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Old 10-24-2018, 10:20 PM   #1
stuartjmz
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One factor in my decision to switch from Kindle to Kobo was the less restrictive ecosystem. Yet today, I experienced the exact opposite.

I have been wanting to buy some Italian crime novels in Italian, in both ebook and audiobook, so that I can listen along as I read, to improve my grasp of Italian. Getting the first commissario Bordelli audiobook from Audible was not too difficult, but getting an ebook copy seemed impossible. After finding it on their Italy site, I contacted Kobo first and asked if there was any way to buy it from my NZ account. "no, sorry".

So then I tried the same at Amazon. The rep sent me a link to the Italian copy, and when I told him that clicking it brought up "this title is currently unavailable for purchase", he did some off-screen fiddling, and hey presto! Or rather "allora!" - I'm not a fan of Amazon, but this was customer service done right, and scored them a whopping $7.89US that Kobo missed out on.

Last edited by stuartjmz; 10-24-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:28 AM   #2
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This may be true for audiobooks, as I've never bought one from Kobo (or Amazon), but I suspect not. Kobo customer service won't tell you that if you delete your credit card information (store credit from a refund or gift card is OK), and change your country to whatever one you want to buy from, and change the postal code to match one from that country, you can buy books as though you are in that country. After you change the country information, you can add a credit card, preferably one that doesn't charge a foreign currency transaction fee. If you can buy a gift card, Kobo handles the foreign currency conversion automatically. The ebook will show up in your library, even if you change back to your actual location.

This is all because of geographic restrictions from author/publisher book contracts, foreign rights, etc. which are holdovers from the time where all books were paper, and it cost a lot to ship paper copies across the ocean.
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Old 10-25-2018, 12:41 AM   #3
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bgalbrecht - thanks for the tip. I had read about this elsewhere, and will probably try it next time. Still pleased that Amazo was prepared to bend its own rules to make a sale, however trifling
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
One factor in my decision to switch from Kindle to Kobo was the less restrictive ecosystem. Yet today, I experienced the exact opposite.

I have been wanting to buy some Italian crime novels in Italian, in both ebook and audiobook, so that I can listen along as I read, to improve my grasp of Italian. Getting the first commissario Bordelli audiobook from Audible was not too difficult, but getting an ebook copy seemed impossible. After finding it on their Italy site, I contacted Kobo first and asked if there was any way to buy it from my NZ account. "no, sorry".

So then I tried the same at Amazon. The rep sent me a link to the Italian copy, and when I told him that clicking it brought up "this title is currently unavailable for purchase", he did some off-screen fiddling, and hey presto! Or rather "allora!" - I'm not a fan of Amazon, but this was customer service done right, and scored them a whopping $7.89US that Kobo missed out on.
You're making that restriction yourself. The restriction is that with a Kindle, you can only add books from one source: Amazon [going to ignore Calibre and removing DRM for a bit, as the majority of people probably don't know about it]. With a Kobo, you can go to the kobo store for a book, but also other sources. As any store, except Amazon, sells epubs. My kindle books come from one source, my epubs come from at least 5.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:37 AM   #5
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You're making that restriction yourself. .
No, I am not. I am VERY well aware of the fact I can source books from elsewhere and read them on my Kobo. That fact was alluded to in the opening sentence of my post. But finding sources for the books I want outside the two major players is very difficult. I have been searching for early two weeks without success and quite frankly resent your hasty, ill-informed criticism. Especially as it's not relevant to the subject of the post, which was the different way the two major players handled my request. Both HAVE the book I want, only one would sell it to me directly.
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:21 AM   #6
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Especially as it's not relevant to the subject of the post, which was the different way the two major players handled my request. Both HAVE the book I want, only one would sell it to me directly.
Was the point that one decided to respect the contract they have with the publisher of the books and the other decided to break it? That is what happened.

I don't agree with the geographic restrictions as they are probably artificial. But, an employee arbitrarily breaking the contract is not good. If they checked and found an error that they fixed, then good, but I doubt this is the case.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by stuartjmz View Post
No, I am not. I am VERY well aware of the fact I can source books from elsewhere and read them on my Kobo. That fact was alluded to in the opening sentence of my post. But finding sources for the books I want outside the two major players is very difficult. I have been searching for early two weeks without success and quite frankly resent your hasty, ill-informed criticism. Especially as it's not relevant to the subject of the post, which was the different way the two major players handled my request. Both HAVE the book I want, only one would sell it to me directly.
As davidfor already mentioned, don't blame geographic restrictions on sellers. There are plenty of books I cannot buy, not from Amazon, not from Kobo, not from any other ebook seller, simply. And that's not because I want one format or the other (which is the basis of that restrictive ecosystem in the definition as used generally on this forum) but because I live in the EU where a lot of publishers think English isn't read and thus nobody needs to publish those books there (and no, I cannot buy books from Amazon.co.uk either, even though GB is still in the EU). But to blame Kobo for that is a bit low.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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bgalbrecht - thanks for the tip. I had read about this elsewhere, and will probably try it next time. Still pleased that Amazo was prepared to bend its own rules to make a sale, however trifling
And it isn't just Amazon's rules but rather antiquated publishing laws that serve the publishers and not the readers or the authors.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:19 AM   #9
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And it isn't just Amazon's rules but rather antiquated publishing laws that serve the publishers and not the readers or the authors.
This I know well. An internet friend in Delhi has written several books I've enjoyed, but when I lost my paperback copy of one them, the only way I could get an ebook was by her kindly sending me one - only Amazon India has the ebook available.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:59 PM   #10
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You're making that restriction yourself. The restriction is that with a Kindle, you can only add books from one source: Amazon [going to ignore Calibre and removing DRM for a bit, as the majority of people probably don't know about it]. With a Kobo, you can go to the kobo store for a book, but also other sources. As any store, except Amazon, sells epubs. My kindle books come from one source, my epubs come from at least 5.
>> The restriction is that with a Kindle, you can only add books from one source:

Huh?

You appear to be inventing here. From Only One Amazon Kindle Store but not what you actually wrote.
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Old 10-25-2018, 06:05 PM   #11
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Was the point that one decided to respect the contract they have with the publisher of the books and the other decided to break it? That is what happened.

I don't agree with the geographic restrictions as they are probably artificial. But, an employee arbitrarily breaking the contract is not good. If they checked and found an error that they fixed, then good, but I doubt this is the case.
Amazon's action may be legitimate here. A Italian language publisher may well have world-wide rights but neglected to tick the box to let expats buy it in the USA or UK. Because of the Latin American market this may not be the case for say Spanish publishers.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:19 AM   #12
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>> The restriction is that with a Kindle, you can only add books from one source:

Huh?

You appear to be inventing here. From Only One Amazon Kindle Store but not what you actually wrote.
Tell me, what other store but Amazon sells Kindle books? I know of no Dutch shops that sells kindle books, only epubs. And as a Dutch person, I'm only allowed to buy kindle books from amazon.com and amazon.nl (which is nothing but a storefront for the .com kindle store). Silly copyright laws force Amazon to block me from amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.whatever.
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Old 10-27-2018, 06:53 AM   #13
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Tell me, what other store but Amazon sells Kindle books? I know of no Dutch shops that sells kindle books, only epubs. And as a Dutch person, I'm only allowed to buy kindle books from amazon.com and amazon.nl (which is nothing but a storefront for the .com kindle store). Silly copyright laws force Amazon to block me from amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.whatever.
You can buy books in .mobi format from Smashwords and Baen, for example.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:12 AM   #14
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Tell me, what other store but Amazon sells Kindle books? I know of no Dutch shops that sells kindle books, only epubs. And as a Dutch person, I'm only allowed to buy kindle books from amazon.com and amazon.nl (which is nothing but a storefront for the .com kindle store). Silly copyright laws force Amazon to block me from amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.whatever.



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You can buy books in .mobi format from Smashwords and Baen, for example.
add to the list Mundania Press - they offer romance, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and paranormal.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:50 AM   #15
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Tell me, what other store but Amazon sells Kindle books? I know of no Dutch shops that sells kindle books, only epubs. And as a Dutch person, I'm only allowed to buy kindle books from amazon.com and amazon.nl (which is nothing but a storefront for the .com kindle store). Silly copyright laws force Amazon to block me from amazon.de, amazon.co.uk, amazon.whatever.





add to the list Mundania Press - they offer romance, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and paranormal.
Verso Books is also selling their entire ebook offerings in Kindle format.
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