Aussie Readers discussion

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message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) I've heard about the Kindle being proprietory - does that mean you can't download books from Project Gutenberg (free, generally older & public domain) or from fictionwise.com (inexpensive including newer) books to it?

I'm using (my son's) older Sony E-Reader and have only downloaded books from those two websites. (Ok, actually, my husband helped so much with downloads I still don't know how it works.)

Where do you who do use e-readers get your books?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

That is a very good question. As I haven't purchased an ereader yet, it is also one that bothers me a little.


message 3: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Kindles won't read EPUB format, but they will read MOBI and - correct me if I'm wrong, folks? - PRC, I think.

I get my books from:
Smashwords - indie authors of all sorts, the vast majority of books include a .mobi format.
Baen Books - Science fiction. They have a Kindle info page here.
Borders Australia - EPUB only. My least favourite of the lot, because their books require an extra step (Adobe Digital Editions) to get them onto my Sony reader, because of Digital Rights Management encryption, aka 'pain in the neck'.

I hope that helps? :-)


message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 07, 2010 05:47PM) (new)

Great info Naomi.


message 5: by Jacqueline (last edited Sep 07, 2010 05:57PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) There are lots of legal places to download legal free ebooks. Here are some without any recommendations:
* www.manybooks.net
* www.gutenberg.net.au
* www.gutenberg.org
* www.mobileread.com
* www.feedbooks.com
* www.fictionbook-lib.org
* http://www.e-book.com.au/freebooks.htm
* www.books.google.com.au

Fictionwise works well, but they do screw their small authors unmercifully.


message 6: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I've heard about Project Gutenberg a few times now so I checked out their website: http://gutenberg.net.au/

This is the Australian branch, I couldn't get access to the US one (not sure why). From this site you can download Free ebooks by authors who died before 1955 and whose work is therefore in the public domain in Australia. There are some amazing books listed there.

It supplies books in txt or HTML format. I'm going to try a few ways to be able to read them on my Kindle. There is a free software that everyone talks about called Calibre which apparently converts all formats to whatever you need as well as other interesting features. Here is the link: http://calibre-ebook.com/about. I'm also going to try emailing the book I downloaded to Amazon and see if they'll convert it for me. I'll let you know how it goes.

Otherwise you can purchase from just about any of the ebook stores and download it on to the kindle. You've just got to select the 'mobi' format.


message 7: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Mandy, the gutenberg.org seems to be free of the Aussie tie - I wish they would not do things like that. It shouldn't matter where I live.


message 8: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments If you're a stickler for abiding by exact copyright rules, the Australian Gutenberg site is the best to use. Although, it may well contain ebooks which _aren't_ available on other Gutenberg sites, too.

I can't remember the ins and outs, but basically - copyright, and the cessation of copyright, varies from country to country. Something out of copyright in Australia (eg. 1984) may NOT be out of copyright in the US.


message 9: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) good input, all, thanks - I hope this thread stays alive as more people get more experience :)


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Just be aware with the AU-US Free Trade Agreement that was signed during the coalition years of government, our old Copyright laws were essentially overlaid by the US laws :(


message 11: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments For those of you who have ePub format books, you can convert them to Kindle mobi format using the free converter from Amazon (works great in Linux too).


message 12: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Yes, I do sincerely wish they'd just get over the whole "non-US, non-sale" mentality at some US stores.


message 13: by Louise (new)

Louise Tobin (loub) | 2 comments i've found the best place to buy ebooks is from thebookdespository.co.uk. all the books are pretty cheap and you can buy in aussie dollars


message 14: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments There seem to be a large number of Kindle users in this group. Does anyone else have a problem with the fact that Amazon is trying to kill their competitors by locking everyone into the MOBI format?

I've recently read that some big name authors have signed exclusive contracts with Amazon that means their books won't be available in open standard formats like ePub. This means that if you want to buy their books (some are electronic only) you have to have a Kindle.

As far as I'm concerned, that's a reason to stay away from both the Kindle and those authors. I don't want big names to dictate which product I buy.

Additionally, in the unlikely event that Amazon stops producing the Kindle, you're stuck. At least with the Kobo, Sony, iRiver etc you can read your purchased ebooks on a heap of different products.

Would iTunes stop artists from selling their work directly or in other formats? Why should Amazon get away with it?


message 15: by Paul (new)

Paul Daniels (mrpld) | 155 comments Murry,

On the "light in the tunnel" side, as an author you can choose to disable the DRM when you upload your book to Amazon for distribution, keep that one in mind if you ever go and do that.

The other good aspect is that with tools like Calibre you can at least move .mobi files to ePub.

I'll be interested to see if Amazon ever brings out an ePub reader application for their Kindle, it should be possible considering that it's running Linux.

Paul.


message 16: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Paul, I use Calibre too, but I'm not sure how legal it is to convert formats from / to proprietary formats. Have you looked into that?


message 17: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Murray, what Amazon is doing borders on restraint of trade. I can't believe they will be allowed to get away with it in the long run. Didn't iTunes start out as only for Apple users?


message 18: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Murray wrote: "There seem to be a large number of Kindle users in this group. Does anyone else have a problem with the fact that Amazon is trying to kill their competitors by locking everyone into the MOBI forma..."

Murray that was a really interesting article and I urge every one to read it. While I completely sympathise with your views on large corporations taking over a market place I think the author's explanations in that article show exactly why his deal with Amazon is liberating for him financially and legally with regards to his back list.

I’m curious why people are up in arms about Amazon and I don’t hear any issues with publishers. Australian publishers have held their reading public hostage with extremely high prices for decades. They are used to controlling what we read, what we pay for books, who gets published and what percentage they get. These days they are successfully delaying release dates for ebooks up to 3 months after the paperback is released in an effort to force print sales.

I think what Jacqueline said about iTunes is probably close to what will happen with these various ebook formats although watching all the players fight amongst themselves is very illuminating! In the end I hope the reader wins!


message 19: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Australian publishers have held their reading public hostage with extremely high prices for decades.

Well, talking with my publishing hat on, I think the prices are just fine. If they were at US levels I and a lot of 'proper' Australian publishers would be out of business immediately.

Of course, my reading hat does funny things to my brain and...

The reason big publishers are not making a fuss over Amazon's tactics is that Amazon is not putting them in the same strait jacket. My American publisher sells on Amazon in Kindle format, and offers DRM versions of other formats through other retailers.


message 20: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Jacqueline wrote: "Murray, what Amazon is doing borders on restraint of trade. I can't believe they will be allowed to get away with it in the long run. Didn't iTunes start out as only for Apple users?"

I wasn't aware of that, Jacqueline. Interesting if it's true and perhaps there's hope.


message 21: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Mandy wrote: "I’m curious why people are up in arms about Amazon and I don’t hear any issues with publishers. Australian publishers have held their reading public hostage with extremely high prices for decades."

I think that people are complaining about Australian publishers and retailers. The difference, in my opinion, is that the books are still available in multiple formats from multiple retailers. People aren't being locked out of buying what they want, though they may have to pay more for it or wait longer.


message 22: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) You're 100% right, Polk. The trouble is Amazon's size and near monopoly of online sales of books (in the US at least). They have used that weight and financial muscle to try for control of ebooks by providing a seamless service that is so attractive and easy to use, that competitors will whither at birth. I hope that strategy will not work, and we will eventually return to a free market.


message 23: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) Polk, if it were that simple, I'd have already bought an e-reader of my own. However I am in the US and from what I understand Jacqueline isn't pessimistic enough, unfortunately. So I'm doing lots of research here and other places.


message 24: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda You have to read this frank (and very funny) article on one of our group member's blog. Her search for ebooks vendors for Aussie ereaders is laugh out loud funny.

Shopping for Ebooks the Hard Way


message 25: by Murray (last edited Oct 20, 2010 03:39PM) (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Mandy wrote: "Murray that was a really interesting article and I urge every one to read it. While I completely sympathise with your views on large corporations taking over a market place I think the author's explanations in that article show exactly why his deal with Amazon is liberating for him financially and legally with regards to his back list."

I've had a huge argument with another author over this article, so now that I've finished my first uni assignment (only 1 to go before I can get stuck into my thesis!) I reread it thoroughly. Morrell's arguments regarding his backlist are strong, but he could do the same with ebooks in general. My real problem is that he blindly equates ebooks with Kindle. For him, there are no other ereaders, so he had no problem signing an exclusive agreement with Amazon. Other authors, like the one I had the argument with, are taking on this attitude. If too many authors do this, the reader won't be the winner.


message 26: by Kay (last edited Oct 20, 2010 04:00PM) (new)

Kay | 9 comments I have a Kobo from Borders and I'm trying to figure out how I can get someone in the USA (eg. a Facebook friend) to buy stuff there and email it to me. The country restrictions kill off the price advantage of having electronic copies rather than paper. I have no trouble with the classics as my partner manages the Adelaide Uni ebooks site, where he produces beautifully illustrated e-editions of things like 'Paradise Lost'. However I love modern lit and recent book prize winners so I have to wait until the prices come down AND when they become available in Oz. I do find the Kobo the best way to read in bed as it is so light and the screen so clear! I also put my uni readings on it as pdfs, plus copies of any textbooks that come as ebooks. I love that Springer sell single chapters as ebooks- very handy!


message 27: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 20, 2010 11:57PM) (new)

Mandapanda Kay wrote: "I have a Kobo from Borders and I'm trying to figure out how I can get someone in the USA (eg. a Facebook friend) to buy stuff there and email it to me. The country restrictions kill off the price a..."

It is frustrating but time will improve this situation a lot. When I first started buying ebooks just over a year ago there were less than 200,000 available to Australians but now there are more than 2 million I think. I used to find there were some inconsistencies with geographical restrictions and the Diesel eBook Store sometimes sold books that were restricted on other sites. Maybe you could try that one.


message 28: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments Is it possible to buy ebooks from other sites that actually work on the kindle??


message 29: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 21, 2010 12:17AM) (new)

Mandapanda Tara wrote: "Is it possible to buy ebooks from other sites that actually work on the kindle??"

Yes, you just choose the mobi prc version (sometimes written as mobipocket). Then when you download choose your My Kindle Content folder. Then you hook up the kindle to your computer and drag the files across. If it's not available in mobi you can send some files (HTML, PDF etc to Amazon in an email and they will convert them for a small fee and add them to your kindle. I've got some free stuff from Project Gutenberg and they've formatted that for me.


message 30: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments Mandy wrote: "Tara wrote: "Is it possible to buy ebooks from other sites that actually work on the kindle??"

Yes, you just choose the mobi prc version (sometimes written as mobipocket). Then when you download..."


ok Mandy. so where do i buy the mobi books from? where would you recommend? i am going to bookmark your instructions! thanks!


message 31: by Miranda (new)

Miranda Forbes (xcite) | 3 comments For erotic ebooks in PDF and epub formats
http://www.xcitebooks.com.au


message 32: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 21, 2010 12:36AM) (new)

Mandapanda There are lots of ebook sellers. If you look at books in Goodreads and click on the web address (below the blurb) it often takes you direct to the seller.
But if you want to start off with just one big ebook store you could try Fictionwise or Diesel eBook Store. If you have any probs feel free to send me a message anytime too.:)

Remember when you select your book to select the correct format too (mobi).


message 33: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments Mandy wrote: "There are lots of ebook sellers. If you look at books in Goodreads and click on the web address (below the blurb) it often takes you direct to the seller.
But if you want to start off with just on..."



thanks Mandy! i will definitely turn to you for questions! i will have a look at thise sites now!


message 34: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments mandy- i cant see a web address below the blurb for books on goodreads.


message 35: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda There is usually a link if you press on the web address next to 'URL'. Sometimes it takes you to the author's page where they list ebook stores. Sometimes (especially with mass market romance and small publishers) it will take you straight to the publisher's site. But sometimes there is no url listed (depends on who entered the book into Goodreads). So it is a bit confusing sorry! Maybe it's best to start with fictionwise.:)


message 36: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Hi Mandy,
Calling upon your knowledge of the trade and changing the direction of this thread, just a wee bit, could you please tell me:
Do independent ebook shops such as Diesel and Fictionwise sell independent author's works that the author may promote on his own website, as in my case? If so, what should one be wary of?
Thanks
Justin


message 37: by Mandapanda (last edited Oct 21, 2010 02:29AM) (new)

Mandapanda Justin wrote: "Hi Mandy,
Calling upon your knowledge of the trade and changing the direction of this thread, just a wee bit, could you please tell me:
Do independent ebook shops such as Diesel and Fictionwise sel..."


Actually that question is way out of my league Justin, I'm just a consumer, LOL! But there are several group members (Lauren, Jacqueline, Mark, Paul, Murray, Naomi and others) who hopefully will see your question and give an answer. I've seen them talk about some issues that might help you so while you're waiting have a look at the previous posts in this thread and others in the 'Book Related Banter' folder. You might have to click on 'view all' beside the folder title to see some of the older threads.:)

EDIT: Naomi runs a great group called ANZ Authors and I'm sure she would be more than happy to start a discussion on this issue as well.:)
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/3...


message 38: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Mandy, thanks for your reply, I'm sorry to have bothered you with my Q. Thanks for your suggestions.
Bye
Justin


message 39: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Justin wrote: "Mandy, thanks for your reply, I'm sorry to have bothered you with my Q. Thanks for your suggestions.
Bye
Justin"


It's never a bother Justin. Ask as many questions as you like. I like hearing from you. I especially love the picture on the cover of your book. He's very cute!!;D


message 40: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments haha, he is. Those eyes! hmmmm


message 41: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Justin wrote: "Do independent ebook shops such as Diesel and Fictionwise sell independent author's works that the author may promote on his own website, as in my case? If so, what should one be wary of?"

Justin, I haven't released an ebook, so I'm not much more help than Mandy, but I've seen that Diesel resell smashwords books so I'd be surprised if they weren't open to books you're selling on your site. Think of ebook sellers as retail outlets. Dymocks doesn't put restrictions on books just because they're also sold at Angus and Robertson.


message 42: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Speaking of ebooks, there are a number of Kindle freebies available for Aussies today, which aren't free for residents of US and Canada. List at http://booksontheknob.blogspot.com/20...


message 43: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Justin, check out Smashwords.com. They distribute to Borders Australia, A&R, Diesel and the like. It's free to upload an ebook - be warned, though, it's important to read their Style Guide and follow it carefully.


message 44: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Naomi wrote: "Speaking of ebooks, there are a number of Kindle freebies available for Aussies today, which aren't free for residents of US and Canada. List at http://booksontheknob.blogspot.com/20......"

Great list Naomi, thanks for letting us know.:)


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Super list.


message 46: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Murray wrote: "Justin wrote: "Do independent ebook shops such as Diesel and Fictionwise sell independent author's works that the author may promote on his own website, as in my case? If so, what should one be war..."

Thanks Murray and Naomi for your advices.
I'm considering signing up with Smashwords. Despite it's odd name the organisation seems a fair and ethical operation. I've printed their 50+ page Style Guide and find my work generally complies. I'm curious to know now what other authors think of them, i.e., what benefits they have gained and ease of operating with Smashwords.
Again, thanks.
Justin


message 47: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Welcome, Mandy. Self-interest is involved, I'll point out - one of mine is on the freebies list, which is how I found out about it. :-D


message 48: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Naomi wrote: "Justin, check out Smashwords.com. They distribute to Borders Australia, A&R, Diesel and the like. It's free to upload an ebook - be warned, though, it's important to read their Style Guide and foll..."

Hello Naomi
Thank you for your advice.
To avoid irritating repetition, I have responded to you and Murray, jointly, above. If you have info about Smashwords influence in the marketplace, I'd welcome hearing from you.
Kindly
Justin


message 49: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Justin wrote: "Thanks Murray and Naomi for your advices.
I'm considering signing up with Smashwords. Despite it's odd name the organisation seems a fair and ethical operation. I've printed their 50+ page Style Guide and find my work generally complies. I'm curious to know now what other authors think of them, i.e., what benefits they have gained and ease of operating with Smashwords. "


I'm a Smashwords fangirl, I'll admit. While I've had - continue to have - some issues with them, I like the guys who run it and their attitude to their customers.

Distributing via Smashwords can be somewhat painful, Justin. I always find that, no matter how careful I've been, I've missed something in my manuscript that causes it to be rejected for the Premium Catalogue. 3 or 4 attempts per edition of ebook is standard for me. Even where an ebook has been rejected for the Premium Catalogue, though, it's still available for sale through the Smashwords store itself.

I'll friend you and send you an invite to ANZ Authors :-)


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Naomi wrote: "Welcome, Mandy. Self-interest is involved, I'll point out - one of mine is on the freebies list, which is how I found out about it. :-D"

Yup, I have to confess Naomi I picked up your book as a freebie a while ago. I did read it and post a review. I felt guilty picking it up free... :P


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