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Old 02-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
terrie
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Default Speaking of ebooks...

There was an interesting letter to the editor in current issue (March 2012) of Maximum PC about ebook conversion software by Calibre Ebook--it appears to be free--in response to a reader's question about which ebook format is used for Maximum PC's digital edition. The wikipedia article states "It also supports e-book syncing with a variety of popular e-book readers and will, within DRM restrictions, convert e-books between differing formats."

The letter writer says it's fast--"...changed over 7,000 books from one format (Kindle) to another (Nook) overnight and changed over 900 books from one (Nook) to another (Kindle) in less than three hours."

He said that more than 5 members of his family have ebook readers--apparently different readers--and that they are constantly trading/giving ebooks to each other. He notes that if one has legally paid for a book, this conversion is not illegal--although my guess is that Apple ibook conversion if the Calibre software were capable would be frowned upon by Apple...'-}}

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Old 02-06-2012, 07:47 AM   #2
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This is an interesting dilemma. On one had, a printed book can be freely shared by different people. But software, has been restricted ... you can't buy the Mac version and expect it to run on Linux and PC for the same user fee.

And even with a book, buying the English version does not entitle you to a French version, or even a large print version for Grandma.

No opinion here. I'm just interested in seeing how it all shakes out.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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donmcc: And even with a book, buying the English version does not entitle you to a French version, or even a large print version for Grandma.
True but...is that a valid analogy?

If I buy a printed book (in whatever language), I can pass it on to whomever I choose--whether they can read the book's language or not...'-}}--so if we compare like-language to like-language (and large print to large print) what do you think?

In terms of restricting software, that comes in (I think) in using the software to create something, not in the distribution of what was created so the standard sorts of restrictions on software don't seem to apply????

As Jim Eaves used to say WTFDIK...'-}}

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Old 02-06-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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>> On one had, a printed book can be freely shared by different people. But software, has been restricted ... you can't buy the Mac version and expect it to run on Linux and PC for the same user fee.

Unless there's a version of the reader for the other systems. I was pleased to find that I can read my Kindle book on Mac, PC, Blackberry and iPod. And Kindle too, imagine that.

And some of these eBook formats allow you to lend a book to a friend for xx days. Or something along those lines.

>> And even with a book, buying the English version does not entitle you to a French version, or even a large print version for Grandma.

Whereas with the eBook you can probably just show Granny how to change the type size. Not to say that the result will be typographically lovely, but at least it'll be legible.

   
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:27 AM   #5
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I have been using Calibre to manage my eBooks for about 18 months now. Yes it can convert DRM-free files from one format to another, eg epub to mobi, txt, rtf or pdf, and these can be distributed between our different devices and shared between many users. It cannot handle iBooks, not that I have any need for these. Calibre also includes a pretty good reader, but its book manager facility is really easy to use. There is also a range of plugins to include functionality, and I guess that DRM removal plugins are available somewhere, although there are several programs around already that "fix" DRM.

Mostly I use my Sony eReader, but also have Google book reader & Kindle apps on my Asus Eee Pad as well as my PCs. I need the Kindle app for reading the Daily Telegraph on pad or phone, and have a couple of Kindle books, because they were cheaper than paperback or epub versions at that time.

I just wish I could lend my daughter a protected book after I have read it. I can only do that with DRM free files. eBooks are really convenient, but so often cost more that a paperback, and last year I bought Terry Pratchetts latest novel in hardback for less that the epub or mobi versions. With the EU investigating eBook price fixing there may be a downward pricing trend, but there is not much sign of that yet.

   
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:00 PM   #6
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Amazon will convert Word files and (I think) ePub to Kindle-mobi for you, and sometimes do a better job than Calibre (which I've just started using). They email or wireless the file back to your Kindle. Free or a buck, depending on how you do it.

We're a two-Kindle family, but I too find myself buying library cutouts and remainders more often than e-versions. I'm struggling to get used to the feel of that heavy jacketed Librarian's sleeve, which for most of my life has meant, "You're either sloppy or a library thief - return NOW."

Authors' royalities must be going down the tubes. OTOH, this is a return to what I remember from my evenings in England 40 years ago - wool socks, a shilling for the fire and dirt-cheap 3/6 Penguin paperbacks. Brings a tear.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:47 AM   #7
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Authors' royalities must be going down the tubes.
On the other hand, ebook publishing allows authors to self-publish and control how much they earn. Many earn a lot more than they ever could have via the big publishing houses.

   
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by iamback View Post
On the other hand, ebook publishing allows authors to self-publish and control how much they earn. Many earn a lot more than they ever could have via the big publishing houses.
Yes - this is an excellent point. Unless they can find a way to adapt, the big publishing houses may be in far greater danger of losing revenue than the authors.

   
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:41 AM   #9
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I am waiting for the day when one can buy a book and get the ebook at a big discount - I love reading real books (usually before I go to sleep), but Pete is finding it hard to hold then far enough away to read in bed these days, and would prefer a reader. Buying two of the same is really expensive though!
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:37 AM   #10
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A better way would be the reverse. The publisher sells the E-book for the normal rate, and then offers the hard copy for 30%-40% off. This would be revenue neutral, since books are normally sold for 50% of list price to wholesalers, and 40% to retailers.

The additional 10% could go to a fulfillment house to actually get the thing to the consumer. The publisher would make the same bucks, and consumers would have the option of buying the cheaper e-book before having to fork over the bigger costs of the paper version.
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