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Author Topic: eBooks - what is the point?  (Read 1803 times)

Offline Hinfrance

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eBooks - what is the point?
« on: March 25, 2012, 08:37:10 PM »
Well, I have just about got through all the most recent 'dead tree' books from the last charity book sale. I'm thinking I might try a book on my kindle.

All the English language books I look at I can buy as a 'dead tree' book, but all of the kindle versions are "available to UK customers only". My French is OK, but I do like to read books in their original language where possible, so how come I cannot buy an English language version of an English language book from Amazon UK as an ebook?

The internet is just making life more difficult at times.

Frankly I'm speechless. As well as ebookless.

Looks like I'll be trying my luck at the next charity sale instead.



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Offline Jonathan

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 07:33:47 AM »
How bizarre.

Would it be something to do with VAT?  Last I heard there was a dispute between "Europe" (i.e. Germany and France) and "Luxembourg" (i.e. Amazon).

BTW http://www.gutenberg.org/ https://play.google.com/store/books/collection/topselling_free and http://openlibrary.org/
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Offline Colin

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 07:59:31 AM »
No its all about the geo restrictions that publishers are placing on their books. They think that people in France can't read English and so only want to buy books in French. There are a couple of ways to do this get a VPN like the free Expatshield and fool Amazon that you are in the UK. Alternatively go to Smashwords and buy your books there. For the Kindle you need your books in Mobi format. If you get a book in ePub or other non-mobi format it can be easily converted by the free Calibre programme. The last alternative is to go looking on some of the less than legal sites there are many "free" books there. ;)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 08:15:55 AM »
Jonathan - it is copyright that's the problem, just as it is with films and TV programmes. I shall stick with Gutenburg for now, there are still lots of classics to catch up on.

Colin - I do use various UK VPNS from time to time, including the paid for version of Expatshield (£24 a year, loads faster and no ads I thought was a reasonable deal. I can also use Hotspotshield on another PC with the same log in to get a US VPN, also useful at times). Because my Amazon account has a French address associated with using VPNs doesn't make any difference.

As for the less than legal sites, I did have a quick look and what I was after was there, instantly available. And the copyright holders wonder why people freeload when they won't even make an attempt to sell us stuff. Morons.

Have a gander at THIS

« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 08:28:23 AM by Hinfrance »
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline hevans

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 10:47:04 AM »
Hi,

My parents in the US sent me a kindle from Amazon.com. It's registered with Amazon in the US site, and so I'm only able to access the books available on the US site. However, it is possible to "transfer" the kindle registration, in the event that you move.

On the Amazon site, go to "Manage Your Kindle", and at the bottom of the left hand menu is "Country settings". You will have to enter a UK address to switch it. This is why the VPNs don't work with this system. I haven't done this myself, so it's possible that the credit card attached to the account must also be registered in the UK.

Amusingly, I've had my parents send me a kindle book as a gift (from Amazon.com) that I was unable to redeem due to copyright discrepancies with NL. However, Amazon was quite efficient at providing me with an equivalent value credit.

Of more amusement is the music industry: tried to legally buy some old albums from amazon.co.uk (or .com) as MP3s, but was told they weren't available in NL. So I tried a local dutch on-line shop...only provided the CDs at ~25€ each (the MP3s were selling on Amazon for 6€). Then tried iTunes, I could buy the MP3 album from them for 20€ each. In the end, I  had a look on the pirate bay and discovered they could be obtained for much less...and they wonder why people are drawn to piracy when they make it so obvious that they're trying to rip off the customer. I decided the phase would pass and the music wasn't worth having at those prices.

At some point, the copyright idiots (MPAA, RIAA, etc) are going to have to accept a global approach, stop trying so desperately to rip off their customers and grow up. If they want me to buy their content, make it easy and reasonable, otherwise I'll find more amusing customer friendly alternative content.

Another amusement with Amazon is to compare the prices of the print, vs ebook versions. Sometimes the ebook is cheaper, sometimes not. Odd, that. And with their dynamic pricing algorithm, it's worth checking over a period of time to see if the price comes down.

H.

Offline hevans

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 10:56:36 AM »
Oh, and an amusing attempt at paying for items downloaded:

H.

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 01:35:14 PM »
I think he's being a bit of  cheapskate; he should have sent a a scan of a €50 note at least.

My kindle is registered to .com, and so having gone there rather than the .co.uk site I can source the ebook versions, just as long as I am prepared to pay almost 5 times more than the price of a paperback. Given that for me an ebook is a pretty poor substitute for the real thing, and that the marginal cost of production and distribution is as close to zero as makes no difference, I've decided to pass. I'll buy some real books instead.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Alfonso_Frisk

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 05:46:59 PM »
On another site I visit someone was putting links up of their Kindle collection.
It contains some 4000+ books and are listed by author name and the mob files are within zip files.
If your looking for a particular book I could have a looksy for you and email it over perhaps.
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 06:31:52 AM »
That's very kind of you Alf thanks.

I think for the time being I'll stick to dead tree books - I much prefer them and they remain (unlike inferior ebooks) reasonably priced.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 07:31:23 AM »
The age of copyright is over.  It was killed largely by Google.

Publishers of any kind need to understand this and adapt their business model otherwise they will look increasingly silly as they go bankrupt.
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Offline Hinfrance

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 10:51:06 AM »
I'm not so sure it's over, but it certainly needs a lot of surgery.

You're absolutely right about the business models. Most of the music business has already adapted to making more from live performance and mechandising, and the film and TV guys are starting to realise that what they previously thought of as their product is actually now advertising for associated temporal products.

I haven't given the subject of books much thought, but realistic pricing and actually selling punters a transferable licence has got to be 1.01.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline spinner

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Re: eBooks - what is the point?
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2012, 11:17:26 AM »
Oddly enough, while I can sit here in front of my computer screen for hours reading articles and forum posts I can't get into reading books on my Kindle app. so it hasn't become an issue for me. I am frustrated by something similar though, HuffPo, allegedly the Canadian site, is continually posting video feed from the U.S. which of course, I am not allowed to view for these same stupid copyright rules. At least the major book store chain here has a policy of discounting hardcovers if they haven't sold off. They sell for around $6-7 Cdn vs. the ticket prices of $26-40 when new. I just came home with a handful and saved myself close to $100.

As for the RIAA etc., I keep asking (of no one in particular) why there's no Occupy Hollywood movement. That I might join.  :legit:
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