“Loyalty”? Try “lock-in”.

/“Loyalty”? Try “lock-in”.

The actual article itself is better than its title, but it still highlights the dark side of the current ebook market; that is, single-vendor, DRM-facilitated lock-in.

On a related note: I’ll freely admit that I DRM-strip and reformat all the ebooks I buy. I don’t want to do this–it’s a pain in the ass, if nothing else–but do it anyway mainly because, I a) (sadly) still buy most ebooks from Amazon, but b) really, really fucking hate the Kindle app on iOS/OS X. It has shitty typography and justified text that makes me want to stab myself. And so I go through the rigmarole of republishing my books as epubs with rag-right text, wide line spacing, and nice fonts, because fuck you that’s why.

Formatting ebooks–particularly novels–is less like formatting print and more like formatting web pages (almost exactly like that, in fact, given the technologies involved). Except e-readers in general and formatting in particular still seem to be stuck where webdesign was circa 2004. I haven’t yet come across a book with formatting that rivals something like, say, the average post on Medium (and it’s arguably difficult to produce something like this, again given technical limitations).

Things will get better–and prettier–because they always do. But reading the the interim is painful all the same.

(P.S. To those who ask “why don’t you just buy your books from iBooks?”: basically because I’m a doofus. When iBooks launched it didn’t have stock in Australia–the publishers’ fault, not Apple’s–so I tend not to think of it when it’s time to go word-hunting. Honestly, I don’t even really know what titles are available from the iBooks store in Australia nowadays. I should probably go look into that…)

2017-11-16T10:54:26+00:00 5th April, 2014|Tags: amazon, books, ebooks, epub, ibooks, kindle, publishing, tech|Comments Off on “Loyalty”? Try “lock-in”.