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Old 09-05-2008, 07:12 AM   #1
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panmacmillan.com offers DRM-free EVERYTHING

As reported by our own Gary Gibson, panmacmillan.com now offers EPUB ebooks without DRM. I've just bought a few and I can confirm it. The download links are plain unencrypted EPUB files, not .ebx tickets for Digital Editions as provided by BooksOnBoard or Waterstone's.

They also currently offer a 3 ebooks for 2 deal for selected SF and fantasy ebooks. One of the books is Gary's Stealing Light.

The prices could be somewhat lower and selection could be somewhat bigger, but it's still a great start.

P.S. I did not check other formats; it's possible they're DRM-free as well.

Last edited by igorsk; 09-05-2008 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:42 AM   #2
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Thanks, igorsk.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
. . . panmacmillan.com now offers EPUB. I've just bought a few and I can confirm it. The download links are plain unencrypted EPUB files, not .ebx tickets for Digital Editions as provided by BooksOnBoard or Waterstone's.
Igorsk, I have a couple of questions, which will make me seem even dumber than usual but I am confused by the formats offered at panmacmillan.

Which is the straight epub version? Is it the Adobe DE version?

If I download the epub version, how do I get it on my Sony Reader without using Adobe DE? Or do I still have to use Adobe DE even though the epub is DRM free?

Am I really better off buying the LIT version?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
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this is brilliant news both for standardisation of ebook formats and the fight against drm. thanks for the article.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Which is the straight epub version? Is it the Adobe DE version?

If I download the epub version, how do I get it on my Sony Reader without using Adobe DE? Or do I still have to use Adobe DE even though the epub is DRM free?
Yes, the "Adobe Digital Editions" is the EPUB format. You can either use Digital Editions or eBook Library to transfer the books, or you just copy them to the Reader's flash drive or a memory card.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:29 AM   #6
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also, for those who don't have a liseuse which will read epub natively, mobipocket desktop reader will automatically convert it to mobi if you just double click to open the file (i discovered that by accident when i wanted to take a look inside an epub file and got it displayed in the mobi library instead).
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
also, for those who don't have a liseuse which will read epub natively, mobipocket desktop reader will automatically convert it to mobi if you just double click to open the file (i discovered that by accident when i wanted to take a look inside an epub file and got it displayed in the mobi library instead).
And for those with a Mac and Kindle, Stanza will allow you to open the ePub book and then export it to Mobi/Kindle format. Alas, the Kindle doesn't natively support ePub files (yet, and may never).

BOb
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Alas, the Kindle doesn't natively support ePub files (yet, and may never).
MobiPocket's ePub strategy seems to be off-line (or Desktop) conversion to MOBI format, and Amazon could offer ePub to Kindle conversion service today if they wanted to using mobigen. They might argue, though, that the conversion isn't quite good enough yet (e.g. no SVG to image capability).

This might be a business opportunity for someone, since the Linux version of mobigen makes it almost trivial to setup an ePub to MOBI conversion website.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
One of the books is Gary's Stealing Light.
This is great news about the drm-free e-books and I will keep an eye on their future offerings.

If you enjoy space opera you will enjoy Stealing Light which I bought last year when it came out - hc from BookDepository - and it was in my top 5 sff titles of 07 - I probably read about 100 sff novels last year if not more.

I also strongly recommend Mr. Gibson two earlier titles - Against Gravity and Angel Stations - they are different, closer to near future dystopic sf, but engrossing nonetheless. I have no idea if they are available e so far though.

Of the other offerings I saw in that 3 for 2 deal, China Mieville needs no recommendation from me since if there is one fantasy author that reinvented its weirder parts and even single-handendly created a new publishing category called New Weird is Mr. Mieville - New Weird books existed of course before, but before Mr. Mieville's breakout success, they were rarer, after that success, publishers starting looking for such actively and marketing them as "Mieville like"

And A. Tchaikovsky' Empire in Black and Gold is one of the more original epic/urban fantasy series out there with humans divided in insect named kinded and having some properties of said insects.

Both Mr. Gibson and Mr. Tchaikovsky's next books in the series started here are buy on publication for me.

Of course Neal Asher is one of my top 5 established sff authors, so I strongly recommend Prador Moon, but that one is a short novel, while the better introduction would be Line of Polity or The Skinner - again have no idea about their e-status.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:22 AM   #10
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I just downloaded a book for from the site which is a secure Adobe PDF format. When downloaded to my PRS 500 works just fine. Has all the usual issues about PDF meaning small fonts on the small screen, however reading it in landscape format works well. So there is hope for those of us with the older machines.

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Old 09-06-2008, 09:34 AM   #11
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I just downloaded a book for from the site which is a secure Adobe PDF format. When downloaded to my PRS 500 works just fine. Has all the usual issues about PDF meaning small fonts on the small screen, however reading it in landscape format works well. So there is hope for those of us with the older machines.

Karen
Did you have any problems downloading the ebook?. I'm getting an error when start to download
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by sianon View Post
I just downloaded a book for from the site which is a secure Adobe PDF format.
This is presumably a DRM-free Adobe PDF ebook, since a Secure (DRMed) Adobe PDF needs Adobe Reader or Digital Editions.

When it is available, the best DRM-free option is MS Reader (LIT) format. This converts well to LRF using Calibre. If you have a Windows PC, Secure LIT can be down-converted to DRM-free using ConvertLIT - so again LIT is a good choice. DRM-free MobiPocket (PRC or MOBI) can also be converted to LRF by Calibre, and Secure MOBI can be cracked using mobidedrm. An advantage of Secure MOBI over Secure LIT is that it does not require a Windows PC.
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:55 AM   #13
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Did you have any problems downloading the ebook?. I'm getting an error when start to download
I was able to download an ePub and a MOBI, but a LIT download failed for me. I want to compare the formats, and hence the multiple versions.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #14
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I was able to download an ePub and a MOBI, but a LIT download failed for me. I want to compare the formats, and hence the multiple versions.
The Microsoft Reader version of Stealing Light is the one that failed to download.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:01 AM   #15
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They also currently offer a 3 ebooks for 2 deal for selected SF and fantasy ebooks.
In addition, if you live in the US there is no VAT - so three £6.99 ebooks cost me £11.91.
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