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Old 06-17-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
igorsk
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Tor.com opens a book store

...but so far it's pbooks only. Interestingly, they also carry books from other publishers, not just Tor.
As for the ebooks, Pablo says:
Quote:
Creating this type of bookstore from within a single large publisher has been an interesting learning experience, and is an ongoing process—we’ve still got plenty up our sleeves, including, of course, an ebook store. We’re dead-set on getting this as right as we possibly can: we want to sell you ebooks that are a pleasure to read, are useful and hassle-free to manage, and we want to sell them to you in a way that is as simple and as unencumbered by technology as we can possibly make it. As an ebook reader, these are headaches I’m all too familiar with, and I have no desire to enable them further. So it’s taking us a bit longer than the print store, but I’m happy to announce that we’ll soon also make ebooks available for sale, and in keeping with the spirit of Tor.com, the ebook store will carry titles from all SF/F publishers as well.
Again that "s" word... well, I guess we can't do much except wait and see.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:33 PM   #3
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Dear Tor,

What a waste of your time and money. Selling pbooks from other publishers, at prices no one is going to be interested in, incurring all those costs for handling and upkeep? What are you possibly thinking?

Meanwhile you've had over a year to get ebooks right and you still can't manage it, yet everyone else is releasing ebooks left and right. That's where the opportunity for Tor is, and yet you continue to blow it.

Have a clue. Take two, they're free.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:11 AM   #5
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is this what happens when Amazon insists on too big a cut of the price?
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:25 PM   #6
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The Tor.com Store

I just received an e-mail from TOR stating, "Tor.com is absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of the Tor.com Store, our new print book store." Notice, print book store. Tarnation! Weren't they listening when we all asked nicely for electronic books?
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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According to Pablo, it will have ebooks too... once they have ebooks.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:29 AM   #8
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Hint for Tor: they can only compete with Baen if they sell DRM-free ebooks. (Why do I suspect the "headaches" involved in setting up an ebook store center around DRM, rather than site layout or payment security? Oh, maybe because those things matter for pbooks too, and apparently they think they've got those parts covered.)

For DRM'd ebooks, they're competing with BoB, Diesel, and to some extent, Fictionwise. (Am I supposed to mention Coolerbooks here, or can I ignore the one that can't even get its info to display properly, and the default settings often say the book you've selected isn't available?)

And all of those (except CB) have a solid following already, including in the F&SF niche markets. Although it'd be nice if new Tor books were available as ebooks, I don't have much faith in the future of an ebook store that has to publicly deal with complaints about bad DRM problems, in addition to any other negative feedback. (Bad formatting/OCR errors, etc. Which they won't have for new books, but if their backlist is made available, problems will pop up.)

With Tor.com's blog/forum interaction, every small hassle or problem with the store will be dragged to public view, analyzed intensely, and hauled away to other blogs for continued discussion when/if Tor decides it's no longer appropriate to host complaints on their own site. Without DRM, it's easy to say "here's the new version of the book--have fun." Or, "oops, that one's really not ready. Here, have a free substitute and/or store credit." With DRM, it's more complex than that... and DRM tends to carry with it more paranoia and suspicion that the customer is out to "scam" the business; the tone for dealing with complaints is different.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:12 AM   #9
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Pablo was pretty clear in his announcement on tor.com that Tor, at least, is aiming for DRM-free ebooks. That's certainly the Tor philosophy that's been expressed to me as a Tor author. Since they're also featuring work by other publishers, that might not be possible across the board for everything at the tor.com store, however.

In the meantime, I'm pleased to see that their store is the first place I've seen the print-on-demand p-editions of my new ereads reprints for sale. (Ebook versions available at Baen and elsewhere.)
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
Meanwhile you've had over a year to get ebooks right and you still can't manage it, yet everyone else is releasing ebooks left and right. That's where the opportunity for Tor is, and yet you continue to blow it.
But the shops selling books with DRM is not getting it right.
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