Anke (ankewehner) wrote,

Ebook goofs: Books indistinguishabel by title

I’ve started getting into ebooks, and there’s a whole lot of anger all around about things like piracy, DRM, ebook quality, geographic restrictions, pricing, publishing dates…

Now, I don’t want to post a long rant, but yesterday and today I made my first experiences with buying books with DRM, and would like to illustrate one particular problem.

A list of book titles in Sony Libary - four times the title "Sharing Knife", with different filesizes and dates

These are four different books. The series is named “The Sharing Knife”, and that name is written in rather big letters on the covers, but in addition to that there’s “Volume 1: Beguilement”, “Volume 2: Legacy”, and so on, respectively.

It makes HarperCollins look not exactly competent when they distribute books like that. (The first book had dozends of minor (presumably) OCR-caused mistakes – double quotes split into a pair of single quotes with a space in between -, which doesn’t help.)  But what adds insult to injury is that the title would be easy to fix for the customer, if not for DRM making the books uneditable.

There are a few authors whose books I like enough to buy even if the files are DRM-infested, but when it comes to looking for new authors to try out, I’ll concentrate on ones with publishing houses that don’t use DRM. Or who self-publish.

For the sake of fairness, I have to say: At least HarperCollins is trying. Those ebooks seem pretty well structured, including a table of content with links, and not including boilerplate text about stripped covers.

Originally posted at You can comment here or there.

Tags: drm, ebooks, harpercollins, other

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