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Old 12-31-2018, 08:57 PM   #1
andrew73249
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How can I buy the typeset/pdf version of an ebook?

I have a question about ebooks, but NOT about the epub, mobi, azw3/Kindle, "flowing text," and other mobile-friendly ebook formats that are widely available at any bookseller online. I'm interested in ebooks with the typography and page layout that correspond to the printed version of the book. These types of ebooks are almost always delivered as pdfs.

As far as I know, the only options for purchasing this type of ebook are:
  1. Through the website of the publisher, who in my experience rarely makes it available unless it is a technical or academic work of some kind.
  2. Through Google Play, where it is called the "original pages" version of the ebook, as distinct from the "flowing text" version of the book. In my experience, these "original pages" books frequently have issues, such as missing text or images.
Are there any purchasing options that you know of for typeset/pdf ebooks, other than at Google Play or by going directly to the publisher? Thanks very much for any help!
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew73249 View Post
I have a question about ebooks, but NOT about the epub, mobi, azw3/Kindle, "flowing text," and other mobile-friendly ebook formats that are widely available at any bookseller online. I'm interested in ebooks with the typography and page layout that correspond to the printed version of the book. These types of ebooks are almost always delivered as pdfs.
Every time I see this type of question, I have to ask which version of the printed book. Hardcover? Trade paperback, paperback? 1st, 2nd, whatever edition? Reprint level?
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:42 AM   #3
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Amazon sell such books and call them "Print Replica" editions. They tend to be confined to books with complex layouts that wouldn't "work" as reflowable ebooks. Here's one I bought:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Oxford-.../dp/B06WP74DPV

They are PDFs in a Kindle "wrapper", but it's trivial to extract the original PDF from them and use the PDF reader of your choice.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNSB View Post
Every time I see this type of question, I have to ask which version of the printed book. Hardcover? Trade paperback, paperback? 1st, 2nd, whatever edition? Reprint level?
Thanks for your reply, but I'm not talking about any particular printed book. It would certainly be nice if typeset/pdf ebooks were so widely available that I could actually decide whether I wanted the pdf that corresponds to the paperback vs. the hardcover version!

A little bit more background: I'm asking this question because I didn't even know about Google Play "original pages" until recently. It clearly is not widely advertised or of much interest to the vast majority of people who just want something to read on their Kindle. So I'm really just asking if anyone knows of ANY source to buy typeset ebooks, in the hopes that there is a source aside from the two I mentioned.

Last edited by andrew73249; 01-01-2019 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:55 PM   #5
andrew73249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Amazon sell such books and call them "Print Replica" editions. They tend to be confined to books with complex layouts that wouldn't "work" as reflowable ebooks. Here's one I bought:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Oxford-.../dp/B06WP74DPV

They are PDFs in a Kindle "wrapper", but it's trivial to extract the original PDF from them and use the PDF reader of your choice.
Thanks very much! I did not know about the availability of "print replica" versions on Amazon. Wish it was an option for all ebooks though. I guess there is just virtually no market demand for this. Too bad.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew73249 View Post
Thanks very much! I did not know about the availability of "print replica" versions on Amazon. Wish it was an option for all ebooks though. I guess there is just virtually no market demand for this. Too bad.
I'm not sure why I would want this? Just about the best thing about e-reader (to me, at least) is that I can change the font and layout so that it is comfortable for me to read.

If I were limited to reading paper books only, or e-books in a fixed layout, I wouldn't be able to read nearly as much. The last time I read a paper book, it took me almost 3 times longer to read it as it would take me to read an electronic book of the same size. I could only read it with my glasses on, and in a brightly lit room (or a flashlight in bed) Speaking of reading in bed, it was almost impossible because I had to wear my glasses. Since I lie on my side and read, that wasn't very comfortable, and (for me at least) reading lying on my back isn't comfortable either.

No...I'll keep my adjustable e-books, thank you

Shari
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:27 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why I would want this? Just about the best thing about e-reader (to me, at least) is that I can change the font and layout so that it is comfortable for me to read.

No...I'll keep my adjustable e-books, thank you

Shari
It's my understanding that print replica books are many times textbook type books, or those with equations and formulas that don't work well in a flowable text format.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deskisamess View Post
It's my understanding that print replica books are many times textbook type books, or those with equations and formulas that don't work well in a flowable text format.
From what I've seen published in epub3 fixed layout, illustrated children's book especially those with read-aloud, books that contain a large number of illustrations with captions and sheet music are also prime candidates for fixed layout. The catch is that if you have limited vision or a small screen device, they just don't work that well. Pretty much the same limitations as you can read PDF files on a small screen device but you need a masochistic streak to do on a regular basis.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:52 AM   #9
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Nearly all of the ebooks at Smashwords can be downloaded as PDFs.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew73249 View Post
Thanks very much! I did not know about the availability of "print replica" versions on Amazon. Wish it was an option for all ebooks though. I guess there is just virtually no market demand for this. Too bad.
Why would you want it for a typical novel? There's no point whatsoever. It only becomes beneficial for books with complex layouts.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:09 PM   #11
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Most of the PDFs I have purchased are technical books from O'Reilly Media. Complex layouts with many charts and tables, footnotes, etc. make the PDF versions easier to read than epub.

For most predominantly textual books epub is the better choice.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:56 PM   #12
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Most Google Play Books that support both ‘original pages’ and ‘flowing text’ view (see Features in the book listing) can be downloaded as ePub or PDF.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew73249 View Post
Thanks very much! I did not know about the availability of "print replica" versions on Amazon. Wish it was an option for all ebooks though. I guess there is just virtually no market demand for this. Too bad.
I had no idea such were available either. Of course reading pdf files on Kindle isn't easy either I've found.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:28 AM   #14
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I had no idea such were available either. Of course reading pdf files on Kindle isn't easy either I've found.
"Print Replica" books can't be read on an eInk Kindle, only on a reading app or a PC/Mac. Of course, if you extract the original PDF (as I do), you can then read it on whatever you wish.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:09 PM   #15
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Nearly all of the ebooks at Smashwords can be downloaded as PDFs.
I didn't know about Smashwords, or that there were so many indie ebooks that had fixed layout/pdfs available. Thanks!
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