PDA

View Full Version : E Books: Fad or the Future?



SammyW
05-22-2010, 02:21 AM
Title pretty much says it all.

Between the rise of various E Readers and apps for computers/mobile devices and maybe the whole "going green" thing, will e books be how people read one day? And will there be a place for printed material?

blacbird
05-22-2010, 02:26 AM
Part of the future, sure. I don't see physical print books disappearing any time soon.

caw

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 02:29 AM
It's not a fad. Look at all the other things that have been replaced, or are being replaced, by better technology. Vinyl. CDs. VHS. DVDs.

eBook sales are increasing each year. More and more people are picking up eReaders or using their iPhones, iTouch, laptops, etc. to read with.

Personally, I love books. I love the feel of them. Love the smell of them. Love seeing bookshelves line with them. And you don't need batteries or electricity to read them. Just a cozy fire. I'd hate to see them leave, but if they do, I guess I'll just be hanging out at Used Book stores to get my fix.

Christine N.
05-22-2010, 02:38 AM
I have downloaded the Kindle software for PC to my Netbook. While I'm not a fan of ebook reading on my laptop (it's too big), and I love paper books, the Netbook is the perfect size to sit on my lap and read comfortably. My librarian aunt just got a Nook, and she loves it.

I'm running out of room for paper books, but will still buy them. I will also download books to my Netbook (especially when some of the ones I get are about $4 each).

artemis31386
05-22-2010, 04:30 AM
I think the ebooks are the wave of the future, mainly due to cost, convenience, and like everything else in the world, technology is taking over.

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 04:53 AM
... mainly due to cost....

From what I could tell, they're the same price, if not more, than most paperbacks.

Soccer Mom
05-22-2010, 04:54 AM
Future. The world electric isn't going away. I don't think print books will ever vanish. i intend to buy myself an ebook reader for my birthday this summer. I'll buy lots of books for it. If I fall in love with a book or want to collect a series, I'll follow up that purchase with a print copy.

Soccer Mom
05-22-2010, 04:55 AM
From what I could tell, they're the same price, if not more, than most paperbacks.

Pricing is the topic of much angst and debate at the moment. I think once it shakes out, they will cost the same or less. They should.

Wayne K
05-22-2010, 05:00 AM
I vote "part of the future"

I don't see ebooks outselling print books in my lifetime, but it very well might someday

jennontheisland
05-22-2010, 05:14 AM
This is a serious question?

Silver King
05-22-2010, 05:33 AM
I've been looking into buying an e-reader and will most likely make up my mind on a model in the next few weeks or so. It won't take the place of purchasing paper books entirely, I imagine. One thing I'll miss is donating books to the library or simply giving them to family and friends for their enjoyment.

SammyW
05-22-2010, 05:40 AM
This is a serious question?

Not so much "serious". I'm just rather curious about e-books, their impact on the writing world, and the possiblity they might fall out of favor.

CheshireCat
05-22-2010, 05:52 AM
Part of the future, sure. I don't see physical print books disappearing any time soon.

caw


What the bird said.

Personally, I don't see print books ever disappearing -- though the market is definitely shifting. The upcoming generations, accustomed almost from birth to getting their information and entertainment from electronic gadgets, are going to tell the tale.

Will they prefer to carry their books around the way they do their music, in iPads or iPad-type readers? Or will they value the feel of a real book in their hands -- and its easy disposability?

How many of you have finished a paperback on a train, plane, bus, or in a hotel room and simply left it there for someone else to enjoy?

Not gonna be doing that with your Kindle, iPad, or other device.

scarletpeaches
05-22-2010, 05:54 AM
How many of you have finished a paperback on a train, plane, bus, or in a hotel room and simply left it there for someone else to enjoy?

Not gonna be doing that with your Kindle, iPad, or other device.Never. If I enjoy a book, I keep it. If I don't...I keep it.

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 05:55 AM
How many of you have finished a paperback on a train, plane, bus, or in a hotel room and simply left it there for someone else to enjoy?


That would be never. I paid good money for it, why would I just throw it away?

scarletpeaches
05-22-2010, 05:57 AM
I hate it when Fuzzface says things I agree with.

Even when I buy books from charity shops, I rip off that "Read it and Return It!" sticker.

I don't care if it came cheap. I paid for it, I keep it.

I return books to libraries. Not shops.

Silver King
05-22-2010, 06:11 AM
That would be never. I paid good money for it, why would I just throw it away?
It's not throwing it away if it's left for others to read.

...I return books to libraries. Not shops.
I've purchased thousands of books over the years. What am I supposed to do, keep them all? I have a few hundred or so I've saved, but the rest are donated to the reading public one way or another.

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 06:17 AM
It's not throwing it away if it's left for others to read.


I remember reading a few years ago about people who leave books out in the wild for others to find, then I think they track them. I thought they were crack-pots.

jennontheisland
05-22-2010, 06:24 AM
I think I'm the only writer who doesn't keep books.

I have three shelves worth of books. 1.5 is text books, .5 is reference materials, and one is fiction that I keep on hand for reference to voice and story concepts.

Silver King
05-22-2010, 06:32 AM
I remember reading a few years ago about people who leave books out in the wild for others to find, then I think they track them. I thought they were crack-pots.
Yeah, I agree that sounds a little out there.

Another great place I've found to donate books is local schools, as well as jails that are always lacking in decent reading materials.

scarletpeaches
05-22-2010, 06:41 AM
I've purchased thousands of books over the years. What am I supposed to do, keep them all? I have a few hundred or so I've saved, but the rest are donated to the reading public one way or another.So have I. And I keep them all. I don't even lend books out these days. I don't want them back dog-eared, torn or stained. That's when I get them back at all.

cbenoi1
05-22-2010, 06:57 AM
> {...} the possiblity they might fall out of favor.

Thirty years ago, I was told punched cards would never go away.

Twenty years ago, I was told typewriters would never go away.

Ten years ago, I was told cathode ray tube monitors and TVs would never go away.

Five years ago, I was told floppy disks would never go away.

Today, on this board, I'm told printed novels will never go away.

Go figure.


> I'm just rather curious about e-books, their impact on the writing world

The e-book reader is by default a multimedia rendering machine. It can render music, animations, movie clips, text, and much more. This is something paper alone can't do well. Sure, there will be a tradition centered on text alone to tell stories. But I believe more and more authors will use other media to complement the writings. Check this: http://www.eliterature.org/about/

-cb

Rhoda Nightingale
05-22-2010, 07:03 AM
In regards to the OP: Wave of the future, sure. But digital stuff makes me nervous. If it's not concrete, something that I can touch and feel and hold onto, it's not "real" to me. What if something breaks or a file gets corrupted? That's not just one book getting lost or destroyed--it's everything you've downloaded. That would suck.

In regards to not keeping books: I'm with scarlet. If I paid money for it, it's mine forever. With few exceptions. I have been known to "swap" books with a coffee shop down the street--if I get a book that I think is awful or I know I'll never read again, I donate it to them, and come back with an armful of new ones--but that's it. It boggles my mind that people exist who leave books behind on purpose.

CheshireCat
05-22-2010, 07:08 AM
Never. If I enjoy a book, I keep it. If I don't...I keep it.


So do I. :) Bookshelves everywhere.

But I know lots of far more casual readers who do it.

scarletpeaches
05-22-2010, 07:10 AM
My dad suggested I 'get rid of' some books.

I swooned clean away. Perish the thought!

E. S. Lark
05-22-2010, 07:10 AM
Ebooks have been around for a very long time and while a lot of consumers are going that route, nothing can compare to a brand new book - just like a new box of crayons. They will always be a place for books - even if I need to go to a 'dealer' on the streets for my fix . . . I will.

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 07:10 AM
Thirty years ago, I was told punched cards would never go away.

Twenty years ago, I was told typewriters would never go away.

Ten years ago, I was told cathode ray tube monitors and TVs would never go away.

Five years ago, I was told floppy disks would never go away.

Today, on this board, I'm told printed novels will never go away.

Go figure.



Really? Because I was hearing computers would take over the world back in the 60s. In fact, because of Star Trek, I assumed all data would be held on little colorful squares, books included.

kurzon
05-22-2010, 07:13 AM
Ebooks are an option. Just like you have an option of hard cover or paperback. The option will increase in popularity, but it's unlikely to completely wipe out other options.

vnNichols
05-22-2010, 07:15 AM
I think I'm the only writer who doesn't keep books.

Nah. I have to really love a book to keep it forever. But, I'm huge on getting rid of clutter, too. If it doesn't have a use, it bugs me and has to go.

SammyW
05-22-2010, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Rhonda Nightengale:
In regards to the OP: Wave of the future, sure. But digital stuff makes me nervous. If it's not concrete, something that I can touch and feel and hold onto, it's not "real" to me. What if something breaks or a file gets corrupted? That's not just one book getting lost or destroyed--it's everything you've downloaded. That would suck.

In regards to not keeping books: I'm with scarlet. If I paid money for it, it's mine forever. With few exceptions. I have been known to "swap" books with a coffee shop down the street--if I get a book that I think is awful or I know I'll never read again, I donate it to them, and come back with an armful of new ones--but that's it. It boggles my mind that people exist who leave books behind on purpose.


^ Oh, I'm certain there'll be a place for books in the world, or at least I hope so.

And that about something bad happening to the device is something that greatly intrigues me. The Apple, Microsoft and other software people like to act like what's new is what's best, but there are always flaws and problems.

jennontheisland
05-22-2010, 07:18 AM
Nah. I have to really love a book to keep it forever. But, I'm huge on getting rid of clutter, too. If it doesn't have a use, it bugs me and has to go.
Yes! Exactly! I've read it, why do I need it taking up space and collecting dust?

I think that's what I like about ebooks. There's no lugging them off to the used book store or library. I can just delete them when I'm done.

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 07:19 AM
That brings up an interesting question. Books are on the shelf, always available, safe, unless there's a fire. What about these devices. What happens if it dies? Do you lose all your books and have to start over again?
N If it doesn't have a use, it bugs me and has to go.

I can't imagine a book never having a use.

CheshireCat
05-22-2010, 07:20 AM
> {...} the possiblity they might fall out of favor.

Thirty years ago, I was told punched cards would never go away.

Twenty years ago, I was told typewriters would never go away.

Ten years ago, I was told cathode ray tube monitors and TVs would never go away.

Five years ago, I was told floppy disks would never go away.

Today, on this board, I'm told printed novels will never go away.

Go figure.


> I'm just rather curious about e-books, their impact on the writing world

The e-book reader is by default a multimedia rendering machine. It can render music, animations, movie clips, text, and much more. This is something paper alone can't do well. Sure, there will be a tradition centered on text alone to tell stories. But I believe more and more authors will use other media to complement the writings. Check this: http://www.eliterature.org/about/

-cb

Thing is, you're equating devices of technology improved upon as technology advanced to the package holding stories, a package that has changed little in hundreds of years despite the inexorable march of technology.

Sure, e-readers give us another format with which to read those stories, but nothing in technology is going to make the book completely obsolete. It requires no power source, it's relatively cheap to mass-produce, it can be dropped, carried out onto a beach or into a bathtub without worry, and if a power grid crashes or technology crumbles (as some predit is an inevitable event), it can still be used quite effectively.

No, I don't think books are going to go away. Though their numbers may well diminish, and being a "print" author may one day be a true signal of popularity as people are willing to pay more than $1.99 or whatever to own a hard copy of your work.

Rhoda Nightingale
05-22-2010, 07:21 AM
@jennontheisland: So you don't reread? Like, at all? *mind boggling some more* To me, if a book is worth reading once, it's worth reading over and over and over. THAT is why I keep them.

jennontheisland
05-22-2010, 07:28 AM
Only by accident when I buy, or take out of the library, a book I've already read. Which I've done more than once since I rarely remember the names of authors or titles of books.

And why would I reread when I can read something else? There are so many other books out there.

Rhoda Nightingale
05-22-2010, 07:32 AM
Well I certainly understand why you'd think keeping books is a waste of time and space. But dude. I cannot. Relate. At. All.

Silver King
05-22-2010, 07:44 AM
I just calculated, for fun, how many books I've read in the past forty years. It's a fairly accurate number, give or take a few hundred or so: The most conservative number I came up with is about 5000 titles.

I'm pretty sure all of those volumes, had I saved them, would seem aesthetically pleasing lined up on book shelves all over the place in my home. But what matters most, to me anyway, are those I gave away and never expect to see again so that others may enjoy those works.

christwriter
05-22-2010, 07:55 AM
I think e-books will stick around, as long as sellers price them similar/lower than paperbacks. Higher then, there really isn't a point to buying one if I can go down to Barnes and Noble and buy a cheaper copy. If it's a choice between hardcover/ebook, my wallet says e-book.

Not that I have a Kindle. Or a Nook (I really want a nook)

vnNichols
05-22-2010, 08:25 AM
That brings up an interesting question. Books are on the shelf, always available, safe, unless there's a fire. What about these devices. What happens if it dies? Do you lose all your books and have to start over again?

I can't imagine a book never having a use.

I only have so many wobbly tables.

vnNichols
05-22-2010, 08:28 AM
Do the e-books work the way that audiobook downloads do? I had an account with audible, and it kept my "library" online, so I could download them again if I needed to.

cbenoi1
05-22-2010, 08:44 AM
> Thing is, you're equating devices of technology improved
> upon as technology advanced to the package holding stories, {...}

The paper book is only a vehicle for the story printed on it. That was the best medium available until recently.

> {...} a package that has changed little in hundreds of years despite
> the inexorable march of technology

Some incumbent technologies take longer to be displaced, that's all. It doesn't mean that when something has been around for a long time, then it will continue to stay around forever.

> nothing in technology is going to make the book completely obsolete.

Sure, books will still be made, assuming there will still be paper mills around. But that won't be the medium of choice.

> Really? Because I was hearing computers would take over
> the world back in the 60s.

So those pundit bozos were completely wrong? There never was a computer revolution?

-cb

Stormhawk
05-22-2010, 01:52 PM
Most places that you buy e-books from keep them there in your account, so that they can be downloaded multiple times - so you can easily swap out what content you have on your e-readers, you aren't going to be stuck with it cluttered up with your entire collection if you don't want.

brainstorm77
05-22-2010, 02:08 PM
Definitely not a fad. I love print but I will get a e reader within the year.

Christine N.
05-22-2010, 03:25 PM
That brings up an interesting question. Books are on the shelf, always available, safe, unless there's a fire. What about these devices. What happens if it dies? Do you lose all your books and have to start over again?

I can't imagine a book never having a use.

Depends on where you get it from. I think most e-book vendors have in place a system where all the books you've bought from them are saved in an account. I know Amazon does. So if I accidentally delete one from my netbook, or it gets stolen or damaged, I can go on line and redownload them to a new device.

You can also save them to a memory card or thumb drive, I think. There's a device limit, I think.

And here's something else to think about - you don't actually 'own' ebooks. You buy a license to read them.

But there are books I will definitely buy in print - favorite series, favorite authors. I'm liking ebooks more and more, though. Especially since I'm a saver.

Kitty27
05-22-2010, 03:56 PM
I see them as part of the future. Many enjoy and prefer them.

I also hope that trees keep getting killed to feed my appetite for physical books.


I love the heft of a book and the sound of the pages as you turn them. I like to look at my collection,especially the hardcovers. They are so pretty! The quiet pleasure of a hot cup of coffee with a splash of Bailey's and a good book in my hands. It's an intimate activity that is also a perfect stress reliever. I absolutely adore physical books.

I have no desire to read a book on a computer. Doing so loses something vital for me.

Shadow_Ferret
05-22-2010, 07:01 PM
So those pundit bozos were completely wrong? There never was a computer revolution?

-cb

I never said they were wrong. I was saying they were right and that I've never heard anyone express the comments you quoted. The world has always been moving toward computerization and miniaturization and anyone who believed the things you quoted were fools and were left behind in a cloud of electronic dust.



And here's something else to think about - you don't actually 'own' ebooks. You buy a license to read them.


This. And personally, I think if I already own the book in paper, I should be able to get the eBook for free. :D

Sarashay
05-22-2010, 07:06 PM
E-books won't obliterate paper books any more than the light bulb obliterated the candle. Candles are no longer our primary source of illumination, that's true. But we still keep 'em around because we find them aesthetically pleasing and they come in handy when there's a power outage. I suspect paper books may fill a similar niche--they will become a kind of luxury item with emphasis on sensuality over utility.

Medievalist
05-22-2010, 07:40 PM
Never. If I enjoy a book, I keep it. If I don't...I keep it.

Wait until you have to pack and move 7,000 books thousands of miles.

It changes your perspective, and your bank account.

scarletpeaches
05-22-2010, 07:42 PM
Wait until you have to pack and move 7,000 books thousands of miles.

It changes your perspective, and your bank account.I still would.

The most I've ever had to do is surrender my bedroom to my book collection and take the smaller room for my bed, but if I couldn't afford to move all my possessions - books being first on the list - I'd stay put.

I prefer books to people, which is why my books have the larger of the two bedrooms and I never have anyone to stay over.

artemis31386
05-22-2010, 10:00 PM
From what I could tell, they're the same price, if not more, than most paperbacks.

When I refer to cost, I am referring to the cost for the publisher. There are no warehouse costs, you don't have to mass produce a tangible item. Yeah, the ebook is tangible, but it doesn't have to be stored somewhere. It can be kept on the web.

Medievalist
05-22-2010, 10:19 PM
When I refer to cost, I am referring to the cost for the publisher. There are no warehouse costs, you don't have to mass produce a tangible item. Yeah, the ebook is tangible, but it doesn't have to be stored somewhere. It can be kept on the web.

That's a cost. A fairly substantial one, including hardware, software, bandwidth, tech support, and anti-virus.

I note as well that right up the point where a file goes to a printer, the costs for an ebook are identical to those of a printed book.

I also note that printing and warehousing are not major costs; acquisition, editing, design and marketing are the major costs.

Medievalist
05-22-2010, 10:22 PM
And here's something else to think about - you don't actually 'own' ebooks. You buy a license to read them.

That depends on the publisher and the production /file format.

There's an interesting thing happening now with book contracts and ebook versions; I'm seeing them treated as alternate book formats in some contracts (much like a mass market, trade, or hardcover) and as a piece of software, in others.

cbenoi1
05-22-2010, 10:51 PM
> That's a cost. A fairly substantial one, including hardware, software,
> bandwidth, tech support, and anti-virus.

There are huge fixed costs in this type of business, but contribution margins are much better.

> I also note that printing and warehousing are not major costs;
> acquisition, editing, design and marketing are the major costs.

For publishers. But not for the retailers for whom inventory and shelf space mean everything.

-cb

CheshireCat
05-23-2010, 01:21 AM
The paper book is only a vehicle for the story printed on it. That was the best medium available until recently.

It's still the best medium in terms of reliability and ease of use.


> {...} a package that has changed little in hundreds of years despite
> the inexorable march of technology

Some incumbent technologies take longer to be displaced, that's all. It doesn't mean that when something has been around for a long time, then it will continue to stay around forever.

We've come a long way since that first printing press; everything printed today is printed from machines boasting vastly improved technology. But, so far, nothing has improved upon the concept of a bound book -- and that includes ebooks.

Ebooks are easier to store, sure -- assuming the device you use is sound and you have a reliable power source. Ebooks make it possible to carry a hundred books or a thousand without pulling a U-Haul or buying a pack mule.

Ebooks have their uses. No argument.

So do print books. And as long as there are readers who love books, readers who prefer to hold books in their hands and place them on shelves to admire or to pull down and re-read, there will be print books.


Sure, books will still be made, assuming there will still be paper mills around. But that won't be the medium of choice.

One day, you may be right. But if you think that day is coming anytime soon, I say you'd better adjust your timetable.



E-books won't obliterate paper books any more than the light bulb obliterated the candle. Candles are no longer our primary source of illumination, that's true. But we still keep 'em around because we find them aesthetically pleasing and they come in handy when there's a power outage. I suspect paper books may fill a similar niche--they will become a kind of luxury item with emphasis on sensuality over utility.

This. Eventually.

I have lots of readers who write to me saying they have my books in every format they can get. They have the hardcovers, they have the paperbacks, and now they have them on Kindle or some other e-reader.

I also have diehard readers who scoff at ebooks and buy only hardcopy versions.

And I have a few who tell me that they only buy ebooks now.

:Shrug:

The world's changing, as usual. What the ultimate changes will be, and how fast they'll come ... that's the unknown factor.

Eventually, of course, there'll also be a Netflix for books, for those people who only want to borrow and then "return" a book -- and that's likely to be the cheapest price going.

But ... we'll see.

Lady Ice
05-23-2010, 04:13 PM
It would take ages to put every paperback book as an e-book. There are still films you can only get second-hand on video.

NoGuessing
05-23-2010, 04:37 PM
They're not going away sadly, because I hate them almost as much as I hate the T key on my fucking keyboard getting stiff and crappy. Do you know how often we use the freaking T?

I can't read eBooks. they hurt my eyes. I tried, but they're not for me. Also, they're going to send us the way of the other industries. Music, TV, Hollywood, games etc we're going to get scabbed by illegal downloading. In short, welcome to even less income for the midlister and the bestsellers will even struggle to make coin unless they get some movie rights.

On the other hand, the net does give the lesser names more circulation, but mixed in with them will be the meh authors that can't get publishing deals these days for good reason.

I'm going to finish my rant now because this bloody T is really pissing me off.

KTC
05-23-2010, 05:33 PM
They're not going away sadly, because I hate them almost as much as I hate the T key on my fucking keyboard getting stiff and crappy. Do you know how often we use the freaking T?

I can't read eBooks. they hurt my eyes. I tried, but they're not for me. Also, they're going to send us the way of the other industries. Music, TV, Hollywood, games etc we're going to get scabbed by illegal downloading. In short, welcome to even less income for the midlister and the bestsellers will even struggle to make coin unless they get some movie rights.

On the other hand, the net does give the lesser names more circulation, but mixed in with them will be the meh authors that can't get publishing deals these days for good reason.

I'm going to finish my rant now because this bloody T is really pissing me off.

T. iT could be Terrible and iT could be Terrific. TanTalizing, even. Think abouT iT.

Twizzle
05-23-2010, 05:59 PM
Eventually, of course, there'll also be a Netflix for books, for those people who only want to borrow and then "return" a book -- and that's likely to be the cheapest price going.



There already is--Bookswim. :)

They're great, too.

Amadan
05-23-2010, 06:18 PM
In regards to the OP: Wave of the future, sure. But digital stuff makes me nervous. If it's not concrete, something that I can touch and feel and hold onto, it's not "real" to me. What if something breaks or a file gets corrupted? That's not just one book getting lost or destroyed--it's everything you've downloaded. That would suck.

You can make backups, or download them again from your account. It's really less of a risk than losing your physical books in a fire or other disaster.



I can't read eBooks. they hurt my eyes. I tried, but they're not for me. Also, they're going to send us the way of the other industries. Music, TV, Hollywood, games etc we're going to get scabbed by illegal downloading. In short, welcome to even less income for the midlister and the bestsellers will even struggle to make coin unless they get some movie rights.


Have you tried reading them on an E-ink screen? No eyestrain at all.

The advent of streaming video and downloadable music has not hurt recording artists or music fans, and it won't hurt writers and readers. The economic threat of piracy is vastly overblown -- most people who pirate software, music, or books are people who would never have paid money for it in the first place.

Currently, a lot of authors are experimenting with digital distribution models, ranging from direct sales to contracting with ebook retailers directly. It's the publishing houses and retail bookstores that are in danger from the ebook market, just as the major record labels are threatened by digital downloads and internet radio, and Netflix (now increasingly moving to a streaming model) and OnDemand is killing off video/DVD rental stores.

Ebooks aren't a fad and they aren't going away. In twenty years, paper books (at least in the industrial world) will be like vinyl records (and now CDs). They'll still be around, but they won't be the medium of choice and they'll mostly be collected only by nostalgics or for specific purposes. If you want a paper book, it's also more likely to be something that's produced from the digital edition by a POD service.

Soccer Mom
05-23-2010, 06:26 PM
Spent a long time test driving my sister's Kindle yesterday. I can't wait to get mine.

NoGuessing
05-23-2010, 06:27 PM
You can make backups, or download them again from your account. It's really less of a risk than losing your physical books in a fire or other disaster.



Have you tried reading them on an E-ink screen? No eyestrain at all.

The advent of streaming video and downloadable music has not hurt recording artists or music fans, and it won't hurt writers and readers. The economic threat of piracy is vastly overblown -- most people who pirate software, music, or books are people who would never have paid money for it in the first place.

Currently, a lot of authors are experimenting with digital distribution models, ranging from direct sales to contracting with ebook retailers directly. It's the publishing houses and retail bookstores that are in danger from the ebook market, just as the major record labels are threatened by digital downloads and internet radio, and Netflix (now increasingly moving to a streaming model) and OnDemand is killing off video/DVD rental stores.

Ebooks aren't a fad and they aren't going away. In twenty years, paper books (at least in the industrial world) will be like vinyl records (and now CDs). They'll still be around, but they won't be the medium of choice and they'll mostly be collected only by nostalgics or for specific purposes. If you want a paper book, it's also more likely to be something that's produced from the digital edition by a POD service.

Bands escape because of touring. The industry is becoming more focused on live shows. If it were just albums, they'd be in big trouble.

Writers have...what? Movie dollars, if you're lucky.

Amadan
05-23-2010, 06:32 PM
Bands escape because of touring. The industry is becoming more focused on live shows. If it were just albums, they'd be in big trouble.

Writers have...what? Movie dollars, if you're lucky.

Economic models change. Why would it be harder to make a living as a writer when most publishing is digital than it is while it's print?

Shadow_Ferret
05-23-2010, 06:37 PM
I only have so many wobbly tables.

Blasphemer!


Spent a long time test driving my sister's Kindle yesterday. I can't wait to get mine.

I noticed that they've added Highlights and Notes to the Kindle for the PC. What about the handheld Kindle? Can you highlight passages and make notes? Because I do that in my books and losing that ability would greatly upset me.

NoGuessing
05-23-2010, 06:40 PM
Economic models change. Why would it be harder to make a living as a writer when most publishing is digital than it is while it's print?

Illegal downloading. Seriously, if it exists, it can be found on piratebay. Also, my/our (dunno how old you are) generation isn't very good at paying for internet content. For us it's straight to the torrents.

Medievalist
05-23-2010, 07:34 PM
I noticed that they've added Highlights and Notes to the Kindle for the PC. What about the handheld Kindle? Can you highlight passages and make notes? Because I do that in my books and losing that ability would greatly upset me.

Yes--moreover, Amazon is tracking and saving and using that data.

Amadan
05-23-2010, 07:47 PM
Illegal downloading. Seriously, if it exists, it can be found on piratebay. Also, my/our (dunno how old you are) generation isn't very good at paying for internet content. For us it's straight to the torrents.

You can find cracked copies of Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop on the torrents, too, but Microsoft and Adobe are still in business.

Like I said before, people who will download a pirated copy of your ebook are people who wouldn't have paid for it anyway. The people who are paying for ebooks are not unaware that they could go get a free copy off of BitTorrent if they wanted to.

Hallen
05-23-2010, 09:01 PM
You can find cracked copies of Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop on the torrents, too, but Microsoft and Adobe are still in business.

Like I said before, people who will download a pirated copy of your ebook are people who wouldn't have paid for it anyway. The people who are paying for ebooks are not unaware that they could go get a free copy off of BitTorrent if they wanted to.

Most people find that it's too much of a hassle to go find the content they want online using Torrents or other sharing technology. I got some music that way in the past, and it was a hodgepodge of lousy copies and partial albums. It wasn't worth the effort. Books will be basically the same. Pay a lousy $10 or less and get complete book in minutes, or fish around for hours, fighting off viruses and scam links, until you finally find what you are looking for.

I've linked this before in other threads and I didn't read this whole thread so forgive me if it is already linked, but this is a good article in the New Yorker about this subject.
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/04/26/100426fa_fact_auletta

Mom'sWrite
05-23-2010, 09:09 PM
I just knew I would hate ereaders until I downloaded a free copy of Kindle for PC. Now I have a new obsession. (Thanks Amazon. You gonna pay for my rehab?)

AZ_Dawn
05-23-2010, 10:12 PM
Thirty years ago, I was told punched cards would never go away.

Twenty years ago, I was told typewriters would never go away.

Ten years ago, I was told cathode ray tube monitors and TVs would never go away.

Five years ago, I was told floppy disks would never go away.

Today, on this board, I'm told printed novels will never go away.

Go figure.

If I heard correctly once, the car was supposed to make the horse go extinct.

I had someone get me a Sony Reader when my leg was broken. I downloaded stuff from Project Gutenburg and GoogleBooks to help me research while offline. I also downloaded a few public domain fiction books that are hard to find in stores so I could have some fun reads without asking people to get me a new book everytime I finished one. It was very helpful for my purpose, but I still prefer print books.

There are situations where print book are better and situations where e-books are better. These two technologies can co-exist side-by-side.

veinglory
05-23-2010, 11:30 PM
I don't think we have to make this a game of what is best. I see it more as an addition to the reading wardrobe, and some people will use it--typically in addition to physical books.

cbenoi1
05-23-2010, 11:43 PM
> But, so far, nothing has improved upon the concept of a bound
> book -- and that includes ebooks.

That's an argument that focuses on one particular tree rather than looking at the forest. The eReaders allows to read text-only books, but it can do far more than this because it's a multimedia machine by default. We're at a point where the tech is a few steps ahead of content creators. It opens up brand new ways to experience litterary works.

> Ebooks are easier to store, sure -- assuming the device you use is sound
> and you have a reliable power source.

Those are the arguments I get most often - need to recharge the batteries, pricey, fragile, complicated UI, where's my content if it goes poof, etc. The funny thing is those same people also own cellphones and don't even think twice about those issues.

-cb

Soccer Mom
05-24-2010, 12:11 AM
Blasphemer!



I noticed that they've added Highlights and Notes to the Kindle for the PC. What about the handheld Kindle? Can you highlight passages and make notes? Because I do that in my books and losing that ability would greatly upset me.

Yup. I played around and tried just about everything it could do. It was very easy and intuitive. But I keep hearing about Amazon tracking that info. It makes me want to highlight random crap and make insensible notes just to skew everything.

But I still want a Kindle.

scarletpeaches
05-24-2010, 12:17 AM
Why anyone would want to give Amazon their hard-earned cash I don't know.

Get a Sony ereader Touch.

blacbird
05-24-2010, 12:20 AM
I still like the clay tablets with all those wedge-marks.

caw

Shadow_Ferret
05-24-2010, 12:25 AM
Yes--moreover, Amazon is tracking and saving and using that data.

Which brings up the best reason to stay with print books.

Privacy.

No one knows what you're reading or what you're writing in the margins.

Well, unless you get the books from the library.
QUOTE=scarletpeaches;4982231]Why anyone would want to give Amazon their hard-earned cash I don't know.

Get a Sony ereader Touch.[/QUOTE]
Where do you get the eBooks from? I think this is my biggest problem with eBooks. Amazon has the Kindle and you can only buy their eBooks. B&N has the Nook. I think you can only buy their eBooks for the Nook.

When that gets resolved and I can have an eReader and buy my books from ANYONE, then I'll think about it. I hate proprietary software of any kind.

scarletpeaches
05-24-2010, 12:29 AM
I buy my ebooks mostly from allromanceebooks.com - They sell in all formats, but I go for epubs. And my 'library' is stored online so if my laptop explodes along with my netbook, and if my thumb drives and SD cards burst into flames, every ebook I've ever purchased from them is stored online.

As for proprietary software? If secure ebooks stop piracy, I'm all for it.

benbradley
05-24-2010, 12:33 AM
> Ebooks are easier to store, sure -- assuming the device you use is sound
> and you have a reliable power source.

Those are the arguments I get most often - need to recharge the batteries, pricey, fragile, complicated UI, where's my content if it goes poof, etc. The funny thing is those same people also own cellphones and don't even think twice about those issues.

-cb
Are these the same people who lose all the phone numbers of their friends and relatives when they drop their cellphone in the toilet? You'd think those things would be worth more than a few books, and they'd figure out how to make a backup of the info.

But I suppose cellphones are a necessity and books are optional for many people.

Heck all those arguments apply as well to using computers vs. typewriters to WRITE books, but no one uses those points to argue for typewriters over computers (anymore).

I still like the clay tablets with all those wedge-marks.

caw
Looks like those have their problems too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TAtRCJIqnk

Shadow_Ferret
05-24-2010, 12:40 AM
As for proprietary software? If secure ebooks stop piracy, I'm all for it.

I have no issue with security and stopping piracy.

But only being able to buy Kindle books from Amazon is something else again.

Amadan
05-24-2010, 12:44 AM
Why anyone would want to give Amazon their hard-earned cash I don't know.

Get a Sony ereader Touch.

I've got the Sony Pocket Reader. Kobo just came out with a bargain-priced reader. In two years, there will be tons of ereaders on the market with better features and lower prices.

That said -- I honestly don't get the fear and loathing over collecting data on notes and bookmarks and what books you read. Yes, it should be optional and it should be possible to turn it off, but I really don't think that data mining customer's reading habits is a path to a police state. (If we actually reach a point where someone is checking to see whether you ever downloaded Das Kapital, then your Amazon buying history will be the least of your worries.)

scarletpeaches
05-24-2010, 12:45 AM
Well I'll say here and now I have Mein Kampf on my ereader.

Shadow_Ferret
05-24-2010, 12:47 AM
That said -- I honestly don't get the fear and loathing over collecting data on notes and bookmarks and what books you read. Yes, it should be optional and it should be possible to turn it off, but I really don't think that data mining customer's reading habits is a path to a police state. (If we actually reach a point where someone is checking to see whether you ever downloaded Das Kapital, then your Amazon buying history will be the least of your worries.)

I find it funny how guarded with our privacy we are until it comes to the internet, then we seem so free with all our information.

Medievalist
05-24-2010, 12:59 AM
Yeah, you're not getting it Amaden.

Amazon connects what you read and highlight on your kindle.

They combine it with other aggregate data associated with your Amazon account, and use it to target you with ads.

Moreover, it's trivial to pool data from Amazon, FaceBook, other public sources and track you even if the data has specific ID removed.

I'm not paranoid--I know people who do this for a living. Aggregate data is as good as a thumbprint. And we neither have control over, or know what's being done with that data.

Amadan
05-24-2010, 01:01 AM
I find it funny how guarded with our privacy we are until it comes to the internet, then we seem so free with all our information.

I don't actually care if everyone knows what books I read. I can understand that some people might feel differently, but for most people, it's not really something that requires protecting. We should distinguish between legitimate privacy concerns and panicking every time someone collects aggregate consumer data.

Shadow_Ferret
05-24-2010, 01:03 AM
Aggregate data is a privacy concern. Maybe you only think of it as them knowing your book habits, but that's only one part of the whole pie... as Medi said above you.

Amadan
05-24-2010, 01:10 AM
Aggregate data is a privacy concern. Maybe you only think of it as them knowing your book habits, but that's only one part of the whole pie... as Medi said above you.

I know exactly what can be collected from aggregate data. I also know what the risks are. I am all for making it transparent and opt-in. But I tend to lean more towards a transparent society than a futile attempt at making everything private (which will only keep you and I from gathering data; it won't be a barrier at all to the sorts of people you would actually be worried about).

Christine N.
05-24-2010, 01:19 AM
I just knew I would hate ereaders until I downloaded a free copy of Kindle for PC. Now I have a new obsession. (Thanks Amazon. You gonna pay for my rehab?)


This. I also hated reading on my laptop, but the Netbook with the bright and crisp LED screen, smaller so I can read from my lap without eye straing, is pretty awesome.

And it cost me about as much as a ebook reader, but does everything. Netbooks rule. Kindle for PC is also pretty awesome.

Christine N.
05-24-2010, 01:25 AM
I don't actually care if everyone knows what books I read. I can understand that some people might feel differently, but for most people, it's not really something that requires protecting. We should distinguish between legitimate privacy concerns and panicking every time someone collects aggregate consumer data.


Okay, not that I personally much care what Amazon does with my reading habit information, but being a Library and Media Science student, this I have to remark on. The Patriot Act gives the Federal government the right to gather information on what books you check out of the library, should they feel they have the need to. Furthermore, the library CANNOT tell you that the US FedGov has come and asked about your borrowing habits.

This is a privacy issue that the ALA has fought against since the inception of the Patriot Act.

I don't have anything to hide, but you should be aware of what kinds of information the government can get access to without your knowledge. It's not to make anyone paranoid or weird them out, just FYI. Because until I started Grad School and had to study it, I had no idea.

Shadow_Ferret
05-24-2010, 01:31 AM
Give them an inch, and they take a mile.

CheshireCat
05-24-2010, 04:16 AM
That's an argument that focuses on one particular tree rather than looking at the forest. The eReaders allows to read text-only books, but it can do far more than this because it's a multimedia machine by default. We're at a point where the tech is a few steps ahead of content creators. It opens up brand new ways to experience litterary works.

Here's the thing. The experience of reading a book is intensely personal and individual. If "multimedia" content is added, then you have a movie, not a book.

I don't even want still images in any book I read, because it interferes with my own interpretation of the story and characters.

Maybe that will change one day, but I rather think not. I can see movies. I can see TV.

But when I read ... it's just me and the story. And that's the way I want it to remain. I doubt I'm alone in that.

:Shrug:

Medievalist
05-24-2010, 04:20 AM
[B][COLOR=#4b0082]But when I read ... it's just me and the story. And that's the way I want it to remain. I doubt I'm alone in that.

:Shrug:

You're assuming all books are fiction, for one thing.

But what if you were able to click on a name and see it on a map (say, for LOTR)?

PEBKAC
05-24-2010, 04:23 AM
I'm with the people that don't care who knows what I read, what I highlight, for the most part what I web surf, etc. Targeted ads? I don't mind targeted advertising at all, and would much prefer that to the stream of male enhancement spam.

The problem is that, information can be used in ways you don't expect. I remember a news story that came out a year or two after grocery stores started issuing those "club cards." A customer had slipped and fallen in the store and hurt themselves. They later went to sue the grocery store. The store tried to use the customer's purchasing history (since it was tracked by their club card), specifically that they frequently bought alcohol, to smeer the person's charcter.

Shadow_Ferret
05-24-2010, 04:24 AM
You're assuming all books are fiction, for one thing.

But what if you were able to click on a name and see it on a map (say, for LOTR)?

Never having read LoTR, what would the purpose in that be?

NoGuessing
05-24-2010, 04:27 AM
You can find cracked copies of Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop on the torrents, too, but Microsoft and Adobe are still in business.

Like I said before, people who will download a pirated copy of your ebook are people who wouldn't have paid for it anyway. The people who are paying for ebooks are not unaware that they could go get a free copy off of BitTorrent if they wanted to.

Thats because there are still older generations who aren't truly a part of the tech age.

Once they're gone..well, we think illegal downloading is a problem now.

As for viruses (to the other poster), they're very easy to avoid. Sites like Piratebay have comments and trusted users so virus trolls get slammed pretty quick. There will always be crap like limewire, but users of programs like that learn quickly and change.

Its also very easy to get simple and safe torrenting programs.

Medievalist
05-24-2010, 04:27 AM
I know exactly what can be collected from aggregate data. I also know what the risks are. I am all for making it transparent and opt-in. But I tend to lean more towards a transparent society than a futile attempt at making everything private (which will only keep you and I from gathering data; it won't be a barrier at all to the sorts of people you would actually be worried about).

I'm worried about things like:

1. Licensing the "sanitized" US Census data--which has had names and street address information removed, but retains zip code and GPS data.

2. Licensing the TRW database, which is pretty cheap.

3. Web scraping/API access to FaceBook, MySpace, Live Journal, Google and Amazon data.

4. Matching them up, and tying it to individuals.

This is a friend's Ph.D. research.

He can pull up an individual and than track where they've lived in the past, what license plates are on their cars, their credit report, their family members, where they went to school, where they shop . . .

5. Think about, say, someone who is gay getting on a list of people who are gay, and then having that as a target demographic -- for advertisers, or religious groups who want to "save" them or hate groups.

This is already a problem for Jews with known Jewish surnames like Cohen.

It gets ugly, very fast.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/04/identifying_peo.html

Paul
05-24-2010, 04:30 AM
It's like everything in human tech development - it just adds to the collection of options.
More.
More of everything.
Did psp replace real life games? Did the net replace friends meeting an chating? Etc Etc. It all adds to the expanding input which makes the world interesting than before.
in short, as long as reading is still an activity, both e-books and 'real' books can and will live side by side.

Amadan
05-24-2010, 04:43 AM
I'm familiar with Bruce Schneier's writings. I agree with him most of the time, not always. The thing is, hysteria about "OMG Amazon knows what books I bought!" followed by a bunch of "privacy safeguards" strikes me as exactly what he calls "security theater."


Thats because there are still older generations who aren't truly a part of the tech age.

Got news for you -- the "older generations" (unless you're talking about the really elderly who still struggle with the whole "online" concept) are as tech-savvy as you are, having been online since before you were born. The idea that we can download pirated stuff for free is not some innovative new concept you young'uns came up with. Piracy has always been wrong and everyone has always known it's wrong. I don't buy that young people just live in a completely different moral universe where they can't grok the concept of paying for content, and I don't think the actual numbers bear this out.

Here's a thought -- be the change you want to see in the world. Just because you can download things illegally doesn't mean you have to.

NoGuessing
05-24-2010, 05:03 AM
I'm familiar with Bruce Schneier's writings. I agree with him most of the time, not always. The thing is, hysteria about "OMG Amazon knows what books I bought!" followed by a bunch of "privacy safeguards" strikes me as exactly what he calls "security theater."



Got news for you -- the "older generations" (unless you're talking about the really elderly who still struggle with the whole "online" concept) are as tech-savvy as you are, having been online since before you were born. The idea that we can download pirated stuff for free is not some innovative new concept you young'uns came up with. Piracy has always been wrong and everyone has always known it's wrong. I don't buy that young people just live in a completely different moral universe where they can't grok the concept of paying for content, and I don't think the actual numbers bear this out.

Here's a thought -- be the change you want to see in the world. Just because you can download things illegally doesn't mean you have to.

I'm 19. Computers advanced massively during my lifetime.

There are tech savvy naughty forties, yes. There's also plenty of adults with no idea how to use a computer. Then there's the likes of my Dad, who is tech savvy but has no idea about illegal downloading.

I'm surrounded by my age group everyday. I wouldn't call us a new moral universe. But I do know how much traffic our Uni network got last year with filesharing. I also know where a lot of that content came from because an aquitance (sic) of mine was the biggest sharer on the network. It's a convenience thing: why pay for what you can get for free? People are clicking on where to get it, and not many give a damn about the music artist or movie/game maker. I'd also say we are easily a more tech savvy generation than any other.

I don't illegally download. But what I do makes no difference.

The world is changing, and lawmakers are very behind, as are policing techniques for the internet.

Amadan
05-24-2010, 05:33 AM
I also know where a lot of that content came from because an aquitance (sic) of mine was the biggest sharer on the network. It's a convenience thing: why pay for what you can get for free? People are clicking on where to get it, and not many give a damn about the music artist or movie/game maker. I'd also say we are easily a more tech savvy generation than any other.

You're making the same miscalculation that the RIAA does, and equating every illegal download with a lost sale.

If the stuff is available for free, a lot of people will download it, yes, because it's free. How many of those people would, if they couldn't find a pirated version, actually go buy it? Those are the actual lost sales, and they're relatively small. Not insignificant, which is why I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to stop piracy. But I am arguing that piracy isn't killing recording artists and it won't kill ebook authors.

The last Harry Potter book was widely available on the internet because someone stole a copy pre-release and scanned and uploaded it. And of course, millions of people downloaded it. I'll bet that the vast majority of them still went and bought the book when it actually hit bookstores. Now, Rowling of course can absorb a few tens of thousands of lost sales, where most authors couldn't, but I'll bet you that even a midlist author whose book gets put on bittorrent will lose an equivalent share of sales, which is to say, very small. It's not zero, but most of the author's fans are going to actually buy the book.

Science fiction author John Scalzi (who is definitely not in Rowling's league, sales wise) has pretty much said this in his Whatever column; he doesn't like seeing his books on file sharing sites, but he is not overly concerned about it, because his sales haven't been noticeably affected by it.

NoGuessing
05-24-2010, 05:37 AM
You're making the same miscalculation that the RIAA does, and equating every illegal download with a lost sale.

If the stuff is available for free, a lot of people will download it, yes, because it's free. How many of those people would, if they couldn't find a pirated version, actually go buy it? Those are the actual lost sales, and they're relatively small. Not insignificant, which is why I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to stop piracy. But I am arguing that piracy isn't killing recording artists and it won't kill ebook authors.

The last Harry Potter book was widely available on the internet because someone stole a copy pre-release and scanned and uploaded it. And of course, millions of people downloaded it. I'll bet that the vast majority of them still went and bought the book when it actually hit bookstores. Now, Rowling of course can absorb a few tens of thousands of lost sales, where most authors couldn't, but I'll bet you that even a midlist author whose book gets put on bittorrent will lose an equivalent share of sales, which is to say, very small. It's not zero, but most of the author's fans are going to actually buy the book.

Science fiction author John Scalzi (who is definitely not in Rowling's league, sales wise) has pretty much said this in his Whatever column; he doesn't like seeing his books on file sharing sites, but he is not overly concerned about it, because his sales haven't been noticeably affected by it.

I was thinking of mentioning people that download then buy.

I didn't because I have no idea how they number, so I didn't want to discuss something I don't know.

From people I've met, I've met a few who download and buy. So they're out there. I'm just not sure how they stack up against the rest.

PEBKAC
05-24-2010, 05:43 AM
@ Shadow Ferret -- I've been eyeing the Nook a bit lately. You can get books from all over (don't need to buy them from Barnes and Noble). The supported file types are epub (non DRM or Adobe DRM), PDB (non DRM) and PDF. My friend has a Nook and I played with it a bit over the weekend. He buys/loads books from different stores/publishers. He's a big fan of Baen books and buys them right off their site.

Medievalist
05-24-2010, 05:50 AM
I've been producing and buying ebooks since 1989.

I've been buying ebooks from Baen and from Fictionwise/Peanut Press/Barnes and Noble since 2000 in the ereader/Barnes and Noble format originally designed for Palm PDAs and now supported on lots of hand-helds, Mac OS X and Windows, various cell phones, including the iPhone--and I can still download and read all of them.

That's remarkable, frankly.

Manuel Royal
05-24-2010, 07:24 AM
Like I said before, people who will download a pirated copy of your ebook are people who wouldn't have paid for it anyway.Do you have evidence to support that assertion? Even if it's true, I still want those people to die. I mean, be prosecuted.

I don't know how many books I've got, but I know they make for hundreds of pounds when they're boxed up. If I were starting out with zero books, it'd be tempting to get an eReader and go electronic; carry it all in my hand. But only if: there was a backup so that I wouldn't lose my whole library if I dropped the damn thing; nobody knew what I was reading unless I wanted them to; and nobody could delete or in any way alter my copy of a book once I bought it. And I won't deal with Amazon.

But -- that would never give me the pleasure I get from looking at my books on the shelves. I've had some of them for forty years, and they're like old friends.

veinglory
05-24-2010, 07:31 AM
As usual the truth is in between. Most people who pirate would not have bought a copy in the absence of a free copy, but some would have.

Medievalist
05-24-2010, 08:14 AM
Now, what IS interesting, are the numbers around people who buy multiple copies -- print and digital -- of the same book.

NoGuessing
05-24-2010, 08:42 AM
I don't illegally download.

Woops, caught myself in a lie here.

I download music you can't find in stores anymore, and I download TV programs like Doctor Who. I also downloaded a N64 emulator and ROMs.

So I'm guilty.

I have never illegally downloaded an eBook or new music however.

veinglory
05-24-2010, 08:43 AM
I took bitorrent off my computer, too much temptation.

cbenoi1
05-24-2010, 07:27 PM
> Here's the thing. The experience of reading a book is intensely personal
> and individual. If "multimedia" content is added, then you have a movie,
> not a book.

The Kindle features a text-to-speech option. Right there that's multimedia without being a movie. It doesn't change the story nor anyone's interpretation of the characters. And that's the tip of the iceberg.

ETA: Having different voices between the narrator and the various characters would be a nice add-on at no extra cost from a tech standpoint.


> I don't even want still images in any book I read, because it interferes
> with my own interpretation of the story and characters.

I'm reading Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow this week. It's set in New-York and location is crucial to the story. An optional map I could would have been useful as part of the novel's content. So I'm hauling a portable TomTom GPS along. It just feels dumb.


> I can see movies. I can see TV.
> {...}
> But when I read ... it's just me and the story.

I'm sure you are aware of the concept of "Director's cut". It's pretty common with DVDs. Would you read the story as edited to fit the limits imposed by publishers, or the story as originally conceived by the author? (not meant as a trick question, but rather as a poll)


-cb

benbradley
05-24-2010, 10:57 PM
Woops, caught myself in a lie here.

I download music you can't find in stores anymore,
There is a HUGE amount of that, if you don't count used CD and LP stores. The reason it's no longer for sale is the sales figures became too low to make it profitable to continue to be available.

But with the ease of digital storage and delivery through sites such as iTunes, that will change - any music, once available for download, will likely remain available for as long as those involved stay in business.

Getting older commercial recordings onto iTunes will be hit-and-miss.

I find it funny how guarded with our privacy we are until it comes to the internet, then we seem so free with all our information.
For whatever reason many people have no clue (most Web users have no cloe about Netiquette either), and many who do know don't care. There's so much War on Drugs, Eminent Domain abuse, Patriot Act, DMCA stuff that it can be overwhelming, and "companies tracking my surfing" can fall under the radar.

I recall circa 1999 Clark Howard (http://clarkhoward.com/) was ranting on his radio show about how Doubleclick, which was the largest Internet display ad company at the time, tracked people/computers across different websites with cookies - you didn't have to click on the ads, just go to whatever website, and if it had a Doubleclick ad (which many or most did at the time), it knew you were there and all the other websites you visited on that computer.

Clark ranted about Doubleclick and described in detail the several-step process of opting out of it (not sure why Doubleclick even had a way to opt out, perhaps someone sued them and the court settlement forced them to add that).

But as Medievalist indicates, that was just baby steps into online tracking and intrusion.

If you REALLY want to have nightmares about technology running off the rails, read comp.risks (http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/risks).

Most places that you buy e-books from keep them there in your account, so that they can be downloaded multiple times - so you can easily swap out what content you have on your e-readers, you aren't going to be stuck with it cluttered up with your entire collection if you don't want.
I'm looking at "points of failure" and the things you have to rely on for things to work (maybe from all the nightmare scenarios I've read on comp.risks - at least losing ebooks is rarely life-and-death). This relies on these "places" staying in business AND maintaining the policy where ebooks you've bought are available online indefinitely.

I've bought online software where the download is only good for 48 hours.

Wait until you have to pack and move 7,000 books thousands of miles.

It changes your perspective, and your bank account.
I've done that. Okay, it was only 900 miles. But I've since made new bookshelves six feet tall by 14-18 inches wide. Fully loaded they weigh a couple hundred pounds each, but they're small enough to hold together when pushed over onto a corner, I can easily "walk" one a couple of feet to reposition it, or put it on a hand truck to move it longer distances or load it on a truck fully loaded, and at worst put something across the front so the books don't fall out.

It would take ages to put every paperback book as an e-book. There are still films you can only get second-hand on video.
Oh, by "video" you mean VHS tape instead of DVD? Or maybe even Beta? :)

But the "problem" with making ebooks of older paperbacks is the expected low sales making it economically unfeasible for a publisher to put a book back into print or convert it to an e-book.

If a title is in a college library, chances are good that Google has a scanned copy with their "Google Books" thing. While it was done with a profit motive in mind, it leveraged college libraries and cheap student labor (and scanning machines that can turn pages) to do it. These were surely OCR'ed as well as the scan images saved, as some book passages have shown up in Google searches I've done.

I wonder if these files have been amde available to the publishers, who could then easily convert and publish them as ebooks...

There already is--Bookswim. :)

They're great, too.
I've heard about book rentals for college books, but this is the first general book rental site I've seen. No doubt there are/will be many more, and services such as Bookfinder will have a "show only books for rent" checkmark.

But there are several free book swap services, you can request any book, though the more recently popular and/or rarer books can take a long time to get. I mention these in my blog about how I inhale books:
http://ben-bradley.blogspot.com/2007/08/how-and-where-i-buyget-books.html

Have you tried reading them on an E-ink screen? No eyestrain at all.
Does anyone make a computer monitor with this e-ink stuff? I probably buy one, but imagine the market is too small.

I'm with the people that don't care who knows what I read, what I highlight, for the most part what I web surf, etc. Targeted ads? I don't mind targeted advertising at all, and would much prefer that to the stream of male enhancement spam.

The problem is that, information can be used in ways you don't expect. I remember a news story that came out a year or two after grocery stores started issuing those "club cards." A customer had slipped and fallen in the store and hurt themselves. They later went to sue the grocery store. The store tried to use the customer's purchasing history (since it was tracked by their club card), specifically that they frequently bought alcohol, to smeer the person's charcter.
comp.risks is chock full of these things. I just read the one in the current issue about Apple's patent to identify a cell phone user by heart rhythms.

I'm 19. Computers advanced massively during my lifetime.
During mine too. The switch from tubes to transistors happened after I was born. In college I used computers with core memory. Nowadays I use a dual-core computer instead of a computer with millions of cores - now core means processor.

I took bitorrent off my computer, too much temptation.
I've never installed it, though I first heard about it circa 1999. It, or shared-distribution systems like it, were going to be the Next Big Thing for companies like Microsoft to quickly send out updates without having to use servers with massive amounts of bandwidth.

I've been to install bittorrent because there are LEGAL things available on it. I recall the early days of Napster, there were independent musical act putting their songs on Napster for promotion.


I'm sure you are aware of the concept of "Director's cut". It's pretty common with DVDs. Would you read the story as edited to fit the limits imposed by publishers, or the story as originally conceived by the author? (not meant as a trick question, but rather as a poll)


-cb
This happens sometimes with books too. I'd want to read both, given enough time and motivation. One example where both are available in the same volume is the 1995 Baen edition of "Podkayne of Mars." The earlier, originally published version wasn't edited for length, it was edited to be more "politically correct," to have less (perceived negative) impact on readers.

There's the "uncut" version of "Strange In A Strange Land" (the original WAS edited for length) I haven't read. It didn't strike me as that great a book that I really wanted to read through it twice to find the "new" stuff. If I had the option when I first read it, I would have read the uncut version.

IDGS
05-25-2010, 12:05 AM
I personally can't imagine my 'book' being limited by a battery, hard to read in the sun, and being sensitive to life's abuse.

I'll throw my crumpled paperback in my backpack for a month anyday and be able to read the spotched, water-damaged pages over a fancy white Kindle.

veinglory
05-25-2010, 12:27 AM
I can't imagine wanting to whiten your teeth, other people can't imagine why I eat vegemite. When discussing the viability of a format/industry 'I can't imagine' doesn't seem like a very viable method?

Paul
05-25-2010, 12:34 AM
I can't imagine wanting to whiten your teeth, other people can't imagine why I eat vegemite.

Doesn't one inevitably lead to the other...?

;)

Medievalist
05-25-2010, 12:42 AM
I personally can't imagine my 'book' being limited by a battery, hard to read in the sun, and being sensitive to life's abuse.

I'll throw my crumpled paperback in my backpack for a month anyday and be able to read the spotched, water-damaged pages over a fancy white Kindle.

It's not an either-or-proposition, you know.

But think about someone like me, with an increasingly severe visual disability.

I can read on my iPad with a font and size of my choosing; I can even have the iPad read to me. I can, and currently have, over 500 legal digital books, in eight different file formats, on a single device.

And while I paid prices that are within a dollar of the cover price of a printed book, I didn't pay the price of a large print edition--which generally starts at around 75.00.

veinglory
05-25-2010, 12:42 AM
People who eat vegemite wear yellow teeth as a badge of honor. ;)

But seriously, the first generation of people given vegemite must have thought the manufacturers were insane. And yet in some markets it caught on. At least for the next few years I imagine ebooks will be the same, they will fill some niches. Whether they will become as ubiquitous as paperbacks it hard to tell.

Shadow_Ferret
05-25-2010, 12:50 AM
I'm waiting for eBook clubs, where I can get half a dozen eBooks for a $1.

For whatever reason many people have no clue (most Web users have no cloe about Netiquette either), and many who do know don't care.

When I first found Pandora, I thought it was the neatest thing. You could put in your music preferences and it would create stations that would stream music you liked.

But then I discovered that I never had to log in. It always remembered who I was. There was no way to log out, in fact. Even erasing cookies and clearing cache and everything couldn't stop Pandora from knowing who you were whenever you logged on.

That scared me and I've never used them since.

Medievalist
05-25-2010, 12:55 AM
I'm waiting for eBook clubs, where I can get half a dozen eBooks for a $1.

Baen Free Library, if you like F and SF:

http://www.baen.com/library/defaultTitles.htm


When I first found Pandora, I thought it was the neatest thing. You could put in your music preferences and it would create stations that would stream music you liked.

But then I discovered that I never had to log in. It always remembered who I was. There was no way to log out, in fact. Even erasing cookies and clearing cache and everything couldn't stop Pandora from knowing who you were whenever you logged on.

That scared me and I've never used them since.

That's because of the way Windows keeps two copies of cookies for any site you bookmark.

I would also note that you register with an email address; I used a unique email just for Pandora, and they (this is rather huge) have never ever sold or given it away.

FaceBook and Amazon and MySpace all have given away the unique emails I used with them.

Shadow_Ferret
05-25-2010, 03:26 AM
Honestly, I can't imagine ever getting excited about getting a eBox of eBooks like I did today when the physical books I ordered arrived and I got to open the package, admire the covers, and leaf through the pages.

NoGuessing
05-25-2010, 03:38 AM
If I were to get an ebook, I'd probably print it and have it bound. Kinda defeats the purpose though. :tongue

CheshireCat
05-25-2010, 04:52 AM
You're assuming all books are fiction, for one thing.

But what if you were able to click on a name and see it on a map (say, for LOTR)?

Well, no, I wasn't assuming all books are fiction. I know better. I was simply relating my reasons for not wanting "multimedia" in the books I read, and meant novels and other fiction. Should have made that clear, my bad. As for the other thing, I really don't care for maps in books. I like to work it all out in my head. But that's just me.


> Here's the thing. The experience of reading a book is intensely personal
> and individual. If "multimedia" content is added, then you have a movie,
> not a book.

The Kindle features a text-to-speech option. Right there that's multimedia without being a movie. It doesn't change the story nor anyone's interpretation of the characters. And that's the tip of the iceberg.

ETA: Having different voices between the narrator and the various characters would be a nice add-on at no extra cost from a tech standpoint.

Actually, being read aloud does change the story unless the author is the one reading it. That's one reason I've never listened to the audio versions of any of my books; because the reader interprets what he/she reads, and I know it won't be my interpretation.

That said, for people who enjoy audio books, or who have to depend on audio books, they get the interpretation of the reader -- and I have no idea how they translate that into their own interpretation.


> I don't even want still images in any book I read, because it interferes
> with my own interpretation of the story and characters.

I'm reading Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow this week. It's set in New-York and location is crucial to the story. An optional map I could would have been useful as part of the novel's content. So I'm hauling a portable TomTom GPS along. It just feels dumb.

And as long as the map is optional, it won't bother me as a reader. But I don't consider it necessary for a book, and I wouldn't be willing to pay extra for that "content."


> I can see movies. I can see TV.
> {...}
> But when I read ... it's just me and the story.

I'm sure you are aware of the concept of "Director's cut". It's pretty common with DVDs. Would you read the story as edited to fit the limits imposed by publishers, or the story as originally conceived by the author? (not meant as a trick question, but rather as a poll)

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am aware of the concept of the "Director's cut." Fancy that. I own quite a few DVD movies in both versions, whether or not they were sold separately. Because sometimes I want to see both versions. And sometimes I don't.

I loved Stephen King's The Stand. Never bought the version he brought out much later minus all the editorial/requested cuts and revisions. I thought it was a masterpiece as it was originally published.

But that's just me.

My point is that I doubt there will, in the end, be a large demand for additional "content" in novels. I know I wouldn't want any of my unedited books reissued in an "Author's cut;" but then I'm strong-minded when it comes to my work and never either compromised or cut enough that any differences would matter.

YMMV

Medievalist
05-25-2010, 05:34 AM
If I were to get an ebook, I'd probably print it and have it bound. Kinda defeats the purpose though. :tongue

My first Palm PDA, back in 2000, I covered in special wood veneer.

It's still lovely.

Shadow_Ferret
05-25-2010, 06:24 PM
I'm sure you are aware of the concept of "Director's cut". It's pretty common with DVDs. Would you read the story as edited to fit the limits imposed by publishers, or the story as originally conceived by the author? (not meant as a trick question, but rather as a poll)


-cb

I've heard the concept, never watched one. I'm not into self-indulgence. And I've seen books like that. I was able to pick up Raymond Feist's Wizard Apprentice & Magician. The store had two versions. The original I read when it first came out, and then the newer Self-Indulgent version. I chose the originals.

KathleenD
05-26-2010, 06:20 AM
Bladerunner, Director's Cut: Oh, my stars and garters, but whenever I have to define self-indulgent wankery, I mention this one.

Stranger In a Strange Land, Author's Cut: Vastly superior to the original edition.

So it can cut both ways. Depends on how self-aware the artist is, I suspect.

mscelina
05-26-2010, 06:43 AM
Honestly, I can't imagine ever getting excited about getting a eBox of eBooks like I did today when the physical books I ordered arrived and I got to open the package, admire the covers, and leaf through the pages.

Well, that's insulting. Didn't I give you a copy of one or two of my books--?

Thought so. Ah well. Can't win 'em all.

It's not an either-or-proposition, you know.

But think about someone like me, with an increasingly severe visual disability.

I can read on my iPad with a font and size of my choosing; I can even have the iPad read to me. I can, and currently have, over 500 legal digital books, in eight different file formats.

And while I paid prices that are within a dollar of the cover price of a printed book, I didn't not pay the price of a large print edition--which generally starts at around 75.00.

There are benefits and disadvantages to both print and e-pubbed books, and while I believe that ebooks are going to continue to rise in popularity and acceptance, I don't think they will eliminate the print book from existence. I have reams and reams of ebooks--mostly my research materials. I can find any classical text I want and either pay a minimal puchase cost or download it for free from e-library projects.

So while it may be fashionable to stick one's nose up in the air and proclaim that you can't imagine your book being limited by a battery or whatever, eventually it'll probably be fashionable to look down one's nose at yet another glaring example of deforestation in our world or the primitive barbarity of a textile binding. Who's to say?

Soccer Mom
05-26-2010, 06:58 AM
Now, what IS interesting, are the numbers around people who buy multiple copies -- print and digital -- of the same book.

Guilty.

Medievalist
05-26-2010, 07:02 AM
Guilty.

It's really really common.

Ebook readers are first of all readers. They tend to be people who buy books regularly. They will buy multiple copies of books, and they give books as gifts. One of the reasons I'm so very intrigued by the way you can "shared" your iBooks books via iTunes is that I know sharing music over a wifi LAN at work encouraged all of us to buy music we would not have known about otherwise.

We figured that the group of us--40--who regularly played each other's iTunes music at work spent about $1100.00 in music purchases in the summer of 2008 because we bought something we had played from someone else's iTunes library.

I don't think we'll see that much of a response with ebooks--but I do know how often readers borrow a book from a friend or a library, and then go buy a copy for themselves.

mscelina
05-26-2010, 07:03 AM
In just the same way I used to buy paperbacks of a new author so I could decide if I liked them and THEN moved on to hardcover purchses, now I can do the same with ebooks and I'd venture to guess a lot of other people do as well.

gau dog
05-26-2010, 10:19 AM
I'll bet they're gonna release color touchscreen e ink readers in the US at least within the next 1-3 years. Fujitsu already has one out in Japan.

Once they get that out, smooth out all the rough edges, price it between $150-$200, I'd guess within the next 10 years, the book printing industry won't be as bad as the music industry but downloading will probably be where the movie industry is today.

And in 20 years, everybody's going to be using e ink readers.

Medievalist
05-26-2010, 10:04 PM
And in 20 years, everybody's going to be using e ink readers.

No, no we won't.

For some of us, it's like reading a wet newspaper.

The Lonely One
05-26-2010, 11:52 PM
I just bought my Sony Daily Reader edition today. I think it is a thing of the future, at least until a solar flare destroys all technology ;)

Shadow_Ferret
05-27-2010, 10:47 PM
Ebooks aren't a fad and they aren't going away. In twenty years, paper books (at least in the industrial world) will be like vinyl records (and now CDs). They'll still be around, but they won't be the medium of choice and they'll mostly be collected only by nostalgics or for specific purposes. If you want a paper book, it's also more likely to be something that's produced from the digital edition by a POD service.

Um. Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but after being declared dead in the 1980s, Vinyl is on the upswing, selling more and more copies every year. In fact, while CD sales are falling, Vinyl has seen a rapid uptick in sales the past several years. 124% increase in 2009 over 2007.

So let's not be so quick to call print dead, either.

veinglory
05-27-2010, 10:48 PM
Also the better comparison would be music download to CD, not CD to vinyl.

Zoombie
05-27-2010, 11:27 PM
Most of my new books are on my I-touch. Its bitch awesome.

Shadow_Ferret
05-27-2010, 11:30 PM
Most of my new books are on my I-touch. Its bitch awesome.

With an eBook, what does the author sign? The eReader?

Devil Ledbetter
05-27-2010, 11:48 PM
With an eBook, what does the author sign? The eReader?Some of us are more interested in a good story than in the author's signature.

Also, I loved the first book I bought on my Kindle so much that I purchased a paperback copy for my mom. So thanks to the Kindle, Collum McCann scored twice with me.

Devil Ledbetter
05-27-2010, 11:52 PM
Um. Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but after being declared dead in the 1980s, Vinyl is on the upswing, selling more and more copies every year. In fact, while CD sales are falling, Vinyl has seen a rapid uptick in sales the past several years. 124% increase in 2009 over 2007.

So let's not be so quick to call print dead, either.Yep, I own a ton of new vinyl. And that fav band I mentioned? They were introduced to me by a friend who gave me the Mp3s of two of their albums for free. I now own both of those albums, plus all their other albums, both on vinyl and CD - most of which were purchased through their website (rather than at a retailer, so the band got a larger cut).

If I'd been waiting around to hear these guys hit song on commercial radio, I'd still be waiting. The music industry may be failing, but good bands are winning.