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Old 03-15-2010, 11:10 AM   #1
Hellmark
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How often do you not find an ebook you want?

Recently, when I was going through trying to find a ebook of a story referenced on one of my favorite steampunk blogs, only to find no ebook was available, sans a really atrocious google books scan, despite it being a public domain book from some what of a historical figure. Now, I just write it off as just being lost in the shuffle of the multitude of books still needing to be scanned. However, then afterwards, my girlfriend was looking into some ebooks of the more contemporary stories she likes, and was finding still published books, or even brand new releases, with no ebook.

Now this got me to thinking about really how many books don't get digital copies. You guys run into this very often?
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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For me... regularly. I am constantly searching for everything from old pub-domain books, to a-few-decades-old books (Boulle's Monkey Planet aka Planet of the Apes, English translation, and Childhood's End, immediately come to mind), to 1- to 5-year-old SF novels like Wild Cards: Death Draws Five or The Sapphire Sirens. A lot of the books I'd love to get on e-book have not been made available, and I suspect many never will.

And yes, it's frustrating. As someone who has about max'ed out on space at home, and has made every effort not to buy printed books, I'm losing out on some great reads because they disappear from store shelves while I'm waiting in vain for e-product.

Hear that, publishers? You are losing sales, here, plain and simple.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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I know for me, I grabbed what resources I could and started working on an ebook of the PD book I was after. However, if I am able to edit and layout one book a month, that still isn't even scratching the surface. Plus that is still limited to the public domain books. Makes no sense to not make an ebook anymore.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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To get more perspective on missing digital editions of mainstream titles - look at the titles listed in the Amazon forum in the Classic Book Request List.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56842
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:41 PM   #5
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I don't know of ebook versions of any of the religious books I read. And there's a lot of sci-fi from the 70s & 80s that's never been released as ebooks. (And earlier, of course, but I can think of several 70s/80s midlist titles I've looked for and not found.)

However, "can't find the book" is not my main problem; "not available without DRM" is. I'm not willing to support DRM by paying for it, so authors & publishers who only sell books with DRM don't get my business.

If I *really* want to read the book, I'll find a cheap secondhand copy, chop the binding off, and scan & convert it.
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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I'd say "regularly" for me as well. I still check out books from the library primarily because I can't buy an ebook version.

Lee
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Old 03-15-2010, 12:51 PM   #7
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All too many books are not published in ebook format. The publishers don't seem to want to bother with (old) low profit books on the ebook market. Personally, I think that they hope this FAD will just die out.

There might be a solution.

The Monticello Drug Company buys "old" products that other companies did not want.

"We believe that these brands were considered non-core under previous ownership and, in most cases, did not benefit from the focus of senior level management or strong brand support. Our management has taken advantage of this opportunity by providing each acquired brand with the marketing support and attention necessary to enhance the brand's market position, expand its distribution and successfully managing each line effectively."

If only the old non ebooks could be bought up, converted, and sold anew by someone who cares. There could be peace and happiness in the world again.

Any publishers out there want to do what Monticello Drug Company did?
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorridRedDog View Post
All too many books are not published in ebook format. The publishers don't seem to want to bother with (old) low profit books on the ebook market. Personally, I think that they hope this FAD will just die out.

There might be a solution.

The Monticello Drug Company buys "old" products that other companies did not want.

"We believe that these brands were considered non-core under previous ownership and, in most cases, did not benefit from the focus of senior level management or strong brand support. Our management has taken advantage of this opportunity by providing each acquired brand with the marketing support and attention necessary to enhance the brand's market position, expand its distribution and successfully managing each line effectively."

If only the old non ebooks could be bought up, converted, and sold anew by someone who cares. There could be peace and happiness in the world again.

Any publishers out there want to do what Monticello Drug Company did?
Baen is already doing that, releasing several authors' backlist SF/F in affordable ebook editions. Unfortunately it doesn't always work as sometimes they can't get the rights. (See Mountain Magic for an example).
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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Baen is already doing that, releasing several authors' backlist SF/F in affordable ebook editions. Unfortunately it doesn't always work as sometimes they can't get the rights. (See Mountain Magic for an example).
I didn't know that was an active program on their part.

HEAR THAT EVERYBODY! HELP BAEN ADOPT ANOTHER ORPHAN!

I've given more money to Baen Books than any other. I'll be giving them more money soon too.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by HorridRedDog View Post
All too many books are not published in ebook format. The publishers don't seem to want to bother with (old) low profit books on the ebook market. Personally, I think that they hope this FAD will just die out.

There might be a solution.

The Monticello Drug Company buys "old" products that other companies did not want.

"We believe that these brands were considered non-core under previous ownership and, in most cases, did not benefit from the focus of senior level management or strong brand support. Our management has taken advantage of this opportunity by providing each acquired brand with the marketing support and attention necessary to enhance the brand's market position, expand its distribution and successfully managing each line effectively."

If only the old non ebooks could be bought up, converted, and sold anew by someone who cares. There could be peace and happiness in the world again.

Any publishers out there want to do what Monticello Drug Company did?
Yeah. Google. But then everyone wanted a piece of the pie and now it will be tied up in court forever.
Ok, that was a kneejerk response, and I apologize. But I had high hopes for the Google Books initiative for exactly this reason. I don't think even Google has the money to pay the prices the rights holders would want for everything that's been orphaned by publishers or "forgotten". And whoever said publishers are hoping this FAD will die out is probably more correct than not.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:57 AM   #11
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Yeah. Google. But then everyone wanted a piece of the pie and now it will be tied up in court forever.
Ok, that was a kneejerk response, and I apologize. But I had high hopes for the Google Books initiative for exactly this reason. I don't think even Google has the money to pay the prices the rights holders would want for everything that's been orphaned by publishers or "forgotten". And whoever said publishers are hoping this FAD will die out is probably more correct than not.
Actually, the core part of that "everyone wanted a piece" is what's critical.

I have read the editors at Baen saying that they couldn't re-publish Wild Cards stuff, because it was impossible to find all the writers to obtain the rights to their individual stories. Just like "WKRP in Cincinnati", which couldn't get new licenses for all the background music, so it doesn't get released on Dvd. A much harder problem than finding the single (or at least small number) author for a typical novel. Single author collections are much more likely to get the rights cleared for new publication.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:59 AM   #12
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For me... regularly. I am constantly searching for everything from old pub-domain books, to a-few-decades-old books (Boulle's Monkey Planet aka Planet of the Apes, English translation, and Childhood's End, immediately come to mind), to 1- to 5-year-old SF novels like Wild Cards: Death Draws Five or The Sapphire Sirens. A lot of the books I'd love to get on e-book have not been made available, and I suspect many never will.

And yes, it's frustrating. As someone who has about max'ed out on space at home, and has made every effort not to buy printed books, I'm losing out on some great reads because they disappear from store shelves while I'm waiting in vain for e-product.

Hear that, publishers? You are losing sales, here, plain and simple.
Death Draws Five was tied up in a corporate collapse, twice, I think - not sure if that was ever resolved. So the only way you likely to get an ebook is scan your own - something I will probably do one day I suppose.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:30 PM   #13
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if i have a list of Authors I'm looking for in general half of them arn't in ebook form, and they are books published in the last 10-15 years, of the remaining Authors they may have some books published in ebook but at least some of those won't have the book in particular that i am looking for. I would mind so much if there was consistancy in which books are available.

For example Jill Mansell has written 20-21 books 15 of those are available, the remaining 5-6 one is her brand new book, the others aren't her oldest books or her newest books but are dotted around, so it isn't as if she changed publishers. So why 15 not all of them?
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:19 PM   #14
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I keep looking for some of my childhood favorites in ebook. Some of them are re-published, but none are in ebook. I'll have to find somebody who will make ebooks out of my own copies for me. Is there a business which does that? And doesn't charge an arm and a leg and your grandma?
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #15
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I keep looking for some of my childhood favorites in ebook. Some of them are re-published, but none are in ebook. I'll have to find somebody who will make ebooks out of my own copies for me. Is there a business which does that? And doesn't charge an arm and a leg and your grandma?
It quickly runs into copyright problems. While you might have the legal right to make a copy for personal use, including making a digital copy from a physical book, it's entirely unclear how permissible it is to hire someone else to do the labor involved.
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