e-readers and e-books

Discussion in 'General Books' started by S.J. Faerlind, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    So with all the new types of e-readers out there (Kindle, Sony, Kobo, Nook etc) , I'm finding there's a TON of misinformation about using them to get e-books. I just bought my husband a "Kobo Glo" e-reader and the guys in the electronics store INSISTED that I had to buy e-books from the Kobo store in order to upload them to the device. It wasn't possible to get them onto the device from any other retailer.
    T' isn't true I tell you!
    Adobe has their "Adobe Digital Editions" program that anyone can download free from the Adobe website and it makes getting .epub files onto any .epub format e-reader (that's most of the e-readers I know about EXCEPT for Kindle which will only read .mobi files) a snap. My husband actually finds it much easier to get books onto the device with the Digital Editions program rather than directly from the Kobo store!
    Does anybody else who uses e-readers have the same issue?
     
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    When I had my first e-book reader - an Aluratek Libre - I bought all my books from either Smashwords or Baen Ebooks, or downloaded from Project Gutenberg. They all required download onto computer first, but that was no problem. I also started using Calibre to manage my library. It catalogues and converts files, and has a pretty good reading application as well. Proofreading is easy in e-ink, much easier than onscreen, and I find it easier than in manuscript format, and I use Calibre to convert from .odt.

    The Libre's battery died and I replaced with a Kindle. The selection at Amazon is so good that I get perhaps 2/3 of my ebooks there now, and they download directly to my device. But I still load things onto it from my computer every week. One thing I've taken to is copy/pasting blogs, loading them onto the kindle and reading them in transit the next day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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    as a sales manager i can tell you that the salesman was just doing his job. when we sign up to sell an item (we do the kindle) we agree to sell it as a kindle package, the manufacturer will not give the contract to a company that advises customers to buy from anywhere but the manufacturers website, so don't be too hard on them. they can lose their jobs over telling you how to get books elsewhere
     
  4. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Well that doesn't surprise me I guess since they all want their share of the market. That's kind of ironic actually because if you dig through the Kobo website, buried under a ton of advertising and "red tape" you actually can find some instructions for downloading books from elsewhere onto your Kobo e-reader.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I thought the Kobo's main attraction was that it was not restricted to a specific brand of store? I'm sure its one of the selling points of the unit itself (although this might be a difference between UK and USA marketing policies). Personally my view is that shop staff in a good shop should never lie to the customer in order to sell something, maybe not mention a feature unless its asked for, but they should never outright lie to the customer (although I can accept that staff do make mistakes).



    As for ereaders have a look at Calibre - its a free ebook management software package for the computer which works fantastically well with managing and also uploading and interfacing with ereaders (I use mine for my kindle all the time when uploading things that are not amazon bought ebooks)
     
  6. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    There must be some differences in marketing practices then, because I checked out the Kobo in 3 different stores and not a single employee knew that you could load ebooks on it from anywhere but the Kobo store. Only one was willing to look it up for me on the internet.
    My hubby now has Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions and the Adobe is apparently easier to use so far though he hasn't played with Calibre much yet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  7. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    there are also free converters, which can convert any e-book format to any other... I usually convert my stuff to PDF
     
  8. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    SJ I assume the adobe software come with a cost? I know that many freeware options can be very powerful, but the nature of their assembly and design does tend to mean that a commercial product tends to have a superior interface.

    Also I wouldn't put it past the fact that the shop staff just didn't even know much of the item they were selling. Sadly these days many floor staff are only trained (and enthusiastic enough) to just about read and understand most of the blurb on the back of a product package. With many staff now short term or not feeling that they can move up within a company many are just not interested in "learning their trade".
     
  9. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Nope! Adobe Digital editions is a free download from adobe.com. :) With Calibre out there I assume they thought it was pointless to charge for it...?

    Sadly, I think you're right, though JIM's post probably has something to do with it too. You REALLY have to DIG through the Kobo website to find instructions for how to load any .epub file onto your Kobo e-reader. I'm quite sure they don't make it easy for a reason. :p
    What really floors me about the whole sales experience is that only ONE salesperson was even interested in finding out the information I sought for me in order to make a sale. If Kobo will put the info on downloading non-Kobo books on their own website, surely they can't fault a retailer for sharing the same information with a customer?
    I think if e-reader companies are trying to corner the market by making it difficult for people to load books from other retailers on their device, they are shooting themselves in the foot. If people can't buy the books they want from the "approved" store, they'll only get the book in another format (print for example) from somewhere else, buy an e-reader that's compatible with all file types, or use Calibre to convert the files to an acceptable format if they can. All putting these barriers in place does is make people angry over the inconvenience and it makes them unhappy with the product. :(
     
  10. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    SJ agreed, sadly the software world is fully of managers and those in power who are deathly afraid of the concept of giving choices and options and ownership/control over software to the users (ie customers). Sadly this means that regionally locked, device and format locked as well as other limits are all commonplace and often used by the "big" names.

    Hopefully as the electronics world gains in strength some of these limits will be reduced and removed without harming the companies and the authors :)
     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Hopefully...
    It seems like they're trying to divide up the book market into little tiny sections, with a title available only from one retailer or from a limited number of retailers who have agreements with each other. That only hurts everybody: readers, authors, publishers AND retailers. It just doesn't make any sense in my opinion. :p