Author Topic: Combined musings on ebooks and publishing  (Read 74758 times)

charmed

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2007, 10:16:08 pm »
A month after I posted it, this topic is suddenly on fire!!  ;D

I am enjoying reading everyone's thoughts. I too have shelves and boxes of book, but no pallets yet. :D While I prefer the comfort and familiarity of a paper book, a reader would sure help with the space problem.
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Mike Briggs

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2007, 10:16:22 pm »
Something else to consider is that there are a lot of conversion utilities to convert documents between various formats.  While I'm sure these really anger the various ebook sellers, they do provide a means to convert from proprietary formats to more open ones.  You can also convert from bulky formats (like PDF) to whatever works best on your reader. 

Here's a page that links quite a few of them:
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_conversion
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AnemicOak

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2008, 01:50:38 pm »
I went ahead & bought a Sony 505 in October & have read about 70 books on it so far.  I have to say I love it & it's getting to the point where I dislike having to buy a new dead tree book when there's no ebook version available (thankfully Patty's books are available).  My paper library has gotten to the point (about 2,000 books) that I'm simply out of room.  My Reader has 160 titles on it & take up no more space than if I had 1 book on it.

Ideally every publisher would handle ebooks the way Baen does (some free titles, no DRM), but because many Publishers, Agents & Authors are afraid of piracy I think we'll see DRM for some time to come unfortunately (although the music industry is getting away from it).


I generally refuse to buy DRM books (unless I can crack & convert them for my own use).  I buy all my books as MS Reader books because I can easily convert them to work on my Sony (very easy to do) & at the same time can easily shift to another format like Mobipocket or HTML if I decide to change devices sometime in the future.  If publishers want me to buy a DRM book (one I can't crack & convert) they need to lower the price to a buck or two because it's basically like renting the book, not owning it.


For anyone interested in ebook devices (Sony, Cybook, Amazon, etc) http://www.mobileread.com is a great place to learn & get questions answered.


~Brian

jackie

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2008, 03:41:29 pm »
Thanks! exactly what I was looking for. ;D

Sylvia_Hui

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2008, 01:11:50 am »
The only major hesitations i have at this point is

A.) I was waiting for a decent reader to come out that didn't look like i was trying to haul around a lap top sized device that had only one purpose.

B.) The sticker price of many published E-books can be higher then the trade/paperback price.

C.) Proprietary format and software. ANNOYING.


Things i do like about ebooks.

1. Nature friendly
2. Convenient availability, love book shopping at 3 am.
3. the ability to have many books without eating all the weight out of our allowance when the military makes us move again.
4. My son cant rip them to shreds if i forget to close up the reading room.


I think i will always go back and buy my favorites in print tho. I am really excited about the Mercy Hardcovers. They will look so great sitting on my book shelf.



Readsalot

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Talking about eBook readers..
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2008, 10:52:07 am »
Hi everyone. I just wanted to put in my 2 cents on the subject of eBook readers since Mike was talking about them in his 1/12 news report. I travel A LOT for my job and love to read, so I have mucho books in ebook format. I also continue to buy hard copies too, because I do like to feel that paper copy in my hands, lol.

But, I found that I couldn't get every book I wanted in just one format, so I bought a PDA instead of a deadicated reader (such as Sony, Franklin, etc.). I now have books in MS document, HTML, PDB, PDF, LIT and PRC and probable a couple other formats. I can read my books on either my PDA or my PC's (desktop or laptop). Baen.com, Fictionwise.com and eReader.com get a lot of business from me and I have learned to love the convenience of ebooks.

I would recommend buying a PDA vs a ebook reader deadicated to only one format. Besides with a PDA you get a lot of other functions thrown in.

Any one else out there using ebooks?

Readsalot  :D
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Mike Briggs

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2008, 11:29:45 pm »
PDA's have several advantages.  For about the same price as a dedicated reader, you get a device with considerably more processing power (which is important for those huge PDF documents), support for many formats (and the ability to easily install additional software), considerable storage capacity,  and a host of other useful functions.   All good points, and great reasons to go with a PDA.

However, the dedicated readers have a few advantages as well.  They generally have a screen that is two or three times larger than a PDA, and more closely mimics paper.  While the screen lacks color, it is usually higher resolution than a PDA. They have a reduced set of controls, so you're not always popping up a spreadsheet or a calendar while trying to turn the page. They have a much longer battery life while reading (as a result of having a tiny processor, limited memory and a different display).

In the end, I guess it comes down to what you value in a reading experience and how willing you are to add another expensive trinket to your arsenal of consumer electronics  ;D.  I was really impressed with the ergonomics and "feel" of the little Sony reader -- it feels very "book-like", and I am very impressed by the screen.  For me, a PDA is too small, and strains my eyes after reading for a while, but that may be because I'm 44 and my eyes aren't quite what they  used to be  :(    The readers are ONLY good for reading lightly-formatted text, while the PDA can perform many tasks adequately. 
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jackie

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2008, 08:15:54 am »
I dream of a smart phone/pda withiout an MS OS on it (you know - reliable)  I have worked in IT for a while and have spent quite a bit of time with a variety of electronic leashes.  I want one object that will do most things consistently and not require me to get a new gadget to stuff in my already over burdened backpack.  Call it a cell phone though, because anything else they won't let you bring into court.  It doesn't matter that the cellphone can do all the bad things the other electronics can do, the cell is ok and nothing else is.

Readsalot

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Re: Reinventig the Book:The Future of reading
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2008, 11:58:59 am »
For me, a PDA is too small, and strains my eyes after reading for a while, but that may be because I'm 44 and my eyes aren't quite what they  used to be  :(    The readers are ONLY good for reading lightly-formatted text, while the PDA can perform many tasks adequately. 

Your right about the size of PDA screens. I don't notice it anymore now that I gotten used to it. If one of those dedicated readers were a little more flexible about the file formats you could read on them I would go for the bigger screen too. Maybe I should check out one of those 1lb computers, lol. Now that would cost some big bucks for sure.
Readsalot

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charmed

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Kindle affects sales, makes publishers uneasy
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2008, 07:29:32 pm »
A while back I posted, in Chat I think, a link to an article on Kindle, Amazon's e-reader. Now,the NY Times has an article about the Kindle and it's effect on publishing. Read it here.
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munkee

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eBook Readers
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2008, 03:16:43 pm »
I read on the site that you've purchased a Kindle (or perhaps I'm hoping you have) and I'm curious as to what you personally think of it. I've read the reviews, wafted the webpage under the hubby's nose and done all the hints to santa I can, but he's hesitant. A lot of people are saying wait for V 2.0 to come out before spending the money. What's your expereince with them?

AND if I'm totally off base, feel free to screen slap me and blow me off as weird then throw me back to the peanut gallery and let loose the mods. (it's a fun visual, no?)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 07:52:51 pm by Elle »

Mike Briggs

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Re: eBook Readers
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2008, 03:50:44 pm »
Munkee:
Patty's still recuperating from her surgery, and is sleeping a lot.   She actually bought the Sony reader rather than the Kindle.  We've never even seen the Kindle, so I can't give you any firsthand information.  The Sony reader is a little smaller, a little sleeker, and uses the same digital ink display.  The display is great, and the reader works very nicely.

The biggest problem, at this time, with e-readers is that there are too many formats to support, and the DRM makes any investment in digital books a bit risky.  If you don't mind possibly facing DMCA violations (sorry, separate rant) you can always look at breaking the copy protection on your e-books and transcoding them to something like html that's fairly universal and not burdened with all the proprietary controls and limits of the formats being shoved at you by the sellers.   Naturally, I would never do something that smacks of illegality, regardless of how stupid the laws may be.  :o

Bottom line, the Kindle and the Sony Reader share some very good display technology, and are designed to "scratch the same itch".   Lots of reviewers have completely missed the point by trying to compare e-readers with laptops and PDA's.  It's apples and orangutans.  These are dedicated readers.  The processors are very small, to promote long battery life.  The digital ink is frankly, amazing.  Not quite as high-contrast as ink on paper, but very good.  Visible under nearly all lighting conditions (including full sun) and from nearly any angle.  Battery life is excellent -- a quick charge and you're good for a full day (or two or three) or reading. You can also haul hundreds of books around in one pocket, which is great for travelers.

These are the first two devices I've seen that represent a viable alternative to paper and ink books.  I'm sure there will be improvements in coming years, but I never thought I'd see anything that could replace a paperback.  The Sony has changed my mind, and the Kindle should be very similar.

The downsides are cost (you don't want to forget one of these at the beach), a slight loss of contrast, inability to display color, and a slight delay when flipping pages.  I liked the ergonomics of the Sony unit better.  It's software is functional, but nothing to write home about.  The Sony store (which is the easiest place to buy compatible books unless you're a lawless pirate), is likewise functional.  I'd give the software a "B" and the Sony store a "C".  I'm hoping they update the software one of these days.

The Kindle's built in wireless system would be really nice for travelers on the go, you can grab more books just about anywhere.  The Sony requires you to grab the books via your computer, then transfer them to the e-reader.    DearAuthor.com has a number of detailed reviews of both units.

Hope this helps.


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munkee

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Re: eBook Readers
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2008, 04:02:44 pm »
oh goodness please, don't wake her for this.

yes that did help quite a bit and I appriciate the info, I hadn't actually heard about the sony one, so I will give that some research time.

Mominator

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Re: eBook Readers
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2008, 04:13:58 pm »
My $.02, adjusted for inflation:

I got to play with the aforementioned Sony Reader at Miscon, and I was super impressed!  I really liked how it looked on the page (Mike's right, the e-paper is amazing), the total lack of glare issues made me squeal like a little girl, and I decided that I wanted one like NOW! 

The cons: I have a lot of books.  Replacing them with a reader file would be cost-prohibitive, but I could just start with new books, I suppose.  Also, what if the Reader breaks?  No books makes Momi somewhat cranky.  I am not sure what their repair/replacement policy is, so I would probably wait for people like Mike and Patty to pave the way as early adopters of the new tech.

You might also note that the Sony Reader is, like the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, slightly cheaper.  :)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 07:35:01 am by Mominator »

Cole

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Re: eBook Readers
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2008, 07:30:23 pm »
i took a look at the kindle and the sony reader and the kindle seemed much more user friendly to me i want one but in an article in newsweek the kindle 2.0 is to have a color screen and the kindle is more like the size and weight of a paperback book than the sony

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