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Topic: Ebooks in Libraries

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Subject: Ebooks in Libraries
Date Posted: 3/1/2011 7:42 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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This discussion started in the Kindle/Nook thread. I want to add to it, but without distracting from the purpose of that thread. So, let's discuss the inanities of the book publishing industry here.

I received the notice below from CyberRead by email yesterday. Apparently said book industry practices have driven this small company out of business.

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 8:00 AM

Dear Genie,

Unfortunately due to all the unprecedented changes in the ebook
industry, we must shut down CyberRead.com.

We ask that you take action IMMEDIATELY after receving this email
to make sure all your books are downloaded/backed up.

Click [5]here for more information how to back up your purchases.

We would like to call out our development partner, Kay-Com.net,
who worked with us over the past few years to build a solid
storefront. If you are ever needing a new website or
software application built, we would recommend you reach out to
them.

Our team has high hopes for this business and have worked crazy
hours over the past years in an attempt to succeed an be custoemr
friendly. However, the publishing industry seems to be making
many of the same mistakes as the music industry and are allowing
big companies to dominate the industry.

In the end, the losses were pilling up and it was not possible to
sustain.

Regards,

The CyberRead Team

 

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 10:43 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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What exactly was the problem for them? The industry insisting on charging such high prices for ebooks? Just the general craziness publishers are exhibiting over the change in how people read? I hate to see any smaller business leave the market.

Ebook price is the biggest thing keeping me from buying an ereader. There is no way I would buy an ebook for a price that is more than a paperback. It's just not going to happen! Not when I will never really "own" the ebook and the DRM will keep me from putting it on whatever reader I want. Not owning it makes me feel like I am paying to borrow a book. Why bother? I'll just buy the cheap, used paperback. Then, I'll swap it and get another book. Maybe one day when the publishers aren't in panic mode over ebooks, it will make sense for me.

I totally understand that the convenience of an ereader makes it worthwhile for many and I want one REALLY!! bad; it just doesn't work for my needs yet. Maybe soon... *crossing fingers*

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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^^^^ This is me too

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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CyberRead didn't cite specific practices, so I presume it's making a reference to business practices as a whole. I imagine the ebooks are priced too high to sell. This is probably an over-simplification, but I doubt I'm too far from the truth.

There is no way I would buy an ebook for a price that is more than a paperback. It's just not going to happen!

I completely agree. The only time I would consider paying more for an ebook is if it were non-fiction for work or school purposes, particularly if I wanted to make notations.

I have yet to pay $9.99 for a fiction ebook. I just can't bring myself to do it. By the same token, I won't pay full price for a hardcover or trade paperback. I occasionally buy MMP at retail, but usually there's a 4-for-3 deal, so I'm still getting a deal.

Not when I will never really "own" the ebook and the DRM will keep me from putting it on whatever reader I want.

The license you buy is important to consider, which is why I prefer buying from Fictionwise (even if it did sell out to B&N and isn't as good a site as it once was because of it). FW does not follow AZN practices. Mostly, I favor AZN. I think it has phenominal customer service. But I think it is making a mistake by retaining control over my ebooks. I dislike the Big Brother feel.

When I buy at FW, I buy the right to download the book 3 times. Once I download it, I back it up. So even if FW goes away some day, my purchases remain available to me on my drive. If I later want to change the format (e.g, from EPUB to MOBI for the Kindle), I can do so as long as I haven't used up my 3 downloads.

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Valli expressed my opinion almost exactly.  Under the current e-book system, it feels a lot more like "renting" a book than buying it.  And the price is far too high justify as a rental. It's only in the last few months that I've begun to even want an e-reader, and that's because I'm beginning to see how many free or very cheap books there.  Specifically, classics.  But the hangup there is that for most of those classics, I want the actual book in my library, not just a rental.  But there are some OOP books that are cheaper by e-book than in the used marketplace.  Several of Sutcliff's for example.  If I had an e-reader, I would be content to sit back and look for better used prices or to wait for someone to reprint or re-publish.

I suspect I'll probably get an e-reader within the next year or so, barring a major negative change in finances.

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Valli expressed my opinion almost exactly.

+1

I received an iPad as a gift and was excited to use it as an e-reader, but I find I still prefer a physical book by and large--what I tend to do is download a freebie or two just to have something available to read if I find myself sans physical book....I think the prices are quite high. 

Date Posted: 3/1/2011 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I have a nook by default (DH decided he couldn't live without a Nook Color which became available a few weeks after he bought the nook). I really like. I have downloaded about 75 books in three months - about half are classics. I have yet to pay for an ebook. I have discovered a couple of newer authors I like, have read some classics I have been wanting to read for awhile, and I'm currently playing around with sideloading a compilation of the recipes I use most often. The more I play with it the more I think of new uses for it. Any type of information I want for reference I can save as a pdf and sideload onto the Nook.

My Nook will not replace books. It is incredibly convenient for traveling. We will be going on a couple of vacations this summer and my first purchased ebook may be a travel guide :-)

 

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 7:42 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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My Nook will not replace books.

Agreed with respect to entertainment. However, I think some day soon ereaders and online access will replace many (if not all) books in business settings and upper level schools (colleges, private prep).

TV never really replaced radio as predictions stated. Nor did movies replace TV. Nor the Internet, movies. So I have to agree with you re fiction and other forms of entertainment.

However, the writing has been on the walls of businesses for quite some time. And many businesses have already converted their libraries to electronic. Some have even (foolishly) closed their libraries because they associate libraries with print.

Interesting times ...

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 7:52 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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Ebook price is the biggest thing keeping me from buying an ereader. There is no way I would buy an ebook for a price that is more than a paperback. It's just not going to happen! Not when I will never really "own" the ebook and the DRM will keep me from putting it on whatever reader I want. Not owning it makes me feel like I am paying to borrow a book. Why bother? I'll just buy the cheap, used paperback. Then, I'll swap it and get another book. Maybe one day when the publishers aren't in panic mode over ebooks, it will make sense for me.

This was me too until DH got me a Kindle for Christmas.  I still seldom buy books for more than $5.00 (there are a few exceptions) and the majority of my books have been under $5 or free.  

As for owning the ebook, I feel I do own it.  I have access to it anytime I want it.  Instead of sitting on my shelf, it sits in my Kindle or on my computer.  So...I'm not sure why you would feel you don't own it?

 Crap, maybe you know something I don't know!surprise  

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I'm not sure why you would feel you don't own it?

Much as it pains me to say it, Valli's right. LOL! Usually, when you buy an ebook, you are buying a non-exclusive license to read/possess it. The license may preclude sharing the material or copying it. Furthermore, there may be other restrictions; e.g., number of times you can download it, whether or not you can print it. The publisher, or the author, owns the content.

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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 The license may preclude sharing the material or copying it. Furthermore, there may be other restrictions; e.g., number of times you can download it, whether or not you can print it. The publisher, or the author, owns the content. 

True...but it doesn't affect me personally.  Or it hasn't yet, I should say.   I would never print out an ebook; I would get the book if i wanted a hard copy.  I came to terms with not loaning ebooks when I first got my Kindle (and that restriction has been lightened up somewhat).  I've saved some books on my computer (the keepers) so I'll have them should Amazon go under or something.  As for downloading them, I can move a book between my Kindle and my PC or my laptop.  I've only purchased books from Amazon, and maybe my horizon is incredibly limited by this fact.  But I feel as though I will always have access to my ebooks (once I take the time to save the files to my computer)

Watch me come running back here to tell you all they've disappeared!laugh

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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LOL, Vicky! The licensing works for me too. I like ebooks. But, technically, we don't "own" them. We purchase the right to read them.

And for this reason, the potential for a very negative impact on public libraries is there. Americans think knowledge and education are basic rights. Book publishers got a different memo.

Stepping down from my soapbox now ...

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Vicky, you are right, too. You do own your ebooks...just with limits. Those limits don't affect you, so it doesn't bother you, and, to be honest, those same limits wouldn't really affect me either...just the fact that those limits exist bugs me, lol. I feel like if I buy something, I should be able to do as I choose with it as long as I'm not stealing in any way.  I see it as the publishers groping about in a panic much as the music industry did when mp3's and Ipods became popular and it just annoys me. I do believe that eventually this will all shake out in a way that I'll be cool with and I will have an ereader I can love. ;-)

I deal with limits on how many times I can download software that I buy, even though I really HATE that, so I will deal with the ereader stuff too. I'll probably grumble and grouch about it though. :-D

The ebook price is still the huge thing with me though. I think we readers are really screwing ourselves if we show the publishers that we are willing to pay 20 bucks for ebooks. I don't pay 20 bucks for brand new hardcovers! I know none of us is willing to pay that...who are the people willing to pay that much for an ebook novel? I'm really wondering that! I read so fast and so much, maybe an ereader isn't right for me while I can get cheap books from so many sources. But I really want one...lol.

Vicky, forgive me for being an ebook party pooper! :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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Vicky, forgive me for being an ebook party pooper! :-)

LOL...no, no, no!  You are not a party pooper; I already have my ereader.  (That train's done left the station!)  You are entitled to your opinions..of course!  You and the others just got me thinking about the ownership issue.  Hey...thinking is good for me!  cheeky

$20 for an ebook...pretty rare, thank goodness.  Ken Follett's new book is that high, and I want to go find and personally wring the neck of every single person who bought the Kindle version at that price.  That's CRAZY.  I tag all those high books (more than $9.99) with tags like "Outrageous Kindle price" or "No sale" or "Price gouging" or "Never at that price."  I tagged Follett's book with all four.  

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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This is an interesting article...I think it's for the UK, but the U.S. libraries use Overdrive, too, right?

Why you may have to visit a library to borrow an eBook

 

That is so much chatter about all of this on library blogs right now. I read that publishers also now want libraries to only lend their ebooks to patrons that actually live in their community. That would mean the big libraries that now allow you to purchase a card so that you can use their digital resources will no longer be able to offer this service.

 

Wanna boycott Harper Collins? Well, here ya go!

There's a lot of interesting articles at PW. Here's today's post.



Last Edited on: 3/2/11 8:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 3/2/2011 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I knew you already have your ereader; I just hate to sound argumentative or contrary! :-)

The tagging is a good idea...maybe you will make someone think twice before handing out that much money for an ebook.

Date Posted: 3/2/2011 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I tag all those high books (more than $9.99) with tags like "Outrageous Kindle price" or "No sale" or "Price gouging" or "Never at that price."  I tagged Follett's book with all four.   

A much better idea than all those folks who write those one star reviews on Amazon merely to complain about the Kindle pricing. I know they have a point, but that is just not the place for it IMO.

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,710
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Cathy, I agree.  Those one star reviews about Amazon service or the price drive me NUTS.  I want to read their thoughts on the book, please and thank you.  

Valli, interesting article.  Great Britain's libraries are just under siege lately!  We (in my library) don't want people downloading the available audio books; it uses up too much bandwidth, something ole West Virginia is sorely lacking.  We have to open the account in the library, then they can go home, or wherever, and download their audiobooks.  Ebooks shouldn't take as long, but we only have so many computers available to the public.  What a mess!  Wonder how long it will take for the publishing industry to realize they can't really control the world?  

Date Posted: 3/3/2011 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Vicky, I thought about that, too! If my little library had ebooks, making people come in to download them would cause an issue because we only have 2 computers for the public to use. Since I live in a very poor town, those computers are used a lot by people who really need them and don't have any other way to use the internet.

The publishers are going to have to come to terms with ebooks soon. They are alienating their customers and, even worse, the librarians!!

 

I really hope they don't succeed in their plan to force libraries to stop selling out of town memberships. That adds extra money to the library and allows those of us with small, poor libraries to use materials we wouldn't have access to without the membership. I think they have totally forgotten that people who use libraries also BUY books! It seems like they are regarding library users as nothing but leeches draining off their precious dollars!

I know there is one large library that lots of people buy a membership from to access their large ebook collection, but I can't remember the name of it! I really wanted to take a look at their ebooks...I'm still trying to decide if I want a kindle or a reader I can use to borrow library books. I really think borrowing library books would be best for me, but not if they enforce this rule. It will probably be another 20 years before my library gets its first ebook! I want the kindle because Amazon is good and cheap, plus I can share books with others who have a kindle. Oh, I just don't know which one I want, but I have plenty of time to figure it out. I so wish my library loaned out ereaders so I could play with one to see how I like it! Wouldn't that be great?!

Date Posted: 3/16/2011 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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The New York Times has picked up on this issue - Publisher Limits Shelf Life for Library E-Books. Let's see if it does any good.