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Old 05-01-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
queentess
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Suvudu library updated

http://www.suvudu.com/freelibrary/

Weapons of Choice
Written by John Birmingham

A military experiment in the year 2021 has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll and what was to be the most spectacular U.S. triumph of the entire war. Thousands died in the chaos, but the ripples had only begun. For these veterans of Pearl Harbor--led by Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and Spruance--have never seen a helicopter, or a satellite link, or a nuclear weapon. What happens next is anyone's guess--and anyone's nightmare.

Elric: The Stealer of Souls
Written by Michael Moorcock

When Michael Moorcock began chronicling the adventures of the albino sorcerer Elric, last king of decadent Melnibone, and his sentient vampiric sword, Stormbringer, he set out to create a new kind of fantasy adventure, one that broke with tradition and reflected a more up-to-date sophistication of theme and style. The result was a bold and unique antihero who would channel all the violent excesses of the Sixties into one enduring archetype.

Kiss of Midnight
Written by Lara Adrian

New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian unleashes a dark new breed of vampire in her evocative and thrilling Midnight Breed series.

Part human, part otherworldly, the Breed has lived among humankind for thousands of years, maintaining a tentative peace built on secrecy, power, and the dark justice carried out by the formidable warriors of the order.
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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And, there are links to free editions from Amazon, Sony, and Scribd. Can Fictionwise and Books-on-Board be far behind?
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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Of course Sony Reader owners who don't use PCs can't get the free books from Sony. Nor can anyone other than Kindle owners get the version from Amazon (in the absence of assorted hacks).

I dropped a note off with the Suvudu folks (via the "contact us" link) pointing out that it would be really smart to offer their free books in as many different eBook formats as possible. That'd let them reach the largest possible group of eBook buyers. And it would help keep them from looking lame when compared to little tiny Baen. PDF-only from their own web-site? In this day and age? Sheesh!

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
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Technically, all iphone/itouch users with a US amazon (and itunes) account can get them as well.

I assume Sony customers without a PC can't get any book thru the Sony store (without a workaround), so it isn't these in particular you can't have (without conversion).
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
Of course Sony Reader owners who don't use PCs can't get the free books from Sony. Nor can anyone other than Kindle owners get the version from Amazon (in the absence of assorted hacks).
I'm not sure what you mean - here's the link to the Sony store (for one of the free books) from the Suduvu page. Do you need a pc to be able to download Sony books?? If so, shouldn't all Sony users have pcs?

Suduvu has links to the Sony and Kindle stores, as well as a downloadable pdf option. I agree, I wish it was available in either ePub or mobi, but Sony/Kindle is good enough for me! And I've had surprising good luck at converting pdf's into mobi using some Adobe tools.

Last edited by queentess; 05-03-2009 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:35 AM   #6
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Strictly, it's not "who don't use PCs" but "who aren't North American (US or Canadian) Windows users".
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Strictly, it's not "who don't use PCs" but "who aren't North American (US or Canadian) Windows users".
I just assumed he was upset that the Sony software didn't run on a Mac. Not that it was a US issue.

For those who haven't tried it, the links on the web pages at sony are useless other than to tell you the ID you need to find the book in the sony software (or maybe for searching, since their store software is awful). All the web page does is tell you to get the software when you click on the button to get the book. You'd think that they could at least trigger their own reader software to load and add the book to the cart (after all, shouldn't Sony have more resources than, say, Apple?).

The reader software (I assume) is the Windows only restriction (since I never looked, I don't know if they make it for non-Win users and have no way to test if it works in the windows emulators, having given up on macs better than 10 years ago).
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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That sounds like a Sony problem, not a Suvudu problem. In theory you could just get the titles from Suvudu and look them up on the Sony store.
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:51 PM   #9
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Searching by title is not always successful in the sony store (inside the reader software). That's why you use the web page -- once found, you take the isbn (or equivalent) and use that in the software to find the book.

It's a mess and yes, it's a Sony problem. Not a Suvudu one (other than they insist you use those two commercial stores if you don't want the PDF -- which doesn't bother me, since I got it in PDF and on the Kindle).
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:11 PM   #10
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I'm not sure what you mean - here's the link to the Sony store (for one of the free books) from the Suduvu page. Do you need a pc to be able to download Sony books?? If so, shouldn't all Sony users have pcs?
Yes, you need a PC to be able to download books for the Sony Reader from Sony's store. But there are lots of other sources of books for the Sony Reader that DON'T have that restriction. There's Fictionwise and Baen/Webscriptions and Smashwords and Feedbooks and... Anyway, there're plenty of Sony Reader owners who do not have PCs running any flavor of Windows. Nor should they -- Sony should cater to its users, not the other way around!
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Suduvu has links to the Sony and Kindle stores, as well as a downloadable pdf option. I agree, I wish it was available in either ePub or mobi, but Sony/Kindle is good enough for me! And I've had surprising good luck at converting pdf's into mobi using some Adobe tools.
Sony has been too clueless to support Mac or Linux or Anything-That-Isn't-Windows. They could easily have made a store based on web standards that could be used by anyone who owns a Sony Reader, but noooooo...

Basically, PDF is not a very good ebook format for portable devices. And there are lots and lots of portable devices out there that aren't Kindles or Sony Readers... along with lots of Sony Reader owners who don't have PCs.

As the Suvudu web site currently stands you get three choices:
  • Non-DRM PDF file available to anyone. But it's not very useful for small-screen devices.
  • DRM-polluted .lrx file from the Sony store. Useful only for Sony Reader owners who are also PC users.
  • DRM-polluted Kindle-formatted file for Kindle owners (and also iPod/iPhone owners, I guess). No use for anyone who doesn't fit that description.

What's missing is a DRM-free ePub. Or a Microsoft .lit file. Or Mobipocket format. Or... Anything, really, for anyone who didn't want PDF and wasn't either a Kindle customer or a PC-using Sony customer.

That leaves out lots of Mac users. And Linux users. And owners of IRex or Bookeen, or Hanlin, or Astak or any of the rest of the eBook devices.

That hypothetical DRM-free ePub would make the books accessible to anyone who wants to read them with no restriction to type of device or host computer or... And given that Harper Collins is attempting Baen-style marketing here...
Hey Kid! Try a an eBook, you'll like it. And the first hit's free...
...they would do well to copy Baen's proven-successful approach. Which is to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to sample the wares you are giving away for free. Putting roadblocks between where you are and potential future sales just doesn't make any sense. Thus, the free books should be:
  • DRM-free.
  • In every format they can reasonably support via file conversion utilities (like Calibre).
  • Easily found and downloaded.
  • Either (a) beginnings of popular series or (b) good older books by popular authors who have lots of other books that new fans could purchase.
Of this list, Harper-Collins/Suvudu has gotten the first partly right (with the PDF), but not with the Sony and Kindle versions. They've completely dropped the ball on the second item. They've arguably succeeded on the third and fourth. But those first two items make a HUGE difference.

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Old 05-05-2009, 05:04 AM   #11
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As usual, well said Xenophon!

Hopefully these kind of suggestions won't fall on deaf ears, for any sites out there looking to promote eBooks and get people hooked. Because once you start, you just can't stop...
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:10 AM   #12
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I get the impression people are concerned they can't download the freebies from Sony's store if they're outside of the States. I have a Sony Reader I bought from a US store that I registered just so I could download Weapons of Choice, so I don't know if that helps, but I had no problems downloading the freebies from here in Taiwan (on my wife's pc laptop) despite not ever having even visited the US.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:26 PM   #13
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You are in luck.
My Sony software that came with my german PRS-505 doesn't even connect to the Sony shop, it just shows a bunch of links to german book stores.
The software you can download from Sony flaty refuses to even install because I'm in the 'wrong region'

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Old 05-12-2009, 07:54 AM   #14
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You are in luck.
My Sony software that came with my german PRS-505 doesn't even connect to the Sony shop, it just shows a bunch of links to german book stores.
The software you can download from Sony flaty refuses to even install because I'm in the 'wrong region'

Eagle
I bought a BeBook because

(a) It supports many more formats than most other reader

(b) The vendor wants to sell me one and provide support

About (a) - Granted, "supports manu more formats" is a relative term - it can handle many formats, but I wouldn't bother reading LIT files for example as they don't display well, and DJVU files often look pretty bad as the screen is way to small. But the point is, the reader does support these formats, and many more formats are extremely readable - FB2 and RTF are outstanding, HTML and TXT are not bad, even some MS Word docs will display well. And PDF is not bad, given that a PDF formatted to A4 page size will always have some issues displaying on a much smaller 6" display.

About (b) - I have complained often about Sony's unwillingness to even sell their reader in most parts of the non-US world, let alone attempt to provide decent support. But I usually end up with a lot of Sony owners telling me they don't have a problem. My hatred of Sony's sales policy goes back to around 2004/2005 when I was first looking seriously at electronic reading devices. The Sony Libre was being announced and I wanted one, and when they eventually came out I couldn't buy one because I was not in the US. Sure there are ways around that - travel to the US, get someone there to order it for you, etc. But when you add to that the crappy "region" restrictions of Sony's online bookshop and the necessity to access it using their software, it just makes you want to throw your hands in the air.

I think the Sony 505 is probably the sexiest looking reader around (esp. in silver), and for looks I'd grab one no questions. But just as we are all taught to not judge books by their covers, so we shoudl also not judge eReaders by their sexy skins. My BeBook is matte black and pretty ugly, in a "former-Soviet apartment block kind of way" - utlitarian, does the job, but not much style or panache. But I can read the formats I want quite easily, and as I tend to convert most of my reading material to FB2, BeBook suits me. If you're a Mobi format freak then I think there are better implementation, althougn BeBook is improving but some books still have too many hiccups on the reader for my linking.

But my advice is, if you're not in the US (or in one of the new member states of the "Coallition of the Willing" in Sony's slowly expanding sphere of influence: Canada, UK, Germany and a few other Euro countries) seriously consider if you want to go for Sony, or choose an alternative. Quite frankly, if it wasn't for the superb work done in developing the Calibre software, Sony would probably find people bailing out and choosing their competition much faster than they are - Sony should really be paying some serious bucks to kovidgoyal for his efforts, as his software is the reason so many peole outside Sony's official market can make good use of their readers (IMHO).

Anyway, just my $0.02 worth. [/rant]

I'll now wait to get flamed by the Sony supporters...
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:59 AM   #15
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PDF-only from their own web-site? In this day and age? Sheesh!
PDF not optimized for fast web view, with no bookmarks. (I wonder if the Sony & Kindle versions also lack tables of contents.) Adding those features took me less than five minutes; sometimes it takes less than two.
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