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Old 11-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
heksesang
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Transferring ebook libraries between stores

What is the current status on transferring ebooks between the different stores? If I buy my ebooks from Kobo, will I then be able to transfer these to my Nook library (including cloud syncing for Nook devices/apps) at a later point? I assume Amazon isn't compatible with anything else (beside stripping the DRM and converting the file with Calibre)? Or will I in all cases still only be able to transfer the files directly to the device and not have them added to the respective account?
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
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What is the current status on transferring ebooks between the different stores? If I buy my ebooks from Kobo, will I then be able to transfer these to my Nook library (including cloud syncing for Nook devices/apps) at a later point? I assume Amazon isn't compatible with anything else (beside stripping the DRM and converting the file with Calibre)? Or will I in all cases still only be able to transfer the files directly to the device and not have them added to the respective account?
Unless something really new happens, different stores' accounts are likely to remain independent. Even when stores have acquired each other in the past, the accounts don't generally merge (Mobipocket books aren't available in your Amazon account and the Fictionwise transfer to Barnes & Noble was seriously incomplete).
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #3
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It will happen as soon as the stores have a financial incentive to allow that. Hint: NEVER.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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It will happen as soon as the stores have a financial incentive to allow that. Hint: NEVER.
Not necessarily never. Assuming ebooks really become mainstream then the DRM abuses will generate pressure on governments to require bookstores to do something. Might be allowing users to transfer books from one store to another. My best guess however is the stores will cooperate in setting up a common 'library' for the user accounts. This would not be for users to obtain books, those would still (probably) be locked to the bookstore-but when you purchase a book the store would add it to your account at the library so all the books you purchase would be available no matter where you purchased them from. (I don't look for that soon but maybe someday, if ebooks become mainstream before the number of readers drops to a politically insignificant minority. That's probably a tossup.)
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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Not necessarily never. Assuming ebooks really become mainstream then the DRM abuses will generate pressure on governments to require bookstores to do something. Might be allowing users to transfer books from one store to another. My best guess however is the stores will cooperate in setting up a common 'library' for the user accounts. This would not be for users to obtain books, those would still (probably) be locked to the bookstore-but when you purchase a book the store would add it to your account at the library so all the books you purchase would be available no matter where you purchased them from. (I don't look for that soon but maybe someday, if ebooks become mainstream before the number of readers drops to a politically insignificant minority. That's probably a tossup.)
In other words, it might as well be never as some vaguely nebulous someday-ness.

Until something drastic changes, basically.

Could be workable, though, if more publishers had the same pull as Pottermore.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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Assuming ebooks really become mainstream then the DRM abuses will generate pressure on governments to require bookstores to do something.
When has the government done anything concerning DRM they weren't directed to do by private industry?

E-book DRM unification will likely come about the same way that VHS beat Beta. The marketplace will decide the preeminent format and other formats will fade away.

Unfortunately, if Amazon continues to dominate we may eventually be stuck with a proprietary format.

The best we can hope for is that ebook DRM is resolved the way MP3 DRM was resolved. Music is available in multiple formats from multiple vendors without DRM. Several e-book vendors, like O'reilly, have already taken this route.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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When has the government done anything concerning DRM they weren't directed to do by private industry?

E-book DRM unification will likely come about the same way that VHS beat Beta. The marketplace will decide the preeminent format and other formats will fade away.

Unfortunately, if Amazon continues to dominate we may eventually be stuck with a proprietary format.

The best we can hope for is that ebook DRM is resolved the way MP3 DRM was resolved. Music is available in multiple formats from multiple vendors without DRM. Several e-book vendors, like O'reilly, have already taken this route.
The difference is that O'reilly is a publisher, not simply a vendor. The same is true for Baen, another source of DRM free multi-format ebooks. It has always been up to the publisher, not the vendor, whether or not to use DRM. Some publishers sell DRM free books via all different vendors--Is there any vendor which forces DRM onto the books?

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Old 11-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #9
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I have never purchased an O'Reilly e-book from Amazon. Purchasing from O'Reilly provides DRM free epub, mobi, pdf, and sometimes daisy and azw3 formats. It appears that Amazon only offers the mobi or azw3 format. Does anyone know if the Amazon provided e-books include DRM?
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
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Does anyone know if the Amazon provided e-books include DRM?
For O'Reilly books? No, they aren't DRM'd. The only books with DRM are ones where the publisher wanted it.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #11
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When has the government done anything concerning DRM they weren't directed to do by private industry?

E-book DRM unification will likely come about the same way that VHS beat Beta. The marketplace will decide the preeminent format and other formats will fade away.

Unfortunately, if Amazon continues to dominate we may eventually be stuck with a proprietary format.

The best we can hope for is that ebook DRM is resolved the way MP3 DRM was resolved. Music is available in multiple formats from multiple vendors without DRM. Several e-book vendors, like O'reilly, have already taken this route.
Depends on which branch of which government you're talking about. In the US it sounds like you're thinking of Congress-but the courts are also a branch of government & they've struck down several DRM provisions pushed by industry. It's possible that they'd later require sellers to enable transferability. It might not be likely (I'd need to study the contracts you agree to when you buy a book, plus case law history regarding contract clauses in restraint of trade) but it's possible.

As for the best we can hope for, all I can say is that you're wrong. It might be the best we can expect but we can certainly hope for something better.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:18 PM   #12
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For O'Reilly books? No, they aren't DRM'd. The only books with DRM are ones where the publisher wanted it.
Sooner or later the publishers will realize that if they want to break Amazon's hold on marketing books they will have to drop DRM. At that point competition between book sellers will be on customer service and features. Which brings me to the other part of the OP's question.

Books you buy from Barnes and Noble, Kobo, eBooks.com, Bain, etc., will all read on your Kobo eReader (or your Nook for that matter) but not all the features will be available. The Kobo will sync bookmarks, etc., only for eBooks bought on Kobo's servers and the Nook will only sync eBooks bought on their servers.

There is already considerable differentiation between book sellers on features, with 2 major releases of Amazon's format and 3 releases of ePub. At that level we find incompatibility although Kobo will download a book in either Kobo's kePub format by syncing or as a plain vanilla ePub download to your computer. ePub bought at another vender's site renders fine on a nook, and the B&N books (etc.) that I've bought can be read on either device as well, as long as the eReader was authenticated by connecting it to Adobe's free Adobe Digital Editions [ADE] program.

I forgot to mention that Calibre converts plain ePubs to kePubs just fine but not all the features of eBooks bought from Kobo will work in eBooks bought from another vendor.

Last edited by 6charlong; 11-25-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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Sooner or later the publishers will realize that if they want to break Amazon's hold on marketing books they will have to drop DRM. At that point competition between book sellers will be on customer service and features. Which brings me to the other part of the OP's question.

Books you buy from Barnes and Noble, Kobo, eBooks.com, Bain, etc., will all read on your Kobo eReader (or your Nook for that matter) but not all the features will be available. The Kobo will sync bookmarks, etc., only for eBooks bought on Kobo's servers and the Nook will only sync eBooks bought on their servers.

There is already considerable differentiation between book sellers on features, with 2 major releases of Amazon's format and 3 releases of ePub. At that level we find incompatibility although Kobo will download a book in either Kobo's kePub format by syncing or as a plain vanilla ePub download to your computer. ePub bought at another vender's site renders fine on a nook, and the B&N books (etc.) that I've bought can be read on either device as well, as long as the eReader was authenticated by connecting it to Adobe's free Adobe Digital Editions [ADE] program.

I forgot to mention that Calibre converts plain ePubs to kePubs just fine but not all the features of eBooks bought from Kobo will work in eBooks bought from another vendor.
I think that all the publishers have to do to break Amazon's hold on marketing books is sell them cheaper through a different vendor. Or become their own vendor. They sell through Amazon because they are making money and it is the path of least resistance. The very minute they figure out a way to make as much or more money on their own they will abandon Amazon. Many go with Kobo etc. as well, but it is more of the same. Amazon does it slightly better and they sell other stuff as well so an Amazon account is multi use for those that value convenience.

Publishers will not abandon DRM until all of those pesky people (the vast majority?) who are unaware of are or don't care about DRM as they just want to read the book once or twice have disappeared from the face of the earth. Sooner will probably be later than we think.

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Old 11-25-2013, 05:58 PM   #14
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I think that all the publishers have to do to break Amazon's hold on marketing books is sell them cheaper through a different vendor.

Helen
That would be a start.
Or, as they say; "A necessary but not sufficient condition."

Also,note that some publishers do sell direct.
And they still go through Amazon.

There is more to Amazon's success selling books than just low prices and great customer service; they have spent over13 years experimenting and figuring out how to sell ebooks and building a support structure. The cost of entry into the business is low but any challengers had better be fast learners; Amazon isn't standing still.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:39 PM   #15
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That would be a start.
Or, as they say; "A necessary but not sufficient condition."

Also,note that some publishers do sell direct.
And they still go through Amazon.

There is more to Amazon's success selling books than just low prices and great customer service; they have spent over13 years experimenting and figuring out how to sell ebooks and building a support structure. The cost of entry into the business is low but any challengers had better be fast learners; Amazon isn't standing still.
Obviously I was not speaking clearly as it was my intent to say most of that and I thought that I had. Oh well.

My thoughts are:
Amazon does well in the ebook market because they make it easy for the customer, generally are competitively priced, and had built up a strong customer base in many related and unrelated areas already. The new and used paper book market for one, kitchen gadgets, medical items etc. They are pretty diverse and as much of what is listed is supplied by other people on demand they do not have to carry inventory on everything. I would venture to guess that most people who buy online regularly have at least looked at Amazon for a price comparison.

Still others can do the same. Wouldn't be easy but I doubt that Amazon was based on easy. Wal-Mart was perhaps and they had some pretty stiff competition in an almost identical marketplace that they were entering. I say they but it was just one guy who was bored who started Wal-Mart?

But you astound me. I had no idea that Amazon was even considering selling ebooks 13 years ago and building up a support structure. I had a few scanned PDF files at that time but no concept that ebooks were about to become mainstream. Probably because I was living in Inuvik with sporadic dialup way back when.

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