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Old 03-17-2009, 09:25 PM   #16
montsnmags
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As for concerns placed here about our policy being 'dumb' and other comments, all I have to say about this is that HM just started getting into this market and I plan on adding different content and formats. This is new and it will be evolving.
Trying different stuff? That's crazy talk, Shane! All of the big media will tell you, you've got to do it the same way it's always been done.

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The problem with DRM discussion here seems to be one-sided,
This is predominantly true. I would think it fair to say that most readers here are anti-DRM. Of course, most are customers too, which is not insignificant either, as their side is often decisive.

...sorry, that's telling you how to suck eggs; you know this, and what's more are impacted far more than me by its consequences.

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and I understand some perspective as readers and consumers and I agree it's much easier to allow free distribution of digital goods. But from a publisher's perspective, do you guys actually know how many authors are comfortable having their work put out there in a non-DRM format. I'll tell you: not many. And it's new to most authors working in the horror genre.
We have a few authors here (and at least one small publisher?), and they're very good at highlighting such experience and degrees of comfort in themselves and others. I only mention that by way of saying, "Yes, we know, and your words are not surprising, though certainly appreciated in this (as in, a reader's) quarter, as coming from your (as in, a publisher's) quarter".

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...But it'll grow and we'll evolve.
...and I suspect that's the key, though I'd be inclined to have thought that they'd be in the reverse order (i.e. evolve and grow). That is to say, as I cynically suggested at the beginning, I suspect your stated willingness to evolve and try different things will be a significant advantage over those who insist that "the old way" is the only way. Though there might end up a sufficient "we" disagreeing with your current model that it impinges on that model's success, the fact that you're willing to change/evolve it, rather than give up (or insist on its correctness) is, in my opinion (for what little that is worth), a significant positive, and I wish you success.

I hope you get the time to stay around (hard when also trying to run a business - but from an ebook perspective, this is perhaps a valuable forum for testing and monitoring the weather?). Added perspective is always good for everyone, and you'll no doubt find a depth of attitudes and opinions (DRM and copyright, for instance, are topics that get hashed virtually continuously 'round here) that might help, and a perspective to offer that might inform the discussion.

Personally, thanks for taking time to come and offer your perspective and an "About us".

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:51 PM   #17
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I'm in your corner Shane. My purchasing experience at horror mall was excellent!
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:23 AM   #18
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My participation here runs the gamut. Strip away my publishing credentials and running a rather large indie store which carries digital products, you'll have someone who loves the digital medium. In the past year, I have switched to reading 100% of my leisure reading to digital. This prompted me to focus the direction of my company towards going digital in the near future.

As added perspective, I've been a published author since 1995 (before becoming a publisher) so I do have some strong views as an author (pro-DRM).

So basically here's where I stand on the DRM issue from all my perspectives:

Publisher (Pro-DRM). The reason being is that an typical indie publisher makes an average profit per title of less than $2000. Piracy in this regards (and on a mass level as in posting work on websites, etc) would cause problems due to indie publishers not having the money for legal representation to handle such matters.

Author (Pro-DRM). Take into consideration that a novel takes me approximately 6-7 months of my life to write. A lot of emotional pain and long hours at the computer. When I'm finished I'm drained emotionally. And for all the work and sacrifice, my publisher sends me an advance check for $500-$1000. In the end, with royalties, I'll receive maybe $2k. That's about 1/10 of what it would take for me to survive for that 6-7 months work. The idea of having a file of my work floating around for readers to share while I'm starving is just too much for me to even consider.

Bookseller (Anti DRM): Simply it's a nightmare to deal with and a pain in my ass.

Reader (Anti-DRM): I'd rather have my purchases be free and clear without having to worry about any repercussions of being locked out of access later on.

However, in the end, the one thing that I'll honestly admit is that why I lean on the side of DRM is my general personality. I'm generally not a very trusting person when it comes to business. The honesty policy doesn't work for me due to the fact that 1 person taking advantage of abusing the system could ultimately wipe out 1000 sales to honest buyers due to the time and expense needed to deal with problems.

I've seen my independent businesses get screwed so many times by people taking advantage of them. And when this happens, and money is taken out of my pocket, it's ultimately money taken away from my family. Since I'm not a corporation, it's tough to just look the other way.

I wish it were easier.

Another factor for me with only offering Kindle and PDF at this time is that I own a Kindle, so it was a gateway for me to keep quality control on layouts and such. My publishing company is Mac-based, so when doing research I found that it's not so clear cut to actually have files converted to all the other formats needed to offer a comprehensive digital array of formats.

PDFs were a given since all of my physical titles are in that format to begin with and I love the design control you have with PDF. But I will agree that I don't care much for reading on a computer, like most of you.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horrormall View Post
Publisher (Pro-DRM). The reason being is that an typical indie publisher makes an average profit per title of less than $2000. Piracy in this regards (and on a mass level as in posting work on websites, etc) would cause problems due to indie publishers not having the money for legal representation to handle such matters.
A few points...

1. Do you feel that a pirated version is a lost sale? Would a person that steals the ebook have bought it in the first place?

2. Given that pretty much every DRM scheme has been cracked. What are you actually gaining by using DRM other than some false sense of security?

3. Do you realize how much DRM inhibits your customers from using the ebook as they would like on the device of their choice?

4. Are you aware that there are ebook version on the "darknet" of books that have never even been published as ebooks because the author was worried about piracy? The Harry Potter books being a case in point?

BOb
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #20
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horrormall the problem we have here is one of formats. We have a number portable devices that all use a 6" eink screen. Yes, they say they support PDF. But they don't do it well enough to expect people to actually purchase PDF. The only real format you offer is for the Kindle and at a higher price then you do the PDF. The Sony Readers (except the 500) can view ePub and they all view LRF. Most of the others view Mobipocket. This is not a DRM issue. This is an issue of not having a format that most people want. And at a reasonable price. It's not reasonable to change a low price for PDF and a high price for AZW. If you started out with a good HTML file, you could use Calibre to convert into ePub, LRF, Mobipocket, and LIT. Granted all without DRM.

You see, the people who would pirate eBooks can strip off the DRM without thinking twice. So why bother with DRM? DRM only hurts the honest people.

Basically, you need a lot more work to make your eBooks work. Right now, they are a serious mess. Mismatched prices, limited/poor formats, and a website that needs a redo from the ground up.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:47 AM   #21
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Yup. It only takes one person to scan a paper book, or circumvent a DRM scheme - nearly all of currently used DRM schemes can be circumvented with one-click programs, to have an ebook on the darknet. If you release paper books, you can't prevent it, the only option available is competing with the darknet version. You need to make the product people pay money for more easily available, better quality and more convenient to use.

There are many long threads on this forum about the advantages of producing DRM-free books, on the fact that in such a dynamic place as Internet obscurity is worse problem for authors than stealing. Recently someone asked a question why some DRM schemes that are easily circumvented for years now have never been patched - we haven't found a better answer than that it doesn't influence sales for authors of DRM scheme. But it generally means the only thing they sell is a false security publishers and authors feel.

People usually turn to most convenient way to get another volume by the same author after reading one they liked. It doesn't matter whether the first one they read was stolen or not - it might generate many sales if your store is the most convenient way of getting the next book ready-to-read. Getting a book off darknet requires knowledge of how darknet operates, and not everything in there is available at the same time - usually you get just a trickle, 20 books a day, no more. So people who want to get all their books from darknet have to hoard everything they download for months before they can get collection large enough to have most of what they want to read on disk when they want it. With your store, they can go to a webpage, see a large collection of titles, read reviews, click to buy - and from that point on it has to go as smoothly as possible. Every problem the user has with getting a book to where he wants to read it means potentially lost future sales for you. It's all about instant gratification nowadays.

And people who turn to darknet only for money reasons aren't lost sales for you - they'd never buy the books anyway. But if they ever get more money, you need to be able to convert them, to make them stop spending time on getting books from darknet and get them from you - much more easily.

So everything DRM is doing right now is losing you sales.

I quite understand most authors don't know how things stand, and don't have time or inclination to read such forums as this one. What I wrote here is a summary of what I read on this forum over a last year, and to the best of my knowledge this is how it is with ebook business. I hope it helps.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:49 AM   #22
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And one thing about DRM that I did forget to mention. Adding DRM to the eBooks actually costs money. And without DRM, you won't be spending that DRM money so you can sell for less because your costs would be less and lower prices means more sales.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #23
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A few points...

1. Do you feel that a pirated version is a lost sale? Would a person that steals the ebook have bought it in the first place?
No, it's the distribution of stolen goods that is more likely problematic.

Quote:
2. Given that pretty much every DRM scheme has been cracked. What are you actually gaining by using DRM other than some false sense of security?
I'm not concerned about Hacks as I am every day readers. It's much easier to attach a PDF to a friend or mass distribute it from multiple source than just one hacked file. Throw in the economy and the overall sweeping false sense of entitlement that a great majority of Americans (as well as others) seem to have these days (I should get bailed out for free, I deserve everything, especially on the internet, for free)...this becomes very hurtful to starving artists / authors.

We're not talking musicians who make millions getting ripped off; we're talking authors who make (if lucky) thousands.

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3. Do you realize how much DRM inhibits your customers from using the ebook as they would like on the device of their choice?
Yes I do.

Quote:
4. Are you aware that there are ebook version on the "darknet" of books that have never even been published as ebooks because the author was worried about piracy? The Harry Potter books being a case in point?
Yes, but which is easier to do. Me send you a PDF and you forward it to several of your friends, or you buy the print edition, scan every page and run it through an OCR? If you want to do the latter, you've at least worked for it! ;-)

BOb[/QUOTE]
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:09 PM   #24
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It's not reasonable to change a low price for PDF and a high price for AZW.
Who says we're charging different price. If you go to Horror Mall, the PDF and Kindle files are the same price.

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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Basically, you need a lot more work to make your eBooks work. Right now, they are a serious mess. Mismatched prices, limited/poor formats, and a website that needs a redo from the ground up.
The website is one of the most user-friendly sites out there. Granted, it's not catering to digital customers because it's NOT a digital-only site. We have movies, physical books, artwork, etc..
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:17 PM   #25
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The website is one of the most user-friendly sites out there. Granted, it's not catering to digital customers because it's NOT a digital-only site. We have movies, physical books, artwork, etc..
I've looked at. It's fine. There is a lot of black, but it is a horror site.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:19 PM   #26
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I dont agree with JSWolf. Hes just whining because he aint getting drm free books.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:24 PM   #27
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Who says we're charging different price. If you go to Horror Mall, the PDF and Kindle files are the same price.
I see where I went wrong on the pricing. The prices are higher at amazon.com. That's where I saw the Kindle prices being higher. My apologies.

Since you already have Kindle versions, why not also offer Mobipocket since that's basically what the Kindle version (azw) is.

Are you planning on offering versions that other devices can handle?
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:25 PM   #28
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Are you planning on offering versions that other devices can handle?
He said in an earlier post that they are considering it.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:33 PM   #29
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Lumely huh? I'll be clicking the link to your site.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:35 PM   #30
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The big problem now as a publisher is dealing with authors who want no part of unsecure files on the market. Other than that, I'm a Mac-based company and have had actually problems designing other files types. Mobi in particular. Can't release what you aren't able to read, produce and fine-tune.

And I refuse to own a PC. Which means I'd have to outsource file conversion which isn't optimal when you're running a small business with extremely small profit margins in the digital area.

The Kindle editions we produce are HTML-based core files. Which is easy, as I'm a webmaster, so have the skills needed to produce these.

The Amazon prices are higher due to Amazon taking 65% of the cover price. :-(
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