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Adobe Launches Own E-Book Store

from the if-no-one-else-will... dept

So soon after Barnes & Noble shut down their own eBook store, Adobe apparently realized they need to jumpstart this market on their own, if they want to make sure that electronic books start showing up in their preferred pdf format. So, they’ve gone and launched their own damn e-book store with a ton of books and magazines – all in the pdf format, of course. An interesting idea (sort of like Apple opening up iTunes to drive iPod sales). However, Adobe may find that they have a bigger hurdle to face. They won’t get the same sort of buzz that Apple got, most people don’t associate Adobe with electronic books, and plenty of people are still unsure why they want electronic books. Yes, there are some who like e-books, and who are familiar with Adobe’s efforts, but it’s been a small group, and it’s unclear if this will alert many more people.

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Comments on “Adobe Launches Own E-Book Store”

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Bob Dole says:


Not that I’d ever read a book on a Blackberry, but mine can decode text-based PDF documents. I’d rather have someone pushing PDF as an ebook format than those other crazy, rights limited formats. Readily available tools can convert PDFs into plain TXT (thanks Dmitry Sklyarov).

For the times when I need a book right now and don’t want to wait a week for Amazon to ship it, an e-book might make sense.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Re: Cool

a)Adobe’s .PDF based ebook can be rights-limited just like any other ebook format. I’d be willing to be you that the ones for ‘sale’ on Adobe’s site are all restricted and can’t be shared.

b) There are utilities for converting at least some of the other right-limited file formats. I downloaded a utility that converts .LIT (MS Reader) format to plain text.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Cool

The PDF specification is published (see http://partners.adobe.com/asn/tech/pdf/specifications.jsp). Are the others?

Oh, you mean legitimate methods for converting right-limited file formats? 🙂

I downloaded a simple command-line program called CLit that converts .LIT files to plain text. I’ve seen other ones available, but .LIT is the format I am most familiar with, so it’s the only one I’ve bothered with so far.

Michael Ward (profile) says:

Adobe's e-book store

Overdrive is running the store for Adobe; they do one for Yahoo, too, but nobody’s noticed yet.

For Adobe, this is a chance to make a tiny bit of money on sales and get a lot of publicity for PDF. Of course, Adobe doesn’t make any money on PDF directly; they make it by selling the tools for PDF construction. You don’t even have to use Adobe’s tools; the PDF spec is a public document and there are several other companies competing with Adobe.

The digital rights are set by the publisher, not by Adobe. The publisher can allow unlimited printing and copying, read-aloud, lending, and duplication if they feel comfortable with it. We do; all our e-books have lowest DRM and we depend on moral suasion. If your favorite publisher limits your rights, send them a letter of complaint.

The prices for e-books are set by the publishers. Editorial and management costs for e-books are exactly the same as they are for printed books; production and shipping are less expensive. Most books are sold through a distributor, who takes 55% of the list price. The publisher gets 45% of some price that has to cover his costs–including royalties to the author. Some e-books will cost less than mass-market paperbacks; some will have to cost more because the fixed costs have to be amortized over a small number of copies sold. For an e-book edition of a title with hardcover and paperback editions also published, the e-book should cost less than the paperback. If your favorite publisher charges too much for his e-books, send him a letter of complaint.

Good places to learn about e-books are ebookweb.org and knowbetter.com.

E-book sales increase steadily every year, with or without hype. They started from a tiny base, and this year they’re becoming a measureable factor in book publishing and selling. The real era of e-books will only arrive when better reading devices at lower prices are available: perhaps smart phones with good screens, or truly inexpensive tablet or notebook-size computers.

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