has X-Ray.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:07 PM   #25
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It's the walled garden: Amazon wants to give you the convenience of the hardware, software, and content all working seemlessly together. Well, Amazon would call that convenience, others would call it "locking you in." (Apple has the same strategy and wants you inside THEIR walled garden.) According to Amazon's party line, they can offer more features by controlling their own ebook format. And I do think they have actually done this. Kindle format has page numbers that correspond to the print edition of the book. Kindle format can sync audiobook progress to ebook progress. Kindle format has X-Ray.
Also, they tailor the format features to what the reader hardware can support.
Like, with KF8 they picked out a subset of epub 3 features that matter to their core business and their hardware can render smoothly and left the rest out. (It let them get rich content ebooks to market two years ahead of the committee guys.) Another thing they do is that kindles actually support four different formats, plus pdf, and all the user needs to know is that it's a kindle book. Everything else is handled behind the curtains.

A lot of proprietary systems claim they need total control to ensure a satisfactory user experience: some live up to that, some do not. Amazon does.

Last edited by fjtorres; 07-22-2014 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:16 PM   #26
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Okay, Amazon would probably lose a few Kindle eReader sales too, but they would more than make it up in book sales. So why not?
Why not just buy a cheap, used Kindle and take advantage of Amazon's deals? I've got ePub readers and Kindles, I can't see not having at least one of each.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:18 PM   #27
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Which makes epub a minority format.
In the U.S. anyhow.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:22 PM   #28
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There are some good arguments here but I still think this little proposal has legs. The idea in it is that ePub books without DRM would be offered for loan to subscribers to Kindle Unlimited. It does not propose going beyond KU.

Some have pointed out that there are several versions of DRM used to lock down ePub, but I propose only offering ePub books without DRM. These can be read on Kobo, Nook and Sony eReaders as well as many brands that are not readily available in the US, so without DRM ePub is readable on most existing ePub eReaders no matter the manufacturer.

DRM is not necessary to enforce the loan format used for KU. We are allowed ten books at a time. To borrow another one you must return one of the last ten. And as we all know, DRM does not correlate with piracy so suggestions that KU will lead to piracy is a red herring.

Amazon is starting to go into new markets where ePub is strongest. They will not win many friends in those countries if they appear to potential customers to be just another big, rich American with a “my way or the highway” attitude.

Most of those new markets are not English speaking so expect Amazon will have to develop a library of books in many languages. Additionally, many countries do not allow American style DRM anyway.

If Amazon has to use ePub overseas, why not do so in the US as well, at least as an experiment with KU, which is, itself, an experiment.

Without the genius of Steve Jobs there is no one to persuade people a walled garden is the best place for ebooks, not when people around them are obviously reading ebooks on thousands of different devices.

I appreciate all the objections to this little idea but as far as I can tell, the only rational argument for Amazon not to offer Kindle Unlimited book loans in DRM free ePub would be if Jeff Bezos says “no”.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:36 PM   #29
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I appreciate all the objections to this little idea but as far as I can tell, the only rational argument for Amazon not to offer Kindle Unlimited book loans in DRM free ePub would be if Jeff Bezos says “no”.
It's a lot more than that. If you introduce ePub readers into the Amazon system, you've vastly increased support issues. You no longer have a consistent format, with "standard" hardware. You'll probably have issues with "Send to Kindle" web clipping -- one of the features I like best about Kindles. It's doubtful that whispersync, or emailing eBooks to your device would work seamlessly across different formats, etc.

Amazon has been successful because they do control the hardware and eBook format and the features theyoffer. Their cloud infrastructure just works, unlike many others. And the way they do that is with consistency, they control the Readers and the content. Look at the issues Kobo is now having with KePub and Sony Readers.

And you can't sell an "unlimited service" with just non-DRM books. Can you imagine someone with an ePub reader complaining when his Kindle-using friends can download a book that he can't? It just wouldn't work.

The simplest solution is to just buy a cheap Kindle. They're available everywhere.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:22 PM   #30
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I've gathered that KU authors will only paid once the KU user has read at least 10% of the book - authors won't get paid on just downloads.

If that is so, I can only assume that the only way Amazon could get that data - not just downloads but percentage read - from their own Kindle devices and Kindle apps. If they also let people borrow epubs, they'd have no way to tell how far a reader has read on their Nook, Sony or Kobo device or app.
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