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Old 03-26-2009, 04:20 AM   #1
mos
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How is the book quality on bought books?

I keep asking myself, how the quality of the ebooks is, which you buy regular in a store in the States or whereever.

Ebooks are very new over here in Germany. They started in the March. I bought so far 2 books in a German bookstore and both books don'T meet my expectations.

They have no cover picture, there is no correct directory only figures from 1-10, the linking is awefull and quite a lot of other complains.

Is that the same over there. So far I bought one book from the Sonystore and that was perfect. Cover picture, nice layout, good directory and well working linking to the chapters.

It realy makes me very mad. I mean over here the price for an ebook is the same as for the printed version, so I think I can expect the same quality. Obviously not.

What are your experiences?

Thanks
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:31 AM   #2
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My experience - there is no standard (and no W3C style entity trying to make one) for eBooks.

Therefore, it is kind of a crap shoot. And, of course, there are various opinions as to what is "proper" formatting. (For example, I still like margins around text - some people like the text butted right up against the display frame.)

Quality overall (purchased or free) - Sony books are decent (I like the margins, the linkages tend to be good as well). The dedicated people here also do a fantastic conversion job. Gutenberg - needs help. Fictionwise - seems to be a crap-shoot. Google - decent.

Because they are eBooks - one would imagine that it would be a global problem - based on the store and/or publisher (not specific continental/geographical home).

Pricing - on average - is about 10% off printed version - most likely to encourage adoption. Unfortunately, I don't really foresee this changing. It's not like iTunes/Napster in the sense that if you buy 15 songs with them for 99 cents - you still paid $15 for a CDs worth of songs. Generally one doesn't buy books chapter by chapter; therefore, the two prices might (most likely) stay very similar.

Hope that helps. I wouldn't mind if I could DL sample chapters from the stores - just to see what it will truly look like on the device - especially if I'm going to purchase the book (I can sample the physical book, you know?).

Cheers,
J
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:29 AM   #3
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I agree that it's a crap shoot. In my experience, it depends on the publisher. Publishers who are major players in electronic publishing do a much better job of formatting their books than the publishers who are mostly focused on print. Publishers like Harlequin do a better job, IMO, than other print publishers.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Regarding quality of ebooks, I have also had problems but only with non-academic publishers. I've bought from both Amazon.com and Sony's digital bookstore for some general non-fiction books and the quality has been bad. In Amazon's case, I asked for a refund for both items and they gave it to me.

With regards to academic publishers, their ebooks so far have been tip-top quality. I think academic publishers might have to worry about accuracy more since their reputation as a proper academic press is at stake whereas perhaps the audience for most general fiction and non-fiction books don't worry so much about the reputation of the publishers. In the academic world, where you publish your book matters. For instance, an anthropology book published by University of Chicago press is going to have a higher reputation than one published by say University of Florida press.

And also, maybe academic publishers have been in the line of publishing digital versions of their works a bit longer than the general publishers? Academic presses have been both doing digital editions and paper editions of many of their journals for a while now.
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