Ebooks for a $1 or less discussion

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General > Read An e-Book Week!

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message 1: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Read An e-Book Week is an event that runs from March 7-13. Many authors and publishers will be participating by deeply discounting their e-books. Lots will be free!

I'll be one of the authors participating. My novel Enemies and Playmates will be free! The other four will be cheap! You'll find them all on Smashwords. You don't need coupon codes. Just shop during that week and you'll get the cheap prices.

For more information on the event, as well as a list of participating websites, go to http://ebookweek.


message 2: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) The Read An e-Book event starts today! Don't forget to stock up!

The promotional website has a long list of participating websites, authors, and publishers. And the list on Smashwords is enormous! So, be forewarned, you could spend hours shopping!


Ralph Gallagher | 5 comments I'm stocking up! I'm also hosting a giveaway each day on my blog http://dancing-dove.blogspot.com/ if anyone is interested.

I wish Smashwords didn't take so long to load pages. =[


message 4: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Ralph, thanks for the info on your giveaway. We all love free books!

I've been saying the same thing about Smashwords taking so long to load. But all those cheap books make it worth the wait. :)


message 5: by Pat (last edited Jun 15, 2010 03:11PM) (new)

Pat Whitaker (whitakerbooks) | 11 comments Not free, but all my titles are at at $0.99 for the duration. They are:


Returning
Antithesis
Mindset
Raw Spirit
Bad Blood
Time Out


message 6: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) I hope everyone got some great deals during Read An e-Book Week! I downloaded about 100 books - some free, some discounted. Now I just need more hours in each day!


message 7: by Bryan (last edited Apr 10, 2010 10:05PM) (new)

Bryan (blyoung) Anybody else a member at Fictionwise.com?

I've got some troubles there... Not with any of the multiformat books, only with some of the secure titles that I've purchased.

(It actually affects 37 books, so I'm quite concerned. Probably about $180-240 lost if I can't get these downloads to work.)

Anyways, apparently Fictionwise is one of the online book vendors that will switch to a new pricing system - called the agency model. In the meantime, some of the providers (those that work through Ingram Digital) have pulled access to their titles. (All my Random House titles still download, but my DAW titles are not accessible at all.)

So... here's the problem. Fictionwise championed their "bookshelf" feature - you don't need to download your books right when you buy them. You can download them anytime you wish, whenever you choose.

I had downloaded only about half of my purchases, and was leaving the others to download later when I was done reading the first half.

So now that some of my books won't download, I'm concerned. I certainly won't ever buy books online ever again without immediately downloading. And I hope that when Fictionwise resolves the issues, my books will be available once more.

I've been a loyal Fictionwise customer for over 5 years, and I've always enjoyed their service. Prior to this, I would not have hesitated to send any eBook customer over to Fictionwise.

After this.. I don't know. I just want to get the books I paid for downloaded.

Caveat emptor. If you have bought books with Fictionwise, hopefully you've downloaded them and got them backed up. If not, go check and see which of the titles on your bookshelf still download.

Really frustrated about the whole thing... I paid my money, and I want to be able to read the books. Even though I can't read all 37 books right now, I'm in a bit of panic to get my hands on those files asap.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Oh! That is so wrong, Bryan. It is one reason I won't buy anything with a digital license & download immediately. If I buy it, it is mine. I put it on my hard drive & backup. If it is in a proprietary format, I convert to a more standard one, too.


Ralph Gallagher | 5 comments Bryan wrote: "Anybody else a member at Fictionwise.com?

I've got some troubles there... Not with any of the multiformat books, only with some of the secure titles that I've purchased.

(It actually affects ..."


Have you tried contacting them? They usually have decent customer support and should be able to either give you access to the books again or refund you the money. (Also, I'd suggest complaining to the publisher and stress the point that you're not likely to buy their books ever again. That usually gets their attention.)


message 10: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) I'm with Ralph. Most companies will work with you through customer service.


message 11: by Bryan (new)

Bryan (blyoung) Still no luck on downloading my books. No help whatsover from Fictionwise's customer service. I got two "form" email responses from them, and they never bothered to reply to my 3rd query.

I've read up, and it's not really Fictionwise's fault. It's the publishers... Fictionwise is presumably currently in negotiations. Once they've hammered out a deal, they'll put that publisher's books back up for sale again. There are 5 publishers, but with many different lines under each.

But what is Fictionwise guilty of?

1) Failing to warn me.
-- I've looked at other ebook sites, and they put notices up for their customers, explaining what would happen April 1st, and giving information so that customers would know what to expect before April, and after April. Fictionwise told me nothing - I could have downloaded all my books on March 27 when I made my most recent purchase.

2) Ignoring me
-- what kind of a business won't say anything useful to its customer in this type of scenario. The form response said "We are working with providers to help rectify the problems you are having with your downloads". That doesn't tell me anything! I don't know how long that can take, or what is going on. Why am I finding out information on other ebook sites to help me understand what is going on at fictionwise? The smart thing for me is to start buying at other ebook sites.

I'm a pretty loyal geezer for the most part, and I now understand that it's really not the fault of Fictionwise, and that I'll probably get my books back in time (no telling how long - this could take weeks). But here's my current recommendation to my fellow consumers:

Be very wary if purchasing anything from Fictionwise. Buy only their multiformat books (not the secure books), and download immediately.


message 12: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Bryan, that's awful that Fictionwise is doing such a pitiful job of handling your situation. Whether or not it is their "fault" is not the issue. You paid them, not the publisher, for the downloads. They need to make it right with you, then deal with the publishers themselves. I wouldn't want to shop with a company that has such poor customer service.

Thanks for the warning! I hope they make it right soon and you get your books.


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I'll second what Darcia said. It is Fictionwise's problem, not yours.


message 14: by Bryan (last edited Apr 16, 2010 01:42PM) (new)

Bryan (blyoung) Here's my latest email... wonder what they'll say to this one.

-- -- -- -- -- --

Shame on you, fictionwise. I know the current "agency model" pricing model is NOT your fault, and that the publishers brought this on.

But shame on you for NOT giving your customers any information on this whatsoever.

This is my 4th email for help. You've sent the identical "form letter" reply back to my twice (which was useless), and then you ignored my 3rd email for help.

I'm a customer who has spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at your site. I plan to spend hundreds and hundreds more at your site.

But you won't tell me anything -- you don't even acknowledge that there's a disruption going on. Is this wise? Do you think that I (and other customers) are unworthy of a message with some real information.

I've figured out some of the details of the disruption by going to OTHER ebook vendors. They have useful information explaining what is happening. Fictionwise's approach, however, is to "pretend" that nothing is wrong, hoping that customers are stupid enough not to notice.

I can only surmise (based on what other vendors provide for information) that you are currently in negotiations with the "Agency 5" publishers, and that once the terms are finalized, that the books will be made available once again. And, yes, I can only surmise this will take some time, and perhaps you're not even high enough on the pecking order of ebook vendors to even be involved in negotiations yet (perhaps you're just in the queue).

But here's my problem, and I want some answers this time. Your lack of response has driven me to other ebook vendors for answers... shall I stay there for my future purchases?

PROBLEM: I have a list of 36 secure titles that I cannot download, and don't have a backup copy. I never downloaded them - I trusted that my bookshelf would have these books when I was ready to read them.

Question 1) Why did you not tell me by mid-March to be sure to download all my purchases in case a disruption was to occur in April?

Question 2) Will my books reappear (and be downloadable) when your agreements are in place? I already paid for them, and now cannot read them unless you make them available. Will you ensure that the books I've paid for can be accessed after this disruption is done?

Question 3) If the books do not reappear, will you refund books for which I've paid but which I've not been able to download?

Question 4) Will you provides updates of any progress you're making to get past this disruption?

I must have a reply... do not ignore me, and do not send me a form response. Your silence thus far has led me to other vendors for answers, and I can certainly stay there for future purchases.

Bottom line -- Choose one of the following actions:

Choice A) Refund my money immediately for the 36 secure titles which I had not yet downloaded, and now cannot download.

Choice B) Provide information to me so that I can be assured that my ebook vendor of choice (fictionwise, so far) is working WITH me and FOR me. I need to feel as though I'm a valued customer, and I need to be updated on your progress and your efforts to get my ebooks back online so that I can download and enjoy.

Choice C) Ignore me at your peril.

Your call. I've called four times now.


message 15: by Darcia (last edited Apr 16, 2010 10:48AM) (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Well said! Their response (or lack of) will say a lot about the company and their future.


message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I just read a quote today by the guy that started Walmart. He said something like: There is only one boss - the customer. He can fire everyone from the CEO on down simply by taking his business elsewhere.

Seems appropriate that Fictionwise listen to the words of one of the most successful business men in history, don't you think?


message 17: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) I'm not always a fan of Walmart or their business ethics but I have to admit they are improving. And, whether I like them or not, those who run it are geniuses. That chain has stormed through the U.S. So, I'd say that man's advice should be heeded.

My mom owned a hair salon that I worked at and helped run for 15 years. And those words (and versions of them) are the first rule of business. Keep the customers happy!


message 18: by Bryan (last edited May 03, 2010 05:33PM) (new)

Bryan (blyoung) An update:

Some of the books that I was not able to download are now working again. I was able to successfully download about half of the books, and quickly archived them and made backup copies.

Of the remaining books, Fictionwise has issued a refund for about half. (They've refunded those titles that were paid for using my "micropay" dollars, an online currency used on the fictionwise site).

They've promised me a refund for the rest, but it has to go to my paypal account, and I've not seen that yet. It should be there soon, however, as they have promised it is being processed.

A lengthy ordeal - a whole month to get a response, and then quickly settled up in a tidy fashion.

Am I happy? For the most part. I will be able to read most of the books I paid for, and I will be refunded for the rest.

Am I wiser? Yes, I will always download ebooks immediately.

Am I likely to buy again? Definitely NOT secure books. I might buy ebooks that do not have DRM.

Am I likely to buy from Fictionwise again? Maybe... they did come up with what I requested in the end. But it did take them a month. I'll give them a D- for customer support in this case.

And anyways, I subscribe to some SF magazines from Fictionwise (Analog, Asimov's, and Mag of F&SF), and Fictionwise is the best place to get those. So definitely I'll be back for those. Not so sure about other titles.


message 19: by Ralph Gallagher (new)

Ralph Gallagher | 5 comments It's possible Fictionwise was hesitating replying to you in hopes that they could resolve the problem without having to give you empty answers or refunds. They were probably hoping to restore access to your books rather than giving you a refund, but once they realized that wasn't possible they gave you the refund.


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Bryan, sorry you had to learn this lesson, but thanks for passing it along. You may have saved a lot of us a headache.


message 21: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) Bryan, I'm glad to hear that you're getting that mess sorted out. I always download my e-books right away, otherwise I feel like I've gone shopping and come home without my bags. :)


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