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Old 04-20-2010, 06:25 AM   #31
astra
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I don't buy books with DRM anymore.

I used to do it. Then disinfect. However, I gave up. Why should I spend my time on earning money to purchase a product, then spend even more time to make is usable for me? I don't buy half assembled TVs or vacuum cleaners. I pay full price only for the end product that is ready for use.
In some cases, for example IKEA, I pay for half-made product then invest more time to assemble it but there is a substantial difference in pricing, so it is worth it.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:13 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post

Yeah, will have you read some of the posts here from people who claim, presumably with a straight face, that getting their e-books free from pirate sites instead buying the book DRM'ed or not, is not hurting the authors or publishers a bit. .
That would be because it isn't. Most downloads will be spur of the moment impulse, and only downloaded because they are free. Do you really think that someone is going to rush out and buy 3,000 scifi books new retail if they can't download them for free?

Even if it was something they actually wanted to read, at best your ebook would be competing with either a second hand paperback from ebay or a trip to the library -- neither of which you will profit from (UK authors get a few pence from the library, up to a very small maximum per year, publishers get nothing).

If they were going to pay hardback prices to read a book they would have bought the hardback as soon as it came out.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:21 AM   #33
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(And depending on the book, the legit copy may be a better quality edition.)
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Not unless I have been VERY unlucky in my first steps into ebook buying territory. Every one I have bought so far has had spelling mistakes every few pages.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:25 AM   #34
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Of course, the Baen offerings aren't "pirated", they are legit freebies offered by the publisher to promote the line. Perhaps there's less illicit pleasure for the freeloader in getting those...
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Do the non-free ones get pirated? I haven't seen any of the Smashword books pirated anywhere either. They let you have half the book for free, which would suit the try before you buy type downloaders. The ones who just download everything for the sake of having it probably wouldn't miss the second half either.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:25 AM   #35
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DRM is a reasonably easy fix for me, so I am not stressed about liberating my purchased product so I am free to convert to the format I require.

Geographic restrictions are my number one concern.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:29 AM   #36
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Hah. Clubbing them with Kindles would probably get more youtube views and save bullets, too. ;-)
I would have thought hard covers would be more appropriate with the agency model still meandering into existence. But Kindles work for me too
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:18 AM   #37
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Here's my big problem with DRM. I'm sitting here with a Droid in my pocket and my Sony Reader on my desk and while both "support" DRM, they don't "support" the same DRM. Thus if I buy an ebook with DRM I have to pick which device to read it on because there's no DRM scheme that lets me read one book on either device.

The sad thing is that while neither DRM scheme locks the book to a single device, they may as well have that effect because neither device supports the other's DRM scheme. (For purposes of the discussion the Android's DRM scheme is eReader because that's the only DRM format currently supported on Android devices.)

This is the real problem with DRM - it effectively prevents usage that should be allowed, and is theoretically allowed even by its own terms of usage.

Both can read DRM-free ePub - but the only way to get the majority of current bestsellers in that is to either strip the DRM from an existing file (and convert if necessary) or from the Darknet.

It just gets in the way and penalizes honest consumers.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:49 AM   #38
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I would have thought hard covers would be more appropriate with the agency model still meandering into existence. But Kindles work for me too
Well, a fully professional executioner could work two-handed. One in each!

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:12 AM   #39
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Not unless I have been VERY unlucky in my first steps into ebook buying territory. Every one I have bought so far has had spelling mistakes every few pages.
Welcome to the wonderful world of cost cutting.

I'm on a list mostly populated with folks involved in publishing. A couple of years back, one of the posters, who was VP and an editorial production house that provided copy editing/proofreading services to publishers lamented the decline in such basics, as publishers decided to save money by not doing it. Another poster, who was an editor at a major house said "But such things are part of the standard budget of the book, and are always done!" "Maybe they still are in your house", said the original poster, "but I'm the one who gets to talk to clients who used to pay us to do it and don't do so any more!"

The problem goes farther back. I knew one editor who was chided by her boss for trying to do a proper line-edit on a manuscript. The boss wanted to know why she was investing the effort, since the glory was in acquisitions.

Declining standards of quality are an on going issue, and have been for some time. The problem is that doing it right costs, and no one wants to spend the money.
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:33 AM   #40
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Do the non-free ones get pirated? I haven't seen any of the Smashword books pirated anywhere either. They let you have half the book for free, which would suit the try before you buy type downloaders. The ones who just download everything for the sake of having it probably wouldn't miss the second half either.
I haven't seen any of the non-free Baen offerings pirated, but then, I haven't looked. They probably are, since everything else is, and it's easier because Baen doesn't apply DRM.

But I don't think Baen is concerned. They do the basics I think are required: provide value, price reasonably, and make it easy to buy from them. As mentioned, I think the majority of the market is willing to pay for what they get.

Baen is this generation's equivalent of DAW Books. When the late Donald A. Wollheim founded DAW, his goal was to be a mid-level action/adventure SF and fantasy house. They were a little like Harlequin Romances - if you bought a title from DAW you had a pretty good idea of what you were getting. I knew folks back then who matter of factly got everything DAW published each month, as they knew DAW published the sort of stuff they liked to read. (And DAW went to some lengths to keep the price of their PBs at 95 cents for as long as possible. Unfortunately, this sometimes meant cutting books to fit in the 160 page format thay could make and sell profitably at that price.)

When Don died and his daughter Betsy took over the reins, the direction changed and DAW is better known now as a publisher of fantasy "bricks" with feminist sensibilities.

I think Baen has largely filled the gap DAW left, and understands what they are doing and who their market is. You can get subscriptions that will automatically get you all Baen titles in ebook format each month. I don't know how many of their buyers use that option, but I'd bet on a good number.

(And Ben still pays attention to quality control. I've seen one odd ebook from Baen - a John Ringo novel included on a bound in CD in one of his hardcovers had an assortment of oddities. Email back and forth confirmed my suspicion: the finished manuscript wasn't available when the CD had to be produced, so what was included was an Advanced Reading Copy - essentially an uncorrected galley proof. I didn't mind. It was actually fun to see John's notes to himself and queries to his editor in the manuscript when it was a work in progress.)
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:46 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
You can get subscriptions that will automatically get you all Baen titles in ebook format each month. I don't know how many of their buyers use that option, but I'd bet on a good number.
This is a reference to "webscription" editions, right? (I am, obviously, uncertain if ALL ebooks are covered by webscriptions).
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:48 PM   #42
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I haven't seen any of the non-free Baen offerings pirated, but then, I haven't looked. They probably are, since everything else is, and it's easier because Baen doesn't apply DRM.

But I don't think Baen is concerned.
I believe this is true. Non-free Baen books are indeed available in pirate ebook collections & torrents, and Baen has been, AFAIK, profoundly unconcerned about this.

Baen has some awareness how many of its would-be paying customers are scouring the torrent sites looking for freebies instead of paying the occasional $6 for a choice book or $15/month for a bundle. And aware how many poverty-stricken college students are going to read books (and listen to music) they can get for free, and ten years from now, will have jobs that let them pay for their entertainment.

Baen's statement: "Online piracy — while it is definitely illegal and immoral — is, as a practical problem, nothing more than (at most) a nuisance. We're talking brats stealing chewing gum, here, not the Barbary Pirates."

Should movie theatres lock their back doors to keep kids from sneaking in without paying? Sure. Should they post armed guards at those doors to prevent a kid's friend from buying a ticket and letting four of his friends in for free? Of course not.

Baen has an idea how much money they're actually losing to "pirates:" less than they'd lose by treating their customers all as potential thieves. Baen is also aware that, for the time being, ebook freebies increase paper sales. Eventually, that'll probably change & they may have to rethink their policies--but they've been working for a decade, and that's plenty long enough for any business plan that deals with cutting-edge technology.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:33 PM   #43
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My preferred option was not in your poll. 'I will only buy books with DRM if they can easily be stripped and converted.' So for example I will buy epubs with DRM but not Topaz In a perfect world, I would prefer no DRM (or else for Amazon to adopt ADE support so at least everyone is using it). But in the present, I will buy it if it is in a format I can strip.
My position too. I'll buy DRMed Mobipocket or Adobe ePub or even eReader. But I won't be buying books from Apple unless/until someone comes up with a way to remove the DRM.

So I voted "I prefer my books without DRM"
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:35 PM   #44
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Baen has an idea how much money they're actually losing to "pirates:" less than they'd lose by treating their customers all as potential thieves. Baen is also aware that, for the time being, ebook freebies increase paper sales. Eventually, that'll probably change & they may have to rethink their policies--but they've been working for a decade, and that's plenty long enough for any business plan that deals with cutting-edge technology.
The Free Library began as promotion for the dead tree editions. Jim Baen stated in an email that he didn't see opportunities for profit in pure electronic publishing at the time.

But that was years ago, and electronic publishing is a source of profit for them now. The last I heard, the Webscriptions operation brings in more revenue than all foreign sales. Arnold Bailey set up and runs the Webscriptions service for Baen for a cut of the take, and I believe he's doing very nicely, thank you.

It's possible their policies might change if paper books wither and die (which I don't expect to happen), but I doubt it. No DRM is an intrinsic part of Baen's identity. I expect any attempt to change that would cause far more problems than it would solve.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:36 PM   #45
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I don't really see the point of it, either from a writer/publisher perspecive or from a reader perspective. All it does is make pirated books more convenient and easy to use, and punishes people who decide to support the publishers financially.
It eliminates fair use, which can generate more revenue from a certain segment of their market. You're probably right though, in that overall it looses them money.
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