This is topic "Enchantment" now available as e-book in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=1;t=003224

Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
"Enchantment" at

If you like e-books, buy it, even if you have a print copy! We want publishers to know that there's a market for e-books of our favorite authors, even ones that have already been pirated and spread around. Especially ones that have already been pirated.
Posted by Lupus (Member # 6516) on :
hmm, they don't have it over at fictionwise yet
Posted by Bekenn (Member # 6602) on :
It's a pity they're not following Baen's model.

I think the reason e-books generally don't do well is that producers make the mistake of thinking that they should be end-product, when they are best suited as advertisements. I like having a physical book in my hands when I read, and the way Baen works, I can tell if a book is worth buying before shelling out the cash precisely because they have so many available for free with the absolute minimum of hassle. OSC posted a link somewhere on this site (not in the forums) to an examination of this concept by the first author to participate, and it seems to have done very well by him.
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
It's here, click on Prime Palaver #6.

I love Baen, but their methods are a hard sell to other companies that simply cannot accept the notion of giving anything of value away.

That said, there have been e-book promotions. Fictionwise does it regularly, and as I recall Peter David's novelization of the Spider-Man movie was given away free a week or so before it was released in print.
Posted by Jonathan G (Member # 7964) on :
If I could've read Ender's Game on the computer initially I probably wouldn't have bought the books.

That's not becuase I don't like the books, it's just because it was free, and there would be no real good reason for me to go buy the books when I could just as easily save my 30 dollars and read the whole series online.
Posted by Lupus (Member # 6516) on :
ya, fictionwise gives away quite a few free books and short stories. Also, their pricing is often better than other e-book places.
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
Jonathan G - Fair enough. Same would apply if you read them in a library.

On the other hand, I've been buying e-books and saving up for hardback editions of books I especially like, since i have a great deal more shelf space now.
Posted by Lupus (Member # 6516) on :
As Chris said...many people like to have the actual book for their collection. If I really like a book, I want to have the paper version to read over and over again. Sometimes when you really like something, you just want to have it for your collection. For books I really like, I track down the first edition hard back (like Ben-Hur).

The same goes for DVDs. I could rent and burn DVDs that I like (I have a burner), but I like to have the actual case, and such.

Also, as a clarification, not all fictionwise books are free. They have promotions and such where they give away free e-books, but in general you have to pay for them. It is a legal source of books.
Posted by Orson Scott Card (Member # 209) on :
I posted Ender's Game on Delphi (this was before civilians could get on the Internet) months before it was published, back in 1984. Three people downloaded it.

I used to upload all my books to my website. I would take them down the day the book hit the bookstores. Pastwatch lingered longest between writing and publication - several years - and still only about 350 people downloaded it. The others were usually fewer than a hundred.

If you're a read-once person, then indeed, you probably wouldn't buy the book. But if you liked it, you'd tell others who WOULD buy it. I think it works pretty well as a promotion.

However, just to be completely inconsistent, I deeply resent it when OTHER people scan or type in my books and post them for free distribution. It's one thing for me or my publisher to do it - we have the rights - but when someone else does it, they are at least presumptuous and at worst criminal. The distinction matters to me, though to others it might well matter a lot less.

So I understand the music companies that resent pirating of MPP3s. But I can still see (and say) that no matter how the rights-holder FEELS about it, it does very little harm to have free ecopies circulating. It advertises and promotes. It's when they're stamping out illegal cds and dvds and selling them for money that real harm is being done.
Posted by Lupus (Member # 6516) on :
One thing that does annoy me about they are often encrypted into inconvenient formats. I would much prefer plaintext, since that way you could search for specific lines and such. In general, all encrypted formats do is inconvenience customers. If people want to illegally get a plain text version, it is not that difficult to do.

For books I like...I prefer to have a paper version, and an electronic version. That way I can search for quotes and such...but when I am reading it, I prefer to be able to have the paper version in front of me. Though I am also one of those people who reads books over and over again.

What I would really like is a reasonably priced ebook reader (that is about the size of a notebook) that I could take with me. There actually used to be an ebook reader on the market that fit what I wanted (except for price) but they went out of business.

My desire to be able to read books over and over again is actually why I don't classify George RR Martin as one of my favorite authors, even though I think technically is he a very good author. He is very skilled at telling a story, BUT while I find it interesting to read the first time, I don't want to read it over and over again. Every time I think about picking up one of his books, I just think of all the negative stuff that happens, and I really can't bring myself to read it again.
Posted by dinzy (Member # 6858) on :
I prefer plaintext too. I like to read books with black background and bright text. It's so much easier on the eyes. I wish acrobat reader would let you look at things in negative because I read alot of pdf research articles.

A portable ebook reader would be nice. I know one group at my university is working on development of bendable lcd-like screens. Basically there is effort to make electronic paper that behaves almost like a magazine/newspaper in a mechanical sense. A backlit screen on a flexible medium would certainly make ebooks give traditional books a run for their money.
Posted by docmagik (Member # 1131) on :
It's up at fictionwise now.
Posted by signine (Member # 7671) on :
Total Tangent: I read something a few years ago about researchers developing a kind of ink that could operate like an LCD screen. You could have two or three layers of ink, and turn pixels on and off to make the paper change what text it is showing. describes this technology, and it looks like they've already implemented it with the Sony Librei which is kind of bulky.

According to the whitepapers the technology only requires power when the pages refresh, and the image on the page will remain static until power is applied to it. If they could minimize this device so that the electronics could be contained in a double-sided sheet of paper, I would be the first in line to buy an "eBook." Imagine a 600 page blank book that you could dock to your computer and have it copy any text you have into the book. Imagine a diary that you could write on with a digital stylus, and then later upload it to your PC. Imagine newspapers with video feeds.

Maybe the last part is going a bit far, but is it?

End Tangent.

Anyway, I like to download books, just like I enjoy downloading movies and music. I will buy anything I like sufficiently though, and I certainly tell other people to check out what I like. If I download a movie and watch it, I wouldn't have bought it or paid to see it. If I end up liking it a lot, I will pay for it. I don't understand why publishers, the MPAA and the RIAA are so strongly against downloadable works by artists.

Wait, yes I do.

It's because now that people can download that one song off that $20 CD that they actually like, people won't shell out $20 to get the CD. It's because now people don't have to pay through the nose for work by a mediocre artist. It's because the latest pointless action movie made by hollywood is ignored by those people who downloaded it or wait for it to come out on DVD. It's because those companies are no longer making money off art that is not good.

It must be terrible for them, having to be responsible for the content they produce. It has to be terrible for the artists, realizing that they actually have to make a good CD/movie/novel for people to spend money on it.

That said, I've read 20 books thus far this year, 12 of them in a digital format first, and I've purchased 18 books. I've downloaded and watched about 15 movies, I've bought 4 dvds and seen two in the theater. I've downloaded about 25 albums, and bought one (but I've been to four shows and bought more than a few t-shirts). Yes, that's a not so-subtle comment on the state of the entertainment industry by medium.

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2