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Old 12-08-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Penguin 2.0

I visited the US Penguin site and saw a banner on their front page announcing Penguin 2.0, with the subtitle "What's next in text." (Please excuse me if this has been posted in MR; I searched and didn't find any reference.) Here's a screen shot of the site:



From their about page:
Quote:
Penguin 2.0 is a new suite of digital and print-based services that offer readers a new way to engage with and discover Penguin content. These collected services will encompass the entire spectrum of a Web 2.0 world by including aspects of customization, personalization, delivery to mobile phones, as well as eBooks and e-only content. In addition, later phases of Penguin 2.0 will offer community functionality and social networking. The Penguin US website will be the focus and hub for the program.

Individual services, such as Penguin Mobile and Penguin Personalized, are launching in December 2008. Additional Penguin 2.0 features and programs will be rolled out in 2009, with the entire suite of services being phased in over the next 12 months.

Go beyond the printed page, and find out what's next in text.
The Penguin Mobile link says:

Quote:
The iPhone app also includes excerpts that can be read on- or offline.
Overall, I think it portends well for the near future of eBooks. I think Penguin is treating digital books seriously.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Seabound View Post
Overall, I think it portends well for the near future of eBooks. I think Penguin is treating digital books seriously.
it does look that way doesn't it ? i'll be interested to see what they offer in the near future in terms of content, pricing, formats...

anyway it's definitely a good sign for epublishing in general.
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:37 AM   #3
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I don't think it looks very promising at all. Pride and Prejudice i has the following listing with e-format being much more expensive than paperback for something that is otherwise free to down load form Mobileread

eBook: eReader | 480 pages | ISBN 9781436219990 | 29 May 2008 | Penguin Classic
Additional Formats:
Paperback: $4.99
Cassette: $16.95
eBook - eReader: $7.95
eBook - Microsoft Reader: $8.00
eBook - Adobe reader: $8.00
eBook - Microsoft Reader: $7.95
CD Abridged: $16.95
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:51 AM   #4
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What I think is promising is the looking at eBooks in a fresh way and trying to add additional value. It would be most pleasant if eBooks were treated more respectfully and carefully formatted and prepared with some little extras and so on rather than just grudgingly slapped together as sometimes seems to be the case.
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sianon View Post
I don't think it looks very promising at all. Pride and Prejudice i has the following listing with e-format being much more expensive than paperback for something that is otherwise free to down load form Mobileread
Have you actually seen the eBook? I have it, and it's worth every penny. It has a huge amount of additional material - notes on the text, essays about the time period, customs, etc etc. It's one of the best eBooks I've ever seen, and well worth paying for. You really cannot compare it with the "free" downloads of just the text.

You can't just look at the price when it comes to these things - you have to look at what you're getting for your money.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:02 AM   #6
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I see what you mean - that $4.99 paperback does /not/ include all the extras that are in the electronic versions.

Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Have you actually seen the eBook? I have it, and it's worth every penny. It has a huge amount of additional material - notes on the text, essays about the time period, customs, etc etc. It's one of the best eBooks I've ever seen, and well worth paying for. You really cannot compare it with the "free" downloads of just the text.

You can't just look at the price when it comes to these things - you have to look at what you're getting for your money.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:05 AM   #7
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I see what you mean - that $4.99 paperback does /not/ include all the extras that are in the electronic versions.

Paul
Precisely. Penguin's "Enhanced eBooks" (of which this is one) are superb, and illustrate just what can be done with eBooks which really isn't practical with conventional printed books.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:19 AM   #8
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That's very interesting. I don't spend any time at Penguin, so I didn't know they were offering e-books with additional content. That's something they should go out of their way to advertise, the same as new DVDs advertise their special features and extras... makes them that much more valuable to consumers, as well as giving the consumer less of a reason to covet pirated material without all of those extras.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:22 AM   #9
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That's very interesting. I don't spend any time at Penguin, so I didn't know they were offering e-books with additional content. That's something they should go out of their way to advertise, the same as new DVDs advertise their special features and extras... makes them that much more valuable to consumers, as well as giving the consumer less of a reason to covet pirated material without all of those extras.
I agree, Steve; that's why I was happy to pay for this eBook when I already had the "freebie" versions of all Austen's novels available to me (since I created and uploaded them).
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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What I think is promising is the looking at eBooks in a fresh way and trying to add additional value.
It is only added value if you are interested in the type of information commentary provided, as HarryT is. But even then, I question whether it is worth the price because you still can't share it with anyone. That is the primary difference, to my mind, between enhanced value DVDs and enhanced value ebooks: the DVDs can reside in my bookcase in a nice container and I can lend it to my friends; the ebook can't. At best the enhancements aren't worth more than $1 to me -- and not really even that -- as long as they are DRM laden.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:57 AM   #11
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It is only added value if you are interested in the type of information commentary provided, as HarryT is. But even then, I question whether it is worth the price because you still can't share it with anyone. That is the primary difference, to my mind, between enhanced value DVDs and enhanced value ebooks: the DVDs can reside in my bookcase in a nice container and I can lend it to my friends; the ebook can't. At best the enhancements aren't worth more than $1 to me -- and not really even that -- as long as they are DRM laden.
If all you want is the basic text, you can download it entirely free from MR (or elsewhere). It's nice to have the choice of the two options - for me personally, the additional material is well worth paying the extra for, but if there's someone for whom it isn't, they don't have to buy it.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:58 AM   #12
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That's something they should go out of their way to advertise, the same as new DVDs advertise their special features and extras... makes them that much more valuable to consumers, as well as giving the consumer less of a reason to covet pirated material without all of those extras.
But it has to be of value to the initial purchaser. Most people, I would hazard to specualte, do not buy a DVD because it has the extras -- they buy it for the film. And when they are done watching that film -- and even the extras -- they can call their neighbor and offer the DVD to them to enjoy (sounds like a pbook, doesn't it?).

But in the case of the enhanced ebook, HarryT has gotten a great deal of pleasure out of it, particularly the additional insight, yet all he can do is tell us that -- he can't lend the book to you or I. So if the book is available as a free book without the enhancements and as a pricey book with the enhancements, I at least would go for the free book. OTOH, if HarryT could lend me his copy of the enhanced version, I might find that I agree with HarryT, in which case I might well buy a copy of the enhanced version. It's DRM all over again.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
It is only added value if you are interested in the type of information commentary provided, as HarryT is. But even then, I question whether it is worth the price because you still can't share it with anyone.
Since I don't habitually "share" my DVDs with others (I have many my wife won't even watch!), sharing is not what I consider a value of DVDs... content is. And I don't mind paying extra for interesting extra content. I can understand your not wanting to do that, Rhadin, and as Harry pointed out, a system that allows you to get the content without the extras at a low price (or free), and with the extras at a higher price, would be ideal.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:26 AM   #14
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I do notice that, on the Penguin site, they don't always tell you what the "enrichments" are (see "Frankenstein", "A Tale of Two Cities").
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:14 PM   #15
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I don't mind paying extra for additional info and classy setup. Off the Kindle site on Amazon they offer collection sets of many public domain authors. I have several nicely formatted sets.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Complete HP Lovecraft
Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Works of Lucy Maud Montgomery
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