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Old 05-17-2010, 10:20 AM   #1
Worldwalker
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Suggestion regarding free/discounted book notices

It would be a huge help to prospective buyers (at least those who don't want to buy DRM-restricted books, like me) if authors posting notices about their books being available cheap or free would add "[DRM]" or "[no DRM]" to the subject line.

As it is, most of the time I don't even bother to investigate the books, because I figure most if not all of them are DRM-restricted, and it's not worth my time figuring out which are and which aren't. Plus there's the disappointment of spotting a book that looks good, only to find that it's one which I won't buy for that reason. So if I know in advance, I'm more likely to click on that listing. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
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Moreover it would be helpful if also geographic restrictions could be mentioned. More and more of the free or cheap ebooks appear to be USA only or sometimes USA and Canada only.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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The only problem with a geo restriction is that only the author/publisher really knows what it is. Some bookstores do list the restrictions (then again, you could look it up just as easily on the product listing, if it is a store that does), but none of the majors do. Of course, ALL B&N books are restricted to the US. Amazon can be restricted or not in each of the 100 or so countries they sell in (Sony has fewer and I suspect Kobo does as well); it would take someone hours just to test (not to mention perhaps getting a suspended account if you changed your address to every country in which you can buy a Kindle book, on a fairly regular basis); by the time anyone did, the deal might be over.

It takes but a few seconds for someone to click on the links provided and see if there is DRM or a geo restriction. Little more effort than decided to open the message or not, versus a ton of work before anyone posted (which would probably stop a lot of posts, other than smashwords and individual authors on their own websites).

As for DRM, I'd assume that any book posted other than smashwords, baen or an author's website will have DRM (some on Kindle won't, if they are self-published, but some will; there is no way to tell, without downloading the book and testing it). There are a few exceptions, but I don't let DRM get in the way of me reading a book I really want (nor do I let it's absence dictate what I will read).
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:51 PM   #4
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A lot of these books are announced by their authors, though. Surely they would know if they have geo restrictions or DRM.

You don't let DRM get in the way of reading a book you want -- I do. It's a deal-killer for me.

Or, another way of putting it: If I see a book promo labeled "DRM-free" I might click on it; if I don't, I won't. Life is too short to have to figure out whether or not I'm supporting DRM.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
A lot of these books are announced by their authors, though. Surely they would know if they have geo restrictions or DRM.

You don't let DRM get in the way of reading a book you want -- I do. It's a deal-killer for me.

Or, another way of putting it: If I see a book promo labeled "DRM-free" I might click on it; if I don't, I won't. Life is too short to have to figure out whether or not I'm supporting DRM.
Hrmm... good point. Sometimes the authors WON'T know, unless they live outside the USA and can find out the hard way by being unable to download their own ebook... or they're unaware that a retailer has added DRM.

FWIW:

- books bought/downloaded directly from Smashwords are always DRM-free and geographic-restriction-free.
- Ditto Feedbooks.
- Barnes and Noble ebooks are typically DRMed and geo-restricted to the US (sometimes Canada too). This is the case even where the ebooks are sourced from GoogleBooks or Smashwords.
- Amazon indie authors have the option to add DRM to their ebooks, and will often do so when they're new to the ebook scene without realising the possible effects. I wouldn't expect indie ebooks on Amazon to have any geographic restrictions.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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A big reason why I like having Boomerang available through Smashwords is the fact that it is DRM-free.
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