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Old 09-18-2009, 01:07 AM   #1
Alfy
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I stopped telling my friends about ebooks

How do I sell ebooks to my friends???

Ever since I bought a liseuse, I've been trying to sell ebooks to my friends. First, because I love to show off my newest gadget! But also because, heck, the more people have liseuses the better. But when I look how things went since I bought the device, I realise it's a tad difficult to sell it to friends, at least if I want them to remain friends… Here is how it went:

1) My Sony PRS 505 gets delivered to me in Paris in October 2008. The machine is beautiful, I can't wait to start reading on it, so I want install the Sony software to purchase some books. Bad start: I have a Mac, and the software is PC only. Luckily, I stay at a friend's place, and he has a PC. Great. Err, no, not great, Sony bookstore is US only. Oops.

2) I try to find alternative stores, but all sell .lit or .mobi DRMed books. And those format are not compatible with the PRS 505. Argh! I spend a few days going around the net, and find mobileread, and thus Calibre. Moving forward, one step at a time. I discover mobi and ereader protection can be removed, and after some more search, find how to do it. I feel lucky I am decently computer litterate, I doubt most of my friends would have gotten so far.

3) I now have the means to purchase content for my liseuse. It's not difficult, but neither is it practical.

4) Wow, ADE and epub. That seems like a great solution. Except, oops again, ADE on Mac does not allow you to transfer files onto your reader. Back to my friend's PC again. And epub is (back then) not especially widely available, and then mainly in the UK, where book prices are a bad joke. And it's not THAT easy: I still need another piece of software to transfer the files, so now I am juggling between Calibre and ADE.

5) Overdrive removes a bunch of books from my fictionwise library. Mmmhhh. I purchase a Terry Pratchett at Waterstones that is both incredibly expensive and that is so badly edited, it's a complete sham. Overdrive reimburses me, but only after 6 months and after about a dozen mails exchanged. Not a catastrophe, but I have a bad vibe about this.

6) I am now in a groove. I have dozens of good books on my liseuse, I read more than I have for years. Things get better, slowly: epub become more and more available, I deDRM mobi with ease, more titles are available. I subscribe for a fictionwise membership, and love it. New Sony software now supports Macs, and I don't need ADE anymore.

7) Things start going down: fictionwise starts applying geographical restrictions. I manage to overcome them, but only for some time, some of my books become unavailable for download. Geographical restrictions start becoming a problem on other websites. My liseuse breaks in a strange fashion (I haven't sat on it or dropped it or anything), and as I have no other books with me and live abroad, I have to rely on my iPod to continue reading. And that hurts my eyes.

This is my experience of about one year with a liseuse. Not horrifying, far from it, and I have already spent the bucks to get a new 505. But, how in the world do I sell this to my friends? Especially the computer illiterate? The only reason why I managed to enjoy ebooks is because I spent a LOT of time to get it to work. And the current trend, which puts books out of my reach and would force me to rely on expensive UK stores (after I've spent 300$ on the hardware? I don't think so!) isn't exactly positive.

Ebooks, as of now, are only easy to deal with and cheap if you live in the US (and if you own a Kindle, it's even better). For the rest of us, it's an expansive and/or complicated proposition. I've stopped telling my friends about how great my liseuse is: if they get one, I would have to spend hours with them providing support...
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:28 AM   #2
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Years ago I knew lots of people who had experiences exactly like that, only instead of it being with electronic books, it was with ink jet printers.

Then it ws with DVD drives.

The problem wasn't with the new device.

Then, as now it was with the proprietary business strategy of Apple.

It has always gone with Apple. Expect them to be behind the curve but to get a stylish if feature stripped product when they get into whatever market your subject is.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
Years ago I knew lots of people who had experiences exactly like that, only instead of it being with electronic books, it was with ink jet printers.

Then it ws with DVD drives.

The problem wasn't with the new device.

Then, as now it was with the proprietary business strategy of Apple.

It has always gone with Apple. Expect them to be behind the curve but to get a stylish if feature stripped product when they get into whatever market your subject is.
Apple makes DVD drives and inkjet printers?



Seriously, I have a linux box, live in the Netherlands, and have 99.9% of the same issues Alfy has (but have worked around them). Did you read one sentence in his complaint?

Last edited by acidzebra; 09-18-2009 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:50 AM   #4
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Well, add my own experience. Yesterday, my Cybook battery was off while I was reading and it began to work erratically. I load the battery and, this morning, it couldn't read books (blank screen, reset...) Images appeared well, so I thought that, perhaps, the file where it stores the last book was bad. Besides, I remembered that fonts weren't well before the end of battery. So, I plugged my Cybook to my PC, removed the last book I was reading and, looking at the internal memory, I found a file I didn't like and removed it (.font_cache.1 or something like that). It's OK now but, if you are a computer illiterate, how do you do it?
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:02 AM   #5
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I've had no troubles with my ebook Readers.

The trouble I HAVE had was with the Sony bookstore, but the Readers I own work beautifully and are a joy (rather than a pain) to use.

My Kindle ebook Reader is especially nice, even though I now must connect it to my computer - which takes all of 2 seconds. Downloading the file takes all of 5 seconds, at the most.

So...sorry you're having trouble with your ebook Reader, but I think experiences vary on these matters, from person to person and from ebook Reader to ebook Reader.


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Old 09-18-2009, 07:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfy View Post
How do I sell ebooks to my friends???

Ever since I bought a liseuse, I've been trying to sell ebooks to my friends. First, because I love to show off my newest gadget! But also because, heck, the more people have liseuses the better. But when I look how things went since I bought the device, I realise it's a tad difficult to sell it to friends, at least if I want them to remain friends… Here is how it went:

1) My Sony PRS 505 gets delivered to me in Paris in October 2008. The machine is beautiful, I can't wait to start reading on it, so I want install the Sony software to purchase some books. Bad start: I have a Mac, and the software is PC only. Luckily, I stay at a friend's place, and he has a PC. Great. Err, no, not great, Sony bookstore is US only. Oops.

2) I try to find alternative stores, but all sell .lit or .mobi DRMed books. And those format are not compatible with the PRS 505. Argh! I spend a few days going around the net, and find mobileread, and thus Calibre. Moving forward, one step at a time. I discover mobi and ereader protection can be removed, and after some more search, find how to do it. I feel lucky I am decently computer litterate, I doubt most of my friends would have gotten so far.

3) I now have the means to purchase content for my liseuse. It's not difficult, but neither is it practical.

4) Wow, ADE and epub. That seems like a great solution. Except, oops again, ADE on Mac does not allow you to transfer files onto your reader. Back to my friend's PC again. And epub is (back then) not especially widely available, and then mainly in the UK, where book prices are a bad joke. And it's not THAT easy: I still need another piece of software to transfer the files, so now I am juggling between Calibre and ADE.

5) Overdrive removes a bunch of books from my fictionwise library. Mmmhhh. I purchase a Terry Pratchett at Waterstones that is both incredibly expensive and that is so badly edited, it's a complete sham. Overdrive reimburses me, but only after 6 months and after about a dozen mails exchanged. Not a catastrophe, but I have a bad vibe about this.

6) I am now in a groove. I have dozens of good books on my liseuse, I read more than I have for years. Things get better, slowly: epub become more and more available, I deDRM mobi with ease, more titles are available. I subscribe for a fictionwise membership, and love it. New Sony software now supports Macs, and I don't need ADE anymore.

7) Things start going down: fictionwise starts applying geographical restrictions. I manage to overcome them, but only for some time, some of my books become unavailable for download. Geographical restrictions start becoming a problem on other websites. My liseuse breaks in a strange fashion (I haven't sat on it or dropped it or anything), and as I have no other books with me and live abroad, I have to rely on my iPod to continue reading. And that hurts my eyes.

This is my experience of about one year with a liseuse. Not horrifying, far from it, and I have already spent the bucks to get a new 505. But, how in the world do I sell this to my friends? Especially the computer illiterate? The only reason why I managed to enjoy ebooks is because I spent a LOT of time to get it to work. And the current trend, which puts books out of my reach and would force me to rely on expensive UK stores (after I've spent 300$ on the hardware? I don't think so!) isn't exactly positive.

Ebooks, as of now, are only easy to deal with and cheap if you live in the US (and if you own a Kindle, it's even better). For the rest of us, it's an expansive and/or complicated proposition. I've stopped telling my friends about how great my liseuse is: if they get one, I would have to spend hours with them providing support...
Thats why you buy a generic ereader who isn't "locked" to a certain retailer/manufacturer.

If you had gone with a Cybook/Hanlin one it would have been less trouble I think
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Slite View Post
Thats why you buy a generic ereader who isn't "locked" to a certain retailer/manufacturer.

If you had gone with a Cybook/Hanlin one it would have been less trouble I think
Which is why I don't like Apple for instance... Or Sony for that matter. And which is also why any reader I'll buy must have a SD card slot. Even if the device requires an application to run on a pc, a card never does. Even my PDA and JE100 need an application if I want to access them from my PC (ActiveSync).
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidzebra View Post
Apple makes DVD drives and inkjet printers?



Seriously, I have a linux box, live in the Netherlands, and have 99.9% of the same issues Alfy has (but have worked around them). Did you read one sentence in his complaint?
I read all of it.

Apple doesn't have software or drivers to interface with new technology yet.

Exactly the same as has always been the case.

Other companies support devices they didn't manufacture.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:44 AM   #9
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You can hardly blame the Liseuse manufacturers or Ebook stores for the problems with Geographic Restrictions. It does make the process of obtaining ebooks a huge problem but that I blame the publishing companies for that. They are still using an antiquated mindset when it comes to book publishing. Hopefully, they will see how many people are moving towards ereading and update their thinking.

Electronics have always been prickly. The more sophisticated the technology the more susceptible they are to problems. The first laptop I purchased years ago (2001) is still working, even though it's as slow as molasses. I purchased another one a couple of years ago crashed and burned only a couple of months after the warranty expired. It was way faster with more bells and whistles than my first one, but didn't last as long. The same can be said for my readers. The EBW1150 I have has lasted 3 years now and is still in great shape but bulky and heavy compared to my Sony. Of course, I haven't really had any problems with my Sony yet, so the comparison isn't exactly the same.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:00 AM   #10
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The proprietary format stopped me to even think about buying a Sony PRS505 when I was looking at the possibilities here in France !
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:03 AM   #11
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It's weird how different my experiences are with my Sony PRS-505. Admittedly because with precious few exception, I only read PDFs I generated from LaTeX via conversion from the source text/eBook.

For that--with the exception of wishing it zoomed PDFs--I find it delightful!

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:06 AM   #12
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I can't begin to understand the pain you're experiencing, since I'm in the US and have a kindle. But I agree with you on thepoints. ereading should be seamless.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #13
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I'm not sure where you and the OP are coming from. Calibre can transfer ADE eBooks to a Sony reader, can't it? I know it can transfer LRX (DRM'd BBeB files) eBook just fine. And it has worked on a Mac as long as I have known about it.

Also, the Sony eBook Library software is available for Mac now, too. Since this was posted today, I don't know what time frame you were talking about, but the Mac software has been out for a few weeks (or at least over a week) now. [oops, missed the line where the OP mentioned the Mac software]

Lastly, you were always able to load books onto the Sony Reader from a Mac. Just plug it in and drop files on it like a thumb drive. I think you may have had to register it first from a PC with the software, but as I said, there is Mac software now anyway.

As for the stores, it is unfortunate so many are USA only at the moment. I thought Europe was where ePub was really taking off, though?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
I read all of it.

Apple doesn't have software or drivers to interface with new technology yet.

Exactly the same as has always been the case.

Other companies support devices they didn't manufacture.

Last edited by lunged; 09-18-2009 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:28 AM   #14
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As for the stores, it is unfortunate so many are USA only at the moment. I thought Europe was where ePub was really taking off, though?
... being the industry standard and all!

- Ahi
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:33 AM   #15
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In the meantime, Chaps and Chappettes, follow my sig line. There are some great wee titles there (sadly only in PDF for the next month or so until we put the other formats in place), but drop a line and I'll send you a no-fuss email attachment with the book/s that catch your eye. My own little publishing house has been promoting ebook reading for years (every paperback covered by a digital version since 2002) -- way before *popular* dedicated readers arrived -- and, quite honestly, we just want to promote the idea. Up the revolution! Choose ya pick, folks. It'll be a pleasure.
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