Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear e-Publishers

Update.--I found Barnes & Noble's free e-reader for Macs. That's something but not much because you need an account and you can only read books on their server, not downloaded from their Website.

As much as I'd love to tell all of you to f..k off, I'll be polite and won't say it, but it's what I want to say about you. Why? Well, for starters, Digital Rights Management (DRM) you embed in your publications, so the same book from each e-publisher can only be read by their e-book reader, how convenient, or you can buy DRM removal software and hope it works.

Why the anger? Well, since we lost the last big box bookstore in the Tacoma area and the closest (Borders or Barnes & Noble) are 15-20 miles distant) and all the small ones are next to useless for actually having any good assortment of books to browse. Some will order but good luck there as some have said they would but never call me to tell me the book is in.

So I thought I'd try the e-book for the first time. Well, Border's Website where I've had a reward card for years (when our local store opened) wouldn't recognize my card number and wouldn't recognize my e-mail saying it didn't match the card number, despite the store recognizing it all these years. Then it wouldn't let me create an account with the same excuses.

And without an on-line account you can't buy e-books from them. And Barnes & Noble created the account which I was able to buy a Nook book edition, except you need the Nook reader on the iPad to read it. Ok, the app is free but then the app doesn't allow uploading downloaded books, only those through the iPad app. How stupid is that?

I had to download the book from Barnes & Noble's Website twice, once to my Mac and to the iPad, except the Mac version can't be read by anything because of the DRM. Barnes & Noble doesn't make a Mac app to read Nook books. How stupid is that? You can get the book but not read it on your Mac?

Then when I downloaded it from them to the iPad it put a bunch of placeholders for "free" e-books in the list. Like I want them? And you can't remove the stupid links to them, only move them to archive, like I want to unarchive them? Give the user a break to control what's on their iPad. If I want the free book I'll look for it and download, I don't need your help.

And then Apple's iBookstore didn't have the book. At least Apple has tools to manage books through iTunes but the selection isn't all that great for readers of less popular books. I guess money and profit is more important than readership? They're great for music, but that makes money. Books apparently not unless it's a best seller, but then Apple's ibooks are also only available through the iPad and not their Website.

Fahrenheit 451, only digital. Or maybe Dumb Reader Management system, corporate Big Brother controls what you can access and how you read it. We don't trust you to actually have any intelligence, just live with what we give you. Well, ok, I'll do without e-pubs for awhile, at least until I find a solution, like buy DRM removal software.

Lucky there's more than one way to read a digital book, or is it skin an e-publisher?

No comments:

Post a Comment