Mobileread
Ebook retailer seeks advice
#21  lybrary 09-20-2009, 07:26 AM
Quote fugazied
I would suspect your biggest challenge is dealing with publishers (whose demands off counter what customers want) so good luck with that!
You are perfectly correct. I have dealt with many publishers over the last years, from small to large. Many couldn't care less about their customers and many have really no understanding of the digital world.

#22  lybrary 09-20-2009, 03:15 PM
Quote ahi
Wow... from my admittedly cursory look at your homepage I assumed all you sold were Gambling, Games, Juggling, Magic, and Numismatics books. This, I should note, made me not browse further.

You might want to better highlight that you offer a rather broad range of books!

- Ahi
Ahi, we have done a first stab to better highlight our other categories on our homepage. Take a look and let me know if it works for you.

#23  brecklundin 09-20-2009, 03:15 PM
Quote AnemicOak
That's true for reading devices, but everything I've read says more people read on their PC than on handheld devices. Offering a PDF for those folks makes sense especially since it's so easy.

That would be great. Imagine some of those big super heavy books Schiffer puts out (I'm thinking some of their military history stuff) as ebooks. Although I wonder how well they'd translate to a reflowable format on a small screen they'd likely be great on something like the DR or the upcoming Plastic Logic. These are one kind of book I might even consider buying PDFs of and reading on my laptop.
I hear ya about their History books and references...HUGE...reference books on Art can be even large as well. And because Schiffer reference books for Antiques & Collectibles tend toward more detail oriented, they are also much larger than their analogs from Collector Books.

I actually have emailed both Schiffer and Collector Books a few times over the past several years asking for details but nothing even came back to me...and I once was a decent sized customer for each as I sold references on Antics, Art & collectibles, etc at Antiques Shows between degrees/college stints, hell it was very lucrative, enough so that I could pay for my next year's tuition after just just 20-30 shows...plus I got to be in AZ for Spring Training every year and make the room deductible...hehehehe...still they never replied. Oh, well...

I've been hoping for these sorts of books as ebooks for the past 20+ years. To me it seemed the next logical evolution of reference materials. But, interestingly enough it has not happened yet. I seriously could see buying a tablet/slate PC just for that purpose and completely justify the cost of the device at $2k or more

#24  toomanybooks 09-20-2009, 11:36 PM
Could you offer a PDF file that is resized for 5" and 6" e-readers? Perhaps that might be easier than converting the files to epub.

#25  Steven Lyle Jordan 09-21-2009, 09:30 PM
Quote lybrary
If we wanted to keep it simple for now and only choose one other format besides the PDFs we already offer, would ePub be the best choice? Or should we rather go with another format?
I agree with many others here: If you were going to choose one additional format (to go with PDF), I would choose OEB (ePub). It is becoming the single format readable on the most e-book reading devices, and more devices are being upgraded to accept ePub every day.

After that... if you decide to add a format to those two... I would probably select MobiPocket, as it would obviously open up the Kindle audience. But if you can wait on that, I'd suggest you do so. I have a sneaking suspicion that even the Kindle might eventually be upgraded to read ePub files, or easy-to-use ePub-to-Kindle apps will come along and allow anyone to do an easy conversion to their Kindle.

Despite the opinions of some, I see no reason not to maintain PDF as an available format. Though it is not ideal for many e-book devices, it is still the single most popular format out there, and ideal for those who read e-books from computers and laptops (yes, they are out there, why exclude them?).

#26  queentess 09-22-2009, 01:42 PM
A few suggestions from my point of view:

1. I typically only buy Mobi books; I can work with ePub; I do not buy PDFs and have found they're not worth my time to convert
2. After I started browsing through categories, the Search box dropped to the bottom of the page. Wasn't easy to find.
3. Fiction was a teeny tiny option way at the bottom of the browsing area; I had a difficult time finding it and wanted to browse through the Science Fiction section
4. I'm in the middle of reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, so I thought I'd see how many of his books you offer and prices. I only found one book, and it was $27.95! For an ebook! That's the same price as the un-discounted hardcover!

#27  lybrary 09-24-2009, 05:27 AM
I do appreciate the very thoughtful feedback. Thank you so much for the time and effort. Thanks to queentess we have now moved the Search Box to the top on the left side. Even if the category box expands when it has to show many subcategories, the search box will remain at the top - easily accessible.

The fiction category is also reachable by clicking on the red 'fiction' rectangle on the homepage above the most recent fiction covers.

Comment regarding "Brandon Sanderson" ebooks. The one ebook we list Warbreaker is not available on other ebook sites (I checked fictionwise and ebooks.com). So at least the one we are listing isn't available from other popular dealers. And Fictionwise lists one of his ebooks at the same price we do Warbreaker. Our pricing is therefore not unusual. But I do agree that ebooks should be at least 30% to 50% cheaper than the printed editions. However, pricing is largely controlled by the publishers. Given a dealers profit margin we have not much room to drop prices below the price suggested by the publisher.

We have also decided to support ePub after some necessary housekeeping. Expect to see the ebooks we publish to be offered as epub additionally to our PDFs. And anybody who bought one of our PDFs in the past will have free access to the epub version or any other version we decide to create.

#28  kennyc 09-24-2009, 07:35 AM
Quote Moejoe
Offer ePub.
+100


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