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Ebooks. Some people love them, some people not so much. It seems that big publishers do not love ebooks and make it as difficult as possible to buy them. I read ebooks as there is not just the physical room in our house any more for paper books; we could open our own book warehouse!

I have a Sony Reader. At the time, it was one of the few dedicated ebook devices in the UK. The Iliad was a bit too expensive and we didn't have the option of a Kindle, still don't. When the new Dan Brown novel, The Lost Symbol came out as an ebook, I tried to buy it. First from fictionwise (didn't have my format), then from ebooks.com (wouldn't sell to me as I'm in the UK), then from bn.com (wouldn't sell to me as I'm in the UK). How's this for the ultimate irony: I can't even buy a copy of my own ebook from some sites as I'm in the UK.

I finally managed to get a copy from the waterstones website. Their ebook section leaves a lot to be desired! The search function is next to useless. I type in what I am lookng for, author, title, for example. Now remember, I am on their ebook section. But what happens with the search? They return paperback books and hardback books! I wasn't looking for them, I was looking for an ebook.

Now, getting back to Dan Brown. The only available format I could find on waterstones was Adobe Digital Editions, which apparently can be read on the Sony. I didn't have it. So before I could buy the book, I had to download that, install it and then go back to the website to get my book. Something which should have taken ten minutes took nearly an hour. I was not impressed with the publisher limiting the format and once I'd finally got the book, I felt cheated.

The price for the ebook was more than the hardback! How can they feel this is good value or even customer goodwill?

On fictionwise today, there were a few books coming soon from Sheri S. Tepper, one of my favourite authors. But again, they don't come in my format and I don't want to keep downloading different formats that clutter up my hard drive when I have a perfectly good portable reader. I don't want to read ebooks on my computer, I want them to be as portable as my paper books and with the Sony I have that. So, I am sorry Ms. Tepper and your publisher, I won't be buying any of your ebooks until they are in multiformats. So I guess that means never, eh?

And as for the geograhical restrictions now on some ebooks, that is just ridiculous. They do remember that it's the World Wide Web, don't they? Why should I be banned from buying an ebook because I am in a different area? And why should I have to pay more than the prices available on the US sites? I presume because the publishers want more money. I know as an author myself, it's not the author who gets the largest cut of the pie ;)

So, for all you big publishers, you have lost me as a customer for your ebooks and because of the restrictions you place on ebooks, I won't feel inclined to buy your paper ones either.

I'll support the smaller ebook publishers and authors who know how to treat their readers. You could learn a thing or two from them.

take care,


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Apparently, the reason why e-books are more expensive than actual print books is that you don't pay VAT on books in the UK, but you do on ebooks. I was considering buying an e-reader, but the price of the machine, plus the price of the books makes it not so attractive.
Oct. 2nd, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think they class them as software (or data) rather than books! But I don't make the rules :) I've been reading mainly fanfic on my reader and the multiformat books you can get from fictionwise around the $5 mark, that seems reasonable enough.
Oct. 7th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
I thought you might be interested that Amazon has released an international version of the Kindle which would give you access to all of their e-books including Dan Brown's.
Oct. 8th, 2009 07:10 am (UTC)
Yes, I saw that yesterday, LOL! They're a bit late for me now though, I already got a Sony ;)
Oct. 8th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
Just been on amazon, nope, it still doesn't allow you to order all of the ebooks if you're in the UK. I had a look at Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier and clicked on the Kindle edition, only to be told that is not available to buy for customers in the UK. So I don't think I'll be getting a Kindle anytime soon :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )