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Old 08-07-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
John F
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An article on free ebooks

"The latest craze: Free e-books offerings"

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200908...free_e_books_2
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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Hey! Sony finally got a mention alongside Amazon, although it is barely a mention.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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Fine. Some people in the publishing industry are beginning to see the light.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
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This part was interesting:

"One of Bailey's free downloads was Finder's "Paranoia," a thriller first published in 2004. Finder, whose "Vanished" comes out Aug. 18, said he initially saw the free offering as a "no lose" deal since "Paranoia" wasn't selling many copies anyway and sales for his other books, including "Power Play" and "Killer Instinct," have gone up. But, noticing all the free best sellers on the Kindle, he wondered if readers will get used to not paying.

"I get a lot of e-mails from people, saying, `I hadn't even heard of you until I read your free book.' So no question, it does bring in free riders," Finder said. "But I'm also increasingly concerned. There are so many free e-books that basically you could stuff your Kindle or Sony Reader with free books and never have to buy anything."

Of course, you could stuff your backpack with library books and never have to buy anything either But his argument shows exactly why these freebies can be so important. Because you could read nothing but 18th century novels or pulp fiction from the early 20th century, or Dickens, or whatever Project Gutenberg category is your poison, and never buy a book again either. Or you could do nothing but play video games, watch television, download clips off YouTube or listen to podcast episodes on iTunes. Most people have less leisure time than they might like and a dozen ways they could fill it. There are two great threats to the publishing industry: the people who don't read at all, and the ones who read but haven't heard of your books. Of the two, I am not sure which is the greater threat. It seems to me that if you have a way to gain readers, you should go for it.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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"But I'm also increasingly concerned. There are so many free e-books that basically you could stuff your Kindle or Sony Reader with free books and never have to buy anything."
So the market is saturated with content and because of that people see less and less value in it. That's probably true. But it means that in order to be successful you have to rise above the noise and offer something that is deemed to be of value. Welcome to the real world.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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Saturation in the ebook world is no different than saturation in the paper book world. People who grab the free ebooks are the same people who just go to the library. Outside of school books, I can't remember the last time I bought an paper book. I borrow from friends, and when I lived in an area with a library that was an option too.

Part of what got me into ebooks, was the vast amount of public domain and free books. Where I live now, there is not a library (not one in the entire county, and voters just voted down building one in April), and the nearest bookstore is 30 miles away. I had PDAs, and a tablet laptop, which lent themselves well to using with FBReader. Now that I have a dedicated reader, I'm finding myself eyeing the different commercial ebooks more. When they hit the impulse purchase range of a dollar or two, I buy them without thinking twice, much like I did with Third Pig. I'm still being a cheapskate, and staying away from the ones that are like 10 bucks a pop.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:16 PM   #7
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Where I live now, there is not a library (not one in the entire county, and voters just voted down building one in April), and the nearest bookstore is 30 miles away.
You, my friend, should be opening a used bookstore in a shed or something. Buy 'em for a dime in town at the thrift store, sell 'em for 2 bucks in the hinterlands where you live.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:41 PM   #8
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Where I live now, there is not a library (not one in the entire county, and voters just voted down building one in April), and the nearest bookstore is 30 miles away. I had PDAs, and a tablet laptop, which lent themselves well to using with FBReader. Now that I have a dedicated reader, I'm finding myself eyeing the different commercial ebooks more. When they hit the impulse purchase range of a dollar or two, I buy them without thinking twice, much like I did with Third Pig. I'm still being a cheapskate, and staying away from the ones that are like 10 bucks a pop.
Your location (Winfield MO)-- Abt 15 miles south of you is St Peters, and I know they have a St Charles County Library. About 10-15 miles east is Troy, MO the couty seat, with Powell Memorial Library and 15 miles north of you there is Palmer Memorial Library in Elsberry.

You might can try those places. I used to live in St Peters for about 8 years.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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There are a lot of free books out there, so that's why I try to only download those I am interested in. And it works, if I like an author I will continue to read (and pay for) their books.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
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Your location (Winfield MO)-- Abt 15 miles south of you is St Peters, and I know they have a St Charles County Library. About 10-15 miles east is Troy, MO the couty seat, with Powell Memorial Library and 15 miles north of you there is Palmer Memorial Library in Elsberry.

You might can try those places. I used to live in St Peters for about 8 years.
Troy is west of me, and St Peters is where I go, which is 30 miles. I'm not exactly in Winfield, that's just where the post office I go through is. I'm in unincorporated. Better to just claim my mailing address, than "Unincorporated Lincoln County".

Hmm, when I'd looked things up before in town, and I know the info being passed around when it was on the ballot, was that there wasn't a public library. But, leave it to this county to not have a clue. Fucking backwards here. When I moved here in late 2004, they just then were in the process of beginning to move the county records over to computer. I'm used to St Charles, St Louis and Warren counties, and despite the close proximity, things are so different. Guess next time I need to find out something about the area, I WON'T ask the locals.

Last edited by Hellmark; 08-07-2009 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:10 PM   #11
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Troy is west of me, and St Peters is where I go, which is 30 miles. I'm not exactly in Winfield, that's just where the post office I go through is.

Hmm, when I'd looked things up before in town, and I know the info being passed around when it was on the ballot, was that there wasn't a public library. But, leave it to this county to not have a clue. Fucking backwards here. When I moved here in late 2004, they just then were in the process of beginning to move the county records over to computer. I'm used to St Charles, St Louis and Warren counties, and despite the close proximity, things are so different. Guess next time I need to find out something about the area, I WON'T ask the locals.
Hehe.. no worries. I actually did a google search for Winfield Missouri Library, and it brought up the area libraries. I must have miscalculated on the mileage.

I remember a friend of mine living in Winfield, and knew it wasn't too far away from Wentzville or Troy. Hope the link helps you.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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I have lots of free ebooks. I'll pay for works by authors I like... if they're available without DRM. I won't buy DRM'd ebooks. (I don't count locked PDFs like Fictionwise's multiformat ones as DRM'd, although I probably should, because it's so trivial for me to remove the lock & edit the PDF to a format I like better.)
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:00 PM   #13
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Have you found any DRM on the muti-format books on Fictionwise? The ones I have purchased (mobipocket or epub) haven't had DRM on them.

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I have lots of free ebooks. I'll pay for works by authors I like... if they're available without DRM. I won't buy DRM'd ebooks. (I don't count locked PDFs like Fictionwise's multiformat ones as DRM'd, although I probably should, because it's so trivial for me to remove the lock & edit the PDF to a format I like better.)
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:25 PM   #14
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Have you found any DRM on the muti-format books on Fictionwise? The ones I have purchased (mobipocket or epub) haven't had DRM on them.
The PDFs are locked against copying text, editing, printing or reading aloud. They're not DRM-tagged to a specific machine.

The simple solution is to buy a $10 PDF password remover program, and unlock them. The more complex & time-consuming solution is to save the PDF pages out as Tifs or Jpgs at 600dpi, then load them into FineReader to OCR, and re-create the PDF.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:11 PM   #15
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The amusing thing is that Baen books has been doing this for about a decade -- it's just taken other publishers that long to finally see the light. Ironic, isn't it, that when other publishers tried this, they got the exact same results Baen got? Namely that, when an author gave an e-book away for free, the author's other books (and the print editions of that same book) saw an increase in sales.

Welcome to the Year 2000, Rest-of-the-Publishing-Industry -- took you long enough...
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