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Old 04-07-2010, 08:18 AM   #1
davers
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Purchased new Jim Butcher book..no cover..

Hey everyone. I just purchased the new Jim Butcher book, Changes, from Sony's site last night. Guess what, it doesn't have a cover. It looks like a manuscript. Um..what gives? I paid $12.99 for this book and they couldn't take the extra 1 minute to add the cover picture!!?? I know there's a few people out there like me who convert Project Gutenberg books and add cover art, author pictures, and sometimes cool little filigree at the beginning of each chapter. I'm able to do that, spell check, correct paragraphs, broken sentences etc and convert to Sony ebook in about an hour. If I can do that, I don't understand why Penguin Group isn't able to do that. I just sent them an email with the following:

"To whom it may concern,

Iím taking time out of my busy day to file a complaint about the quality of the eBooks Iíve purchased from Penguin Group. Just last night I purchased ďChanges: A Novel of the Dresden FilesĒ by Jim Butcher, Published by: Penguin Group, Inc., Publish Date: April 06, 2010, Print ISBN: 9780451463173, Filesize: 444.86 KB. The book I just spent $12.99 for has no cover. It looks like a printed manuscript. Itís as if I went to a book store and purchased a ďstripĒ. I paid good money for this book, and I donít appreciate a product that you couldnít seem to spend time on to make complete. I see the cover on Sonyís site, I donít understand how you can sell a book like that. You donít have to print it, and I know for a fact that itís easy to put a picture in an eBook. Iíve downloaded a few books from Project Gutenberg and Iíve converted them to Sony BBeB book by using a free program. It takes me less than an hour to convert the book, correct spelling errors, and add a color cover, as well as a color picture of the author!! In less than an hour! If I can do that, I canít understand why the actual publisher who creates the book canít seem to find the technical know-how to figure out how to include the cover of a book in the book you charge money for! I mean really??!! This isnít the only eBook Iíve purchased that didnít have a cover. It happens more often than not. If you are unable to complete a project in time, donít try to pass it off as a complete book and charge money! Wait until you have reached the level of technological expertise before releasing and charging for a book. Would you put a physical book on the shelf at Borders without the cover? I think not! To treat consumers who purchase eBooks as something other than real customers spending their hard earned money on your product, is unconscionable.

To add a little insight into what kind of person purchases eBooks and whether or not eBooks will kill the book industry, I own 2492 physical books. Most are on shelves, and some are waiting for me to build more. No, eBooks will never replace a physical book for me, however, there are some situations where an eBook is much more convenient than carrying around a physical book, such as when Iím at work or on vacation. However, that doesnít mean that an eBook should be something less than the physical book. Iíve spent literally tens of thousands of dollars on books, both physical and ďelectronicĒ, and Iím sure Iíll keep spending money on both formats. Please take the time to fix this issue, Iím sure there are lots of us out there that would appreciate it.
Please pass this on to the proper people who make these kind of decisions.

Sincerely,

Dave Morrison
Allen Park, Michigan"

It just frosts my cake that I'm able to do something that a publisher is unable to do...

Sorry to vent...

Dave
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:23 AM   #2
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I didn't get a chance to take a look at my copy yet, but often with ebooks a cover isn't included because they didn't get ebook cover rights from the artist. Presumably because it costs more money they don't feel like paying.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
I didn't get a chance to take a look at my copy yet, but often with ebooks a cover isn't included because they didn't get ebook cover rights from the artist. Presumably because it costs more money they don't feel like paying.
They claim that that's the case, and I could even understand that for older titles where they'd have to negotiate again to use the art. But there's no excuse for that on new titles.

Given Tor's problems with getting covers in the files for the Wheel of Time books - which had covers specifically commissioned for the ebooks - unless there's an explicit statement that they were too cheap to pay for the cover art on a new book, "publisher laziness" is my default understanding of what happened.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Yea...this just kind of irked me because it's quite a few books I've purchased, and not just from Penguin. I kind of interepret it as them not taking ebooks and people who purchase them seriously...

Just my .23 cents though!

Dave
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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I find it funny when they keep the paperback cover warning in ebooks without cover.

I have a couple of S&S books without cover and this warning inside

Quote:
The sale of this book without its cover is unauthorized. If you purchased this
book without a cover, you should be aware that it was reported to the publisher as
"unsold and destroyed." Neither the author nor the publisher has received
payment for the sale of this "stripped book."


Last edited by DanT; 04-07-2010 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
I didn't get a chance to take a look at my copy yet, but often with ebooks a cover isn't included because they didn't get ebook cover rights from the artist. Presumably because it costs more money they don't feel like paying.
That's a totally specious argument. They may not have the rights to use the same cover as the paper book, but to add a simple cover with, if nothing else, the title and author of the book, is hardly a major task.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
That's a totally specious argument. They may not have the rights to use the same cover as the paper book, but to add a simple cover with, if nothing else, the title and author of the book, is hardly a major task.
This is just what I've heard (rights are separate). I wouldn't think it's a major task, but it seems like the most likely explanation (that they are too cheap to buy the rights to the ebook covers). The publishers may have preexisting contracts with the artists that don't include ebook covers and they aren't up for renewal yet or they don't feel like paying extra money.

Not saying it's true (or right, for that matter), but it seems more logical than them just simply not including it because they are lazy.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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Oh yes, that's certainly the reason for it, no doubt about it. I'm just saying that there's really no reason for the publisher not to add their own cover in that situation - as, indeed, many of them do.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Oh yes, that's certainly the reason for it, no doubt about it. I'm just saying that there's really no reason for the publisher not to add their own cover in that situation - as, indeed, many of them do.
Oh I agree too, sorry, I misread your post. This seems to be a trend for Penguin, I can't remember the last time one of their books I bought had a cover. But on the flip side, it does take up less room on my Reader, and the image doesn't look great on it anyway.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:15 PM   #10
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That's a totally specious argument. They may not have the rights to use the same cover as the paper book, but to add a simple cover with, if nothing else, the title and author of the book, is hardly a major task.
I bought a copy of the same book from the Sony store as well, and it came with exactly the type of cover you describe.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:21 PM   #11
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IMO it's misrepresentation on their part, possibly sufficient to justify canceling the purchase. That's if, as it seems in this case, they use a 'published' cover image in advertising the ebook. If that's true, then you didn't receive what was advertised, which is legally actionable-in the US, at least.

As for not having rights, if that's true then they shouldn't be using the cover in their catalog either.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:06 PM   #12
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It would be interesting to know what percentage of ebook readers care about covers. I do not care at all - I never look at the cover in an ebook. I just want to read the book.

Maybe the publishers don't think it is worth the time and cost to put covers in, if they think the majority of readers don't care. Or, they could just be lazy.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:26 PM   #13
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It would be interesting to know what percentage of ebook readers care about covers. I do not care at all - I never look at the cover in an ebook. I just want to read the book.

Maybe the publishers don't think it is worth the time and cost to put covers in, if they think the majority of readers don't care. Or, they could just be lazy.

I'd care less about covers if the ebooks were 2 dollars and not 12. I also think someday we may have color e-ink screens and the covers would be nice to have. The pictures invoke stronger memories than the vague rememberance of what the story is about.

I can look at a cover and it instantly brings to mind the story inside. Where as without the cover I'd have to read the blurb/summary. Too many stories share the same title but I don't know of any two seperate novels that share the same cover.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:46 PM   #14
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Most of the secure epub books I've bought from Fictionwise don't have a cover. Just the title and author in black and white.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:09 PM   #15
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