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Old 01-03-2020, 06:31 PM   #1
pwalker8
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The ebook experience

We have most likely discussed a lot of this, but what improvements do you want when it comes to eBooks?

Personally, I'm fine with the actual reading experience of using Marvin on an the bigger iPad Pro. I was fine with CC as an eBook library connecting to Calibre prior to this Fall's catastrophe with regards to CC (I still regularly donate to Calibre on a regular basis after using if since the beginning, just because it's so useful).

I'm still waiting for the buying and discovery process to show some sort of improvement. Right now, it's pretty much regressed from where it was a decade ago (when we at least had authoralert). Way back when, I expected the buying experience to be much more personalized. Authoralert style lists of authors that I like, where I'm notified when an author comes out with a new book or an older book finally makes it to eBooks. Amazon claims to have this with author follows, but it really only seems to work sporadically at best, at least for me.

I also expected recommendations to be better. Right now, Amazon seems to use it mostly to push books that they are being paid to pimp, or Amazon Unlimited or unique to Amazon eBooks. At one time, I could add and remove books from my recommended list, but that seems to have gone by the way side. I also expected much better filtering systems, so I'm presented with books that actually interest me rather than 10 pages of porn, PD books and indie authors who know how to game the system.

Just to add a bit, after doing a few chores, I had hoped when the Apple book store relaunched this year that Apple would push the envelop enough to give Amazon some competition, but so far, I've been underwhelmed by the new Apple store. As is normal for Apple, it seems to be oriented to the 80% majority rather than the power buyer. There are a couple of nifty features, but those features are purely available for eBooks (and audiobooks) purchased from Apple. In addition there seems to be little ability to edit meta data and the catalogue is considerably smaller than Amazon's. All in all, Apple gives me little reason to switch from Amazon and little hope that it will provide meaningful competition for Amazon.

Last edited by pwalker8; 01-03-2020 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:40 PM   #2
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I hvave never had any problems with discovery process. I don't need any recommendations or author alerts or anything like that. I just browse new ebooks in my favorite genres a few times a year and decide for myself what I want to buy. Works for me. Yes, there's a lot of romance and erotica pushed at you, but it's easy to look past them, as they generally have covers that give them away at a glance. I buy a lot of indie authors, so I have no beef with them and I don't want them filtered out.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:50 PM   #3
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I would like better formatting of eBooks. Overall, the major publishers to a fairly poor job.
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:10 PM   #4
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I realize this is wishful thinking but I'd love to see ereaders not be sold by booksellers but by hardware companies, in the same way phones and tablets are now. That way we would have a lot more variety in our devices, larger, smaller, with buttons, without buttons, waterproof, not waterproof and we'd be able to pick the one that fit us best and then buy books from any store we choose.

Personally I'd pick an e-ink ereader the size of my phone. Someone else might want an ereader that's extra large. We'd all be able to get what we want and buy books for it on any store without converting.

Of course it's not going to happen in this universe so I guess I'm also wishing for an alternate universe. Maybe some of you have the physics background to help with that.

Barry
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:49 PM   #5
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Everything's working well enough for my needs. On both the reading and discovery side of things. I'm having no difficulty locating the next book I want to read in very short order.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:01 PM   #6
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My only concern for "the ebook experience" is the relentless push from both Kobo and Amazon to audiobooks. I prefer DIY dentistry to audiobooks, but already actual ebooks seem like the neglected stepchild for the big retailers, who seem to have decided that everyone either already loves audiobooks or damn well ought to.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Robin View Post
My only concern for "the ebook experience" is the relentless push from both Kobo and Amazon to audiobooks. I prefer DIY dentistry to audiobooks, but already actual ebooks seem like the neglected stepchild for the big retailers, who seem to have decided that everyone either already loves audiobooks or damn well ought to.
audiobooks are like want to be "driverless cars". no concern about honoring the publishers' format no matter how bad it is. no page turn considerations of buttons or no. no griping about page numbers or lack of. no fonts or font sizing griping. there is grumbling about a need of an adapter for the usb to headphone connection......

it is all plug & go! no need to pay attention.......
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:16 AM   #8
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I realize this is wishful thinking but I'd love to see ereaders not be sold by booksellers but by hardware companies, in the same way phones and tablets are now. That way we would have a lot more variety in our devices, larger, smaller, with buttons, without buttons, waterproof, not waterproof and we'd be able to pick the one that fit us best and then buy books from any store we choose.

Personally I'd pick an e-ink ereader the size of my phone. Someone else might want an ereader that's extra large. We'd all be able to get what we want and buy books for it on any store without converting.

Of course it's not going to happen in this universe so I guess I'm also wishing for an alternate universe. Maybe some of you have the physics background to help with that.

Barry
I pretty much agree with you on that, but the model is to tie a book store to a reading device or app while allowing side loading.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:21 AM   #9
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Audiobooks is biggest growth. NOT a replacement for ebooks and really nothing to do with them. They have existed since 1899 (records) and in Hungary or Austria (I think) from before 1914 as "streaming" (really like broadcast radio but on wires) over the phone as audio.

Drivers, cyclists, joggers, gym sessions etc fuels the demand for Audio books. Originally it was mostly blind or poor sight or illiterate users.

My only interest is making audio books because I only go out shopping or visiting nearby and I don't drive long distances, cycle, jog or gym. I prefer reading to audio books.

eBooks are not going to either dominate or go away.
We still have Radio (nearly 100 years of Public Broadcast), physical copies of recorded sound (over 120 years), TV (since 1936), retail physical copies of recorded video (nearly 50 years, earlier domestic versions of movie film was retailed to rich people).
Internet, Streaming etc hasn't and won't kill them.
Note almost every mainstream streaming video service except YouTube is running at a real loss to try and get customers from Disc, Satellite Pay TV and Cable Pay TV. It costs 1,000 times to a 100,000 less to run a Satellite TV channel than stream. YouTube makes a profit because much content is smaller, poorer quality and funding from stealing personal data and selling adverts (It's Google).
Amazon's Video is sofa change compare to their Data Hosting (AWS profits). Even Amazon's entire retail dwarfs their video which is dwarfed now by AWS.

Netflix, like Uber (loses money per ride, makes money from data captured) is based on fantasy economics and collecting personal data. Both hope to put up the price when the opposition is gone, except now Netflix has streaming competitors.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:41 AM   #10
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I'm still waiting for the buying and discovery process to show some sort of improvement. Right now, it's pretty much regressed from where it was a decade ago (when we at least had authoralert).
I'd much prefer to be able to freely choose my shop and be able to buy (almost) any ebook hassle-free (which includes DRM free, but is not limited to it) there.

Alas, to some degree they make the same mistakes as the music industry.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:05 PM   #11
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I realize this is wishful thinking but I'd love to see ereaders not be sold by booksellers but by hardware companies, in the same way phones and tablets are now. That way we would have a lot more variety in our devices, larger, smaller, with buttons, without buttons, waterproof, not waterproof and we'd be able to pick the one that fit us best and then buy books from any store we choose.
That ship sailed long ago. Agency pricing killed the indie ebook stores and selling devices at near cost killed the profitability in making an ereader not tied to a store.
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Old 01-04-2020, 01:21 PM   #12
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Yes, otherwise Sony would be still selling them, we'd see Samsung models and maybe models with Mirasol. Maybe Panasonic. Samsung even bought a Philips eink like spin off, then it was sold to Amazon and buried.
It's telling that Binatone isn't doing them.

It's sad too that Philips is gone. They only do lamps and health now, like 1926! Chips spun off as NXP and Patent Troll Qualcomm trying to buy that purely for IP. Audio badge is one Asian company, TV badge another.

Thomson, Siemens and Philips were once the final hope for a European alternative to Japan, then later Taiwan and China. Apple is really a fashion house, less than 1% on real R&D and almost all their tech is bought in.
Intel is really only Servers and high end Windows now. ARM licenced chips (now mostly Japanese owned) ship more in a week than Intel in a year.
AMD isn't American.
There are maybe three or four other big US chip companies, but a lot of R&D and fab is worldwide.

There is no-one left that can make money out of an ereader without a successful book store. Nook & Kobo may be already niche with Amazon having 90% of ebook market.
This is why it makes me MAD to see people releasing via KDP Select (exclusivity) and adverts of cheap and free, that are really Prime and Unlimited, not real retail ebook prices at all.
Amazon is SO big that KDP Select, Prime and Unlimited need to be illegal. But the USA doesn't really believe in regulation to protect the Consumer. See also FCC and FAA scandals.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:08 PM   #13
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I want page numbers to work on every ebook. Often location works but page numbers do not. I want time left in the chapter to work on every book, this already seems to be standard since I cant remember the last time it didnt work. I want dictionaries to cover Latin and all the other fancy languages authors use for quotes to make their characters and novels seem sophisticated. That's about it.

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Old 01-04-2020, 02:12 PM   #14
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I want page numbers to work on every ebook.
We may need to move this to the P&R section
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Old 01-04-2020, 03:12 PM   #15
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I want page numbers to work on every ebook.
For which format? Paperback? Hard bound? I've got several different copies of Jane Eyre and all have differing page counts.

I'd like percentages to be based only on the book itself, not front or back matter.

I've no complaints about finding new books to read. I follow a few authors, and pay some attention to the books they may review or new authors they may mention.
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