Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Books Are Bought In 2009

I was minding my own business, surfing to my favorite blog. Instapundit. He linked to a SF novel twice. The second had an interesting author's story of how the novel got published.

This interested me enough to want the book. But I'm not going out and I doubted Barnes & Nobel has it on their shelves this soon after release. So, I clicked the Amazon link that Professor Reynolds helpfully provided. Sadly, I learned the book is not available on the Kindle.

My sadness was short-lived. "Hey, the publisher is Baen." Those guys aren't luddites. There's got to be an electronic copy available somewhere. So, I bypassed and went to see if they were selling an ebook that I could download immediately. I could.

A few mouse clicks later, I'd purchased the ebook for $6.00. A relative bargain. Moments later, I received an email with links to download the book. I clicked on the link for epub format (for my Motorola Droid and also my SONY Reader) and also mobi format (for my Kindle DX). They arrived on my hard disk and I unzipped them to a scratch directory.

Then I fired up Calibre and imported them into its database. (Think of Calibre as iTunes for ebooks.) Then I plugged in my Kindle DX and told Calibre to upload it. Then I repeated the procedure with my Motorola Droid.

Altogether satisfactory. Less time that it would take to drive to the bookstore. Cost is $6.00. And completely DRM-free. This is the way the future of books and reading should be.


Sarah A. Hoyt said...

I hope you enjoy it. Insty has cost me more money in buying things he recommends than I care to add up. But I haven't made a bad purchase from his recommendation. Yet.
And I'm a kindle-owner and kindle-reader as well. :)


Chris said...

Nice blog. You might like my blog as well.

Norma said...

Thanks, but no thanks. I can read my grandmother's college text books from the 1890s but can't even access my own research from the 1990s due to hardware, software changes and "upgrades." Kindle is fine; just don't count on anything digital not to be fried in the next year or two.

steve poling said...

To each his own. You are wise to avoid a format-specific lock-in. I have made a point to make sure all my books are in popular ebook formats and if I can't effect that conversion I adopt your attitude.

That said, you remind me that I've got some stuff on 5.25" CP/M disks from the 1980s that I've got to figure out howto copy to CD-ROM.