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Old 12-01-2008, 02:58 PM   #1
alehel
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Whats stopping you

I've been buying a few ebooks lately, mainly out of interest to see how things work. At the moment though I have a few problems with the way they work. This is currently what's stopping me from purchasing ebooks on a regular basis.
  • Lower prices: Publishers like ePenguin are charging the same for ebooks as their pbooks.
  • No DRM: Those who want to get past it will find a way and it causes problems for those who follow the law.
  • Publishers obviously don't put a lot of work into them.

When I say publishers don't put a lot of work into them I'm really only refering to one thing. Book covers. When I downloaded samples from ePenguin, they had the same book covers as their pbooks. When I purchased the book on the other hand I was presented with a big Penguin logo as my book cover. The same thing happened with other publishers. A book I bought from Orion Books does have a proper book cover, but it's quality is terrible and has white borders round it. See image for an example of this.



Even if my books are only digital, it would still be nice to be able to browse them by cover and not publishers logo.

Also I noticed something interesting about pricing on Penguin books. The ebook of Pride and Prejudice is 4.99. The paperback however can be purchased for only 2.00. Even for a person like me living in Norway it's cheaper to buy the paperback and pay for shipping than it is to buy the ebook.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
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I'll try to address some of your concerns.

Lower prices: Publishers like ePenguin are charging the same for ebooks as their pbooks.

Peguin is now releasing "Enhanced" versions of some classics.

Quote:
The new e-books, which will be compatible with all e-book devices, will feature an array of features, including a filmography, period book reviews, recipes and black-and-white illustrations. Price will be the same as the print edition, $8
Except in the case of Amazon (which subsidses it's ebooks), the price for the Enhanced books are very close to the Publisher's price.

Pride and Prejudice at Penguin Classics = $8.00
Pride and Prejudice at BooksOnBoard = $7.16
Pride and Prejudice at Fictionwise = $8.00 - $6.46
Pride and Prejudice at Amazon = $.50

There are always other sources for classics (MobileRead, Feedbooks, Manybooks...) that won't cost a thing.

Pride and Prejudice at MobileRead (non-enhanced but illustrated) = FREE

No DRM: Those who want to get past it will find a way and it causes problems for those who follow the law.

Most (not all) books come with some sort of DRM. Yes, some will override it but as long as *your* conscience is clear you should be good.

Publishers obviously don't put a lot of work into them.

Yeah, ebooks get treated like the poor step-child more often than not but that will change as they become more popular (and they are becoming more popular every year). Lots of bad formatting.

Even if my books are only digital, it would still be nice to be able to browse them by cover and not publishers logo.

I'm not sure how it works with Digital Editions but there are all kinds of tools available which can be used to change book covers. You can find a high resolution version of the hard cover book and substitute it (I pull mine from Amazon).

I don't know if you have limited sources available to you because of your location but hang around, I think you'll find more than one reason to jump in the ebook waters.

Oh and there's no reason you can't have paper *and* ebooks.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for a great reply. While I would have a clear conscience by removing the DRM, I expect that many who merely wish to read their ebooks on their device that doesn't support drm won't understand how to get anything done about it.

I will hold off from purchasing further ebooks for a while, mostly due to conveniance. I'm going to be doing my national service in January and taking paper books with me will be much easier than taking an ebook reader. I'll be spending 12 months in the army so by the time I get out I'm hoping that things will have improved a bit, which I expect it will given that 12 months is quite a long time in the world of technology. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alehel View Post
Thanks for a great reply. While I would have a clear conscience by removing the DRM, I expect that many who merely wish to read their ebooks on their device that doesn't support drm won't understand how to get anything done about it.

I will hold off from purchasing further ebooks for a while, mostly due to conveniance. I'm going to be doing my national service in January and taking paper books with me will be much easier than taking an ebook reader. I'll be spending 12 months in the army so by the time I get out I'm hoping that things will have improved a bit, which I expect it will given that 12 months is quite a long time in the world of technology. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
I wish you good luck during your service and hope you'll have time to pop in now and then.

Happy reading!
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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The one thing stopping me right now is the fact that my ebook reader has broken, and reading on my smart phone is far from the most pleasant experience.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:20 PM   #6
alehel
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I havent tried reading on smartphone but I did give it a go on my iPod Touch. Personally I didn't enjoy reading on such a small screen and listening to music while also reading a book at the same time really drains the battery. The 505 seems perfect for me in this respect as it seems a very good size for reading on. Also I really liked the e-ink display. To me there really is no better way for reading an ebook. The only thing I would have liked is if the screen background had been white. I'm not really bothered by the time it takes to change pages. Anyway, I hear that this is beeing improved on as we speak. Also I love the battery life on devices that use eink.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:00 PM   #7
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OK .... I need a clarification on one point. How would taking a bunch of paper back books with you be more convenient than taking a single ebook reader??

Most of us kinda sorta think the other way around on that issue.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:52 AM   #8
alehel
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Because the army doesnt allow electronic gizmos when sitting in the guard house. Books though are ok. Also im not so sure an ebook reader would worke to well in -20.
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