Harpercollins will offer discounted ebooks to print book owners


Ok the 'NEXT POST" and 'DISCUSS" buttons really need to be different colours.

"Buy the same book again, now cheaper!’’

I’ll never understand ebooks, they are just not for me.

They’ll need to send me another print book, too. There’s ink on my old one now.


Writing in a book? Well, I get the intent of the proof of ownership, I just don’t think I could do it for the sake of a discount on an ebook. I don’t even like to crack the spine on my books.


So I have to grab my physical book, write my name in it, scan that, upload to some website and then pay $2-$3.

How would that be an improvement over just finding torrents for books I already own and downloading that way?


Because some people are concerned with legality and this is, apparently, legal?

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I’m curious how they’ll tell the difference between people writing on the book and people writing on the scan.

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Because the people willing to cheat the system aren’t going to spend three bucks.

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The only ink that goes in my books is for autographs.


Back when I worked in a large bookshop - when ebooks were only just starting to become an actual market rather than a curiosity - I always wondered why publishers didn’t include a code with each physical book allowing you to get a free ebook with it, similar to the way you can get a (crap) digital copy of a film with some DVDs.

Sadly, publishers seem to be even more resistant to the digital age than the RIAA. In any case, I don’t know too many book lovers who have qualms about ‘format shifting’ their existing library on to their Kindle without paying twice.


There are a few challenges around offering unique download codes for books:

  1. the code would have to be obscured (think shrink warped book or scratch covering) to ensure that people didn’t walk out of the bookstore with a library of free eBook downloads.

  2. books (especially bestsellers) tend to be printed using an offset press. Offset printing means that every copy is identical, so printing something unique in each book increases the complexity (and cost) of production.

Neither of these are impossible to overcome, especially as many mass market paperbacks are now printed using digital Print on Demand (POD) production rather than offset production. Although POD quality is lower and costs are higher (the advantage comes from just in time production rather than printing and warehousing).

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Oh, there’s a few problems, and your first example is almost certainly the biggest :wink:

Still, the fundamental idea isn’t too bad and if they’d done something along those lines, they probably wouldn’t be complaining so much about the Kindle Store eating their lunch now.

Though technically this is.

You, sir or madam, are a rock star.

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Flaky as one anyway, I forgot my copy of Little Brother at home when I went to Penguicon this year. Still lacking any Cory signatures.

I realize that the publisher has royalties to pay and all that, but I’m not going to pay twice for a book, song, or anything else. We’re surrounded on all sides by companies trying to nickel and dime us to the poorhouse, and I refuse to play.


I think it’s predicated on the assumption that one would want an additional digital edition to the initial physical one. Unlike, say with CDs or VHS -> DVD -> Blu-ray, there hasn’t been much in the way of additional features to entice an individual to want an additional copy of a book. Not as if the text has become HD or there’s an author’s commentary track or something like that.

If one wasn’t interested in that, then why would one bother? I don’t see it as nickel and dime-ing us if there’s no particular reason to want it.

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