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03-09-2018, 01:46 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

Originally Posted by Sage ->
I just wonder how you feel about them compared to those printed on paper. If a friend recommended a book to you, and it was only in digital format, would you still purchase it or not?
I pretty much only read using eReaders these days. Just don't see the point of lugging lots of physical books around wherever I go. My Kobo is small, powerful, holds 1000s of books, has a battery that lasts months, has a good backlight so I can read in bed without annoying the missus and is tactile and light. Wife loves eReaders too because it's easy on her hands which ache when she has to keep a real book held open for long periods.

Originally Posted by Sage ->
They are a lot cheaper to produce and the retail price is, therefore, a lot less.
I haven't generally found that to be true TBH. Often the eBook version is more expensive than a hard copy. A quick glance at Amazon shows the Harry Potter paperback books range from 5.25 to 6 whereas the Kindle versions are all 5.99.

Many books that I read many years ago in paperback, still cost a fortune if I select the Kindle version.

The eBook industry has therefore gone very predictably where people said it would some years ago. Once they got a strangle hold on the majority of the reading population they simply made the prices the same or more as the physical books. Captive audience and all that.

Not a great situation in my opinion.

I'm a believer in getting value for money so I'm not a person who is going to pay for something that isn't an actual tangible product except on rare occasion like going to the theatre.

So I'm not paying to hear tunes streamed down the internet which I can't then keep an actual copy of.

Equally I'm not paying subscriptions to things like Netflix or Amazon Prime to have a film streamed to me without being able to then keep a copy of it to replay at any time in the future ad infinitum.

With eBooks I DO get a real electronic copy of a book in a given format. Something that I then own and can keep ad infinitum and re-read time and time again for free.

The issue however is ensuring that I can remove and Digital Rights Management (DRM) from that format so there are no limitations and thankfully there exists a piece of software that does exactly that and which works side by side with CALIBRE, the great eBook library management application you can get for your PC.

So, with the critical DRM issue resolved, yes, I buy everything as an eBook and typically buy from Amazon in their own Kindle (AKZ) format. I then strip off the DRM and convert the books to ePUB format which means they can then be freely read on any device I own whether a KIndle or Kobo or other eReader or a PC eReader application.

If this situation ever changed, and if DRM were not able to be removed, then I would probably buy far less eBooks, or even stop buying them altogether.
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03-09-2018, 01:51 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

I was with you until I hit the end paragraphs Realist.

I convert some (including Word documents of my own stuff) into MOBI format with an online converter to make books.
Is that a good or a bad idea?
Is there a more future proof format?
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03-09-2018, 02:05 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

Hi Morty

This is really about books you buy from Amazon or other large eBook providers. They tend to put DRM around the content (the book) to ensure that you can't then give your copy of that book to someone else as that of course reduces their sales, yet, throughout history, that freedom has been something we never question.

If I have a paperback sitting on my shelf, why shouldn't I give or lend it to you to read ? It is after all MY BOOK isn't it?

With DRM, no, it's not your book. It's merely a copy of a book that the supplier (like Amazon) will only let YOU read on YOUR registered device(s). You could lend the entire device (eReader) to a friend but who really wants to do that?

So, let's be clear, the format of a book is a different issue to the DRM which is wrapped around the book.

Getting rid of the DRM is the important part as it means that YOU do actually then own a free and unlimited copy of that book, which is what we pay for.

The specific format you hold the book in, or to which you convert it, is variable and it's the format that allows the book to be useable on many different devices.

For example if you have 100 Kindle books you bought over the last 5 years and now no longer have an actual Kindle device and have instead bought a KOBO eReader, then you can't get those Kindle books onto it and read them. They are in a special Amazon proprietary format (AKZ) which other devices can't understand.

That's not an acceptable situation to me and to millions of other people. It means if Amazon go bust or if your eReader packs in your copies of books are useless. Simple encrypted junk.

To protect yourself you must therefore strip away the DRM wrapper that they put around the books you buy which "releases" them and once done, you can then convert your book into any format you like for use on any eReader or PC application you like. As a by-product of doing that you would also be able to give your eBook to a friend who could read it on their device without any problem but the primary aim would be to protect your own books and the substantial investment you made in buying them all.

The CALIBRE application which can be downloaded for free on t'internet will strip off the DRM from your books and make conversion easy and make managing all your books a doddle.
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03-09-2018, 02:10 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

Thanks Realist, that's worth knowing.

I have hundreds of MOBI format I've made from Word documents myself but do have some I purchased from the Amazon site so will get stripping. That's always been the downside to Amazon books .... they can take them off you.
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03-09-2018, 02:12 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

You can get free ebooks from gutenburg.com in most formats. I've got a few of the classics in this way.

Kindle eBooks are charged with VAT added while ordinary books are not. I prefer technical and scientific books in paper format and novels in Kindle format.
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03-09-2018, 02:19 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

Me too Judd .. reference books in hard copy .... and my trash second rate fan fiction on kindle.

I've never rummaged through the Gutenberg.
Yet.
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03-09-2018, 02:50 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

I have a couple of ebooks stored on my tablet in case I am desperate to pass some time.
Otherwise, I will reach for a hard copy every single time. Nothing is more comforting than a hardcover book on your nightstand. And no glare from a screen either when I get a bit sleepy.
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03-09-2018, 03:30 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

No, I like the real thing. The feel, the smell, the whole bag of mashings.

Ebooks don't have a feel. They are dead things. They are just about holding an unforgiving, hard, odourless 'thing' to move my eyes along. They make me feel detached and not into the story line.

I can understand their convenience but not for me.
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03-09-2018, 05:16 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

Interesting. Thanks for your honest responses.

First, you don't have to own a Kindle or any of those kinds of devices. You can download the Adobe Digital Edition for free and read it on your computer or whatever you use to respond to emails. Second, an ebook is a real book. The writer spends just as much time writing the story as with books that are printed on paper.

As for the cost in US dollars the most I ever charge for my ebooks is $4.99. If they were to be out in hard copy, they would be $24.99. If they were paperback they would be probably $10 - $17.

Traditional publishers are ripping people off. Some independent authors use Amazon's Create Space for their hard copies. I won't use Amazon. They want to own our rights to use our books however they want to use them. The company has dishonorable practices on many fronts. They don't even pay their workers enough to live on, but the owner has become mega wealthy. I will not participate in his corruption. I don't buy anything through Amazon. There are myriad other vendors. I publish through Smashwords. The books are distributed through about a dozen vendors.

Yes, I've had traditional publishers. But you know what they did to my true story? They changed it until it was no longer true. They butchered it. The message in the book was important to me. I wrote the book for ten years and honed my skills. My literary agent, a famous one, found the publisher, after I'd rewritten several times for her. She was once an editor for a major publishing house. The event the book was about victimized me. The publisher further victimized me by destroying my story. When I asked my agent why they had done that she said, "Everyone wants to get their hands in the pie."
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03-09-2018, 05:25 PM
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Re: Do you read ebooks?

I much prefer my Kindle to an old fashioned book.
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