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Old 03-09-2009, 09:55 PM   #1
RWJ
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Marketing FAIL - Orbit and Banks' books

I know this is a pale imitation of the Tor.com kerfuffle, but why oh why would you offer a free ebook (or next best this to free - honestly, $1 is free, in essence) in a series when none of the other books in that set (apart from Matter, the latest) is available in eform anywhere?

This is a highly effective loss leader. As with the Tor free giveaways, I've read books I never would have otherwise. Use of Weapons is the perfect example - this is not a book I would have bought, based upon the blurb, or lugged home from the library. (The hassle of bringing a book home, keeping it safe from the munchkins and remembering to return it on time/renew it is worth more than $1 to me.) But I bought it to support the Orbit program (and I'm going to buy everything they offer just to help them realize there is a market out there,) stuck out the first few chapters that took a while to build momentum, loved it, am rereading it, went online to line up the rest of the series to buy, and ... nothing.

So dumb. If they're smart they'll get more books in electronic form right quick, but really, with the kind of visibility these books seem to get (all on the Sony top ten list, for example) they're just fools not to have the featured author's entire oeuvre readily available for purchase. Now I'm going to have to get the rest of the Culture books from the library in pbook; if I could have bought them, right now, for MMP prices, and had them on my Sony instantly (before a trip I have soon) I would gladly have done so.

This is frustrating!
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:10 PM   #2
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His book was an odd choice I thought. They have one other book by him out, a good number of his books are out of print or other publishers have the rights. Perhaps when they set it up initially they planned to have all of his books that they have rights to out? Perhaps they're looking at ebooks like Baen does and seeing them as a marketing tool to help sell more pbooks?
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:45 PM   #3
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when none of the other books in that set (apart from Matter, the latest) is available in eform anywhere?
legitimate to buy you mean...

Banks is so popular that I would be 99.99% sure that you can easily find all his books as e in the wild; and no, I do not know where, but Google is your friend always;
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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This month's as well as the first month's were the first in a series and the rest are available as ebooks. But I thought that this wasn't a series?

Anyway, if it was, I'm sure they had some kind of plan for it (or still do). It looks like he had a new release in February (Matter). I'm not sure if it's an older one, but my guess is they want you to buy that one.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
This month's as well as the first month's were the first in a series and the rest are available as ebooks. But I thought that this wasn't a series?

Anyway, if it was, I'm sure they had some kind of plan for it (or still do). It looks like he had a new release in February (Matter). I'm not sure if it's an older one, but my guess is they want you to buy that one.
if Fantastic Fiction is right (and it's not always) it's book 4 in a series...
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/iain-m-banks/
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #6
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if Fantastic Fiction is right (and it's not always) it's book 4 in a series...
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/iain-m-banks/
Hrmm, I'll have to beat up whoever corrected me when I said it was the first in the series and said it was a standalone.

I'll trust Fantastic Fiction. They know their SciFi
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:11 PM   #7
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Hrmm, I'll have to beat up whoever corrected me when I said it was the first in the series and said it was a standalone.
IIRC what I said in the other thread is that it wasn't first in a series.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:15 PM   #8
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IIRC what I said in the other thread is that it wasn't first in a series.
Ah it was you! ALL LIES!


Or maybe I just misread it. That's a possibility too
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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Hrmm, I'll have to beat up whoever corrected me when I said it was the first in the series and said it was a standalone.

I'll trust Fantastic Fiction. They know their SciFi
Use of Weapon is a stand alone books. All books in the Culture universe are stand alone. I have never seen these books as a series. They are book that takes place in the same universe and some persons or space ships are in more than one book but they do not depend on each other.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:30 PM   #10
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This month's as well as the first month's were the first in a series and the rest are available as ebooks. But I thought that this wasn't a series?
...
A bit like Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, Use of Weapons is set in the same universe as a whole lot (all?) of his other SF books (the Culture novels). Like Discworld books, they're stand-alone, but can often be seen to be progressing the story of, or elaborating on, the Culture universe. I don't have enough recollection of Use of Weapons to know how much (or how little) it does this.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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I don't recall the order of the Culture books mattering at all.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:41 PM   #12
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I don't recall the order of the Culture books mattering at all.
I have read that the last on (Matter) does not work so good if you have not read the other books. I also think that Look to Windwards was a bit like that. Also the book were you do not realize that it is a Culture book until the end works better if you have read other Culture books.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:48 PM   #13
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It's useless the way series are treated as eBooks. If they cannot release an entire series, don't bother releasing any of it. I won't buy what they do release even if I've already read the ones they didn't release. It's a matter of principle. If incomplete series do not sell, maybe they'll stop releasing them incomplete.
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