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Old 08-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #31
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I agree, companies will be more receptive to individual responses rather than a template. There are a lot of companies that are clueless but the import of the letter suggests these people don't know their own market. I suggest they may be blindsided by the increasing demand for reading material in electronic form but I don't believe they are not aware of what is happening. I am only suggesting that we not to talk down to them. My take is to explain ones interest with electronic media and the growing market for this type of delivery system. Then maybe suggest sources to check out if they want to investigate further this market.

Here is an idea for changing the minds of publishers. Buy, buy, buy and buy more ebooks. If we show our "readers" to friends and family who are the ones that are not aware of this device and then they buy one that is one step toward tipping the scale. Then keep on buying books in electronic form. When the numbers show a loss of sales to companies providing ebooks then the publishers will change how they operate. The power of the purse/wallet is greater than the letter.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:30 AM   #32
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i agree with you timezone but far too often you *can't* buy an ebook, because the one you want to read is not available in ebook format. that is when this letter comes in handy. i think it's important to vote with your wallet, but *also* to explicitly tell publishers we want ebooks. they might not realize it, otherwise.

as for this letter being ignored because it's seen as a "template", 1. it's quite possible that we will all write to different publishers, so it won't be a problem ; 2. i encourage people to personalize this letter as much as possible, 3. however there are a lot of people who might not write *at* *all* without the help of a model letter because they don't like to write, so this letter can be really helpful for them, and 4. even a form letter is better than no letter at all.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:48 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timezone View Post
I also want to add if not already mentioned that we must not forget one very important group. The publishers only producing Kindle books. They need to realize there is a large group of eReaders out there that are not Kindle.
And, so ... why not contact those ebook reader manufacturers and the online bookstores where you purchase your content, and request that they set up a button system like Amazon has done??

Even people who don't like to write or hate to go to the post office to get a stamp can push a button. Granted, they may not also sell pbooks, but a button could still be set up such that any time you search for a book on their site and draw a blank, there would be a button saying "I would like to see this book in ebook format." Or, "I would like to see the works of this author in ebook format."

There is no downside for the book retailer, in fact they get to find out which books are most important to their customers.

Just a thought.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:28 PM   #34
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I know my comments may appear as if I might be disagreeing with the thread. I am just trying to put things into perspective. I also think this is an interesting and lively debate worth debating.

For me I am excited to be able to goto Sitepoint and Apress both publishers of computer books and know I have the option of buying a PDF version of their books. These are two excellent publishers and any programmers out there should frequent and support these publishers.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:30 AM   #35
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I have now finished the letter. There's already a guy who will translate it into italian, and I will translate it to norwegian when I get the time.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:43 AM   #36
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thanks for all your hard work haridasi !! this is a really good initiative. i hope it will inspire a lot of people to write to publishers ; they need to know that we want ebooks.

translating the letter into different languages is an excellent idea as well ; i will make a translation of the letter into french. since we have a french forum here, i can post the french version there as a sticky and hopefully encourage more french people to write (french publishers really need some motivation to get on the ebook train, for the moment the situation is really lamentable when looking for content in french).
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:35 AM   #37
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And norwegian publishers needs something to make them get on the train as well, so I will send it with snailmail :-) Sending it to the CEOs of the different publishers would be fun.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:39 AM   #38
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I know this may be too late, but my first line for the letter would be:

I wish to purchase "book" by "author" as an ebook, can you tell me when you expect to publish it in "EPUB" format?

This makes sure the publisher understands explicitly that you want to give them your money.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:46 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
perhaps we could say "the EPUB format can be exported from some major professional layout and design applications, so it can easily be integrated into the publishing workflow."
In fact, ePub files do not have to be created with dedicated software at all. I create mine by converting Word files into HTML, chapter by chapter, and writing the rest of the ePub files to suit in any text program at hand.

I might edit the sentence above to read: "The ePub format can be created using various tools, and easily integrated into the publishing workflow." I would also add the link to the IDPF to the letter.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #40
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There's never to late to improve this letter. I will try to intergrate both of your suggestions.
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:16 AM   #41
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'template style' letters may not be too much of problem given the success they have had, limited or otherwise, in the UK for campaigns such as "endowment mis-selling", "bank charges" to mention just a couple.

your letter seems as it might become an essay; may i suggest it be kept as concise as possible; i suspect busy publishers may be more likely to react to a short-to-the-point missive than a two page spread...

otherwise your initiative is welcomed and much encouraged...
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:44 PM   #42
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I mailed Cambridge ebooks today

Hi!

My name is Gianfranco Alongi, and I am a Computer Science affectionado constantly on the hunt for good CS related books and some knowledge. I found your eBook store http://www.cambridge.org/ebookstore/ but saw
that you only sell the books in PDF format through ebooks.com!

Are you planning on releasing your books in the defacto standard
format Mobipocket? I am quite sure that there are a lot of customers waiting for more academic titles to get released in a reflowable format (and thus being readable on a portable eBook reader). Not only has the Cybook Gen 3 just hit the european market on a wide scale - finally reaching Sweden! , but I strongly believe that more and more people will get their own eBook reader, and having your titles available for _all_ your potential readers is certainly no loss.

I hope you consider this, the eBook reader community is already large and growing.

If you are not willing to give out all your ebooks in the mobipocket
format, then you could maybe sell some of the selected titles which I know that I (and many of my friends) would buy if you had them in a reflowable format (in mobipocket format that is)

Sets for Mathematics
F. William Lawvere
State University of New York, Buffalo
Robert Rosebrugh
Mount Allison University, Canada

Planning Algorithms
Steven M. LaValle
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Principles of Constraint Programming
Krzysztof Apt
Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science, Amsterdam

Programming in Haskell
Graham Hutton
University of Nottingham

Kernel Methods for Pattern Analysis
John Shawe-Taylor
University of Southampton
Nello Cristianini
University of Bristol

Learning Theory
An Approximation Theory Viewpoint
Series: Cambridge Monographs on Applied and Computational Mathematics (No. 24)
Felipe Cucker
City University of Hong Kong
Ding Xuan Zhou
City University of Hong Kong

Prediction, Learning, and Games
Nicolo Cesa-Bianchi
Università degli Studi di Milano
Gabor Lugosi
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Best regards
Gianfranco Alongi



My blog - WriterT
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:46 PM   #43
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Gianfranco - Excellent !!!! Way to go !

I would recommend you look into the EPUB format. You might end up liking it :-)
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:51 PM   #44
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bravo Gianfranco !! excellent work ! i hope that more people will also write to publishers as you have ; i think this can make a big difference. please do let us know if you have any reply. and as haridasi said, please do look into epub, which is the new ebook standard being created : it will soon be supported by the Cybook (i see you have a Gen3) and is a much better and more powerful format for ebooks than mobipocket. and if you still want mobipocket, it can easily be converted.
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:26 AM   #45
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Hm, ePub, I shall look into it: Zelda; yes, I own a Gen 3 Therefore the natural interest in Mobipocket.

The response from Cambridge University Press was quite short, but hopefull in it's own way


Dear Gianfranco Alongi

Thank you for your email.

Please direct this question to ebooks.com who deal with electronic
versions.

Kind regards

Tracy Goff

Customer Services - Non-Trade
Cambridge University Press, UK and Europe
The Edinburgh Building
Shaftesbury Road
Cambridge
CB2 8RU


So, I wrote a similar letter to said part, of course carefully pointing out the contact with the publisher. I await the response from ebooks.
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