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Old 08-28-2009, 08:57 AM   #1
Namtar
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Waterstones trying to get simultaneous release of ebooks and pbooks

Just read this article on thebookseller.com whereby Waterstone commercial director is trying to push for publishers to simultaneously publish both ebooks and pbooks.

They are one of the UK's biggest pushers of eBooks having been selling the Sony Reader (PRS-505) for a year now and have got the new models exclusivly in the Uk for a week after launch.

I wish it would happen, but i'd just be happy to see more publishers publishing titles in eBook format. I'm trying to stop buying many dead tree books but it's difficult when many never get published in e-format
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:13 AM   #2
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I wish it would happen, but i'd just be happy to see more publishers publishing titles in eBook format. I'm trying to stop buying many dead tree books but it's difficult when many never get published in e-format
To think that, after all, the oldest the book, the better an edition that simply won't sell out (as it has no fixed numbers of tomes available for purchase) anyway, it would be frankly fantastic not to have to wait.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:11 AM   #3
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They are one of the UK's biggest pushers of eBooks
If they are really serious about being a big player in this market, they'll have to do something about their atrocious website.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:18 AM   #4
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If they are really serious about being a big player in this market, they'll have to do something about their atrocious website.
The scariest thing about their site is its effectively the official one for sony in the uk as well, but then again they are not alone in having a shoddy website.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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Just read this article on thebookseller.com whereby Waterstone commercial director is trying to push for publishers to simultaneously publish both ebooks and pbooks.
I do hope they are successful in this effort, I'm not bothered if ebooks don't show up until the paperback release at this stage of the market's evolution, but there's just no good reason for them not to have them out alongside the paperback release.

The other thing they do need to work harder is to not have such a disparity in prices, in these days of the internet, people are generally technical enough to find ways round regional restrictions, especially if it means they are saving >50% by doing so.

Last edited by Crowl; 08-29-2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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Yeah for them

Paperback should be realeased at the same time than hardback too.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Crowl View Post
I do hope they are successful in this effort, I'm not bothered if ebooks don't show up until the paperback release at this stage of the market's evolution, but there's just no good reason for them not to have them out alongside the paperback release.
Sure it is. By the point the paperback is released, a large proportion of the potential ebook market will have pirated the book and read it. It's well known in, frex, games that the best way to counter piracy is simultaneous release. (And at a sensible price)
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Sure it is. By the point the paperback is released, a large proportion of the potential ebook market will have pirated the book and read it. It's well known in, frex, games that the best way to counter piracy is simultaneous release. (And at a sensible price)
I meant there was no good reason for them to not have them out at least as soon as the paperback version, sooner would obviously be better. One thing that can't help matters is the general lack of info on release dates, its just so difficult at times to find out when or even if stuff is going to come out as an ebook unless you keep checking the shops all the time.

One point about the piracy issue, things like the games and music industry do tend to overstate things rather drastically, their reasoning that one pirated copy = one lost sale is stupidly optimistic.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:56 PM   #9
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Crowl, I work in games. I'm not at all rabid on the subject, and the games industry dosn't take the same stance as the music industry. Indeed, it's bad for us that the attitude of the film and music industries has rubbed off onto us when generally* we're trying hard to be more reasonable!

(*The exceptions tend to cause a lot of customer screaming, and even more from people like me who deel it damages the games industry as a whole)

That said, I'd reiterate my point that simultaneous release is good. Nothing gets people who'd buy your product, who want your product into piracy more than seeing other parts of the world allready playing your game/reading your book.

Heck, one of the reasons I like Baen books is typically it can be over a year between the ebook version on their site and a paper version of the book comming to the UK. And the author gets just as much, if not more, from the ebook purchase. It's also, typically, about half the price ($6 vs £7, odd).
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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In some ways the games industry is actually worse than the film and music industries, while you don't have the games industry suing everyone who shares files some of the copy protection systems used that seem to go out of their way to prevent their paying from customers from playing the game are quite horrendous, especially since those pirating the game will have removed the copy protection anyway.

As far as simultaneous releases, I just don't see a gap between the hardback and the ebook versions being as big a deal with respect to piracy as you seem to be implying, its probably a much smaller influence on piracy compared with your other points about pricing and release dates between the uk and the states with those kind of things seeming all the more stupid when you are able to quite happily order the dead tree versions of books from abroad.
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:34 PM   #11
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If they are really serious about being a big player in this market, they'll have to do something about their atrocious website.
I emailed Waterstones earlier this year pointing out the deficiencies of their web site; visiting their site tonight, I notice that they've added an extra search option: "ebook [search term(s)]". Oh wow, wot an improvement, not! Searching is still pretty crummy, and *STILL* drops you out of ebook format if no results are found. Sigh.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:13 PM   #12
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If they are really serious about being a big player in this market, they'll have to do something about their atrocious website.
Yeah what the hell lol. I think some of these companies have directors in their 60s who haven't fully appreciated the impact of the internet yet. I'd be screaming at the IT department lol
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:41 PM   #13
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Heh! Waterstones is behind the times! If Baen were to switch to simultaneous release of eBooks and dead tree format, they'd have to delay their eBooks by about two weeks. And that doesn't even count their eARCs (electronic Advance Reader Copies -- essentially unedited or minimally edited pre-prints; the electronic form of the ARCs that are sent to reviewers, for example).

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