Category Archives: eCrap ePub eBooks

iDevice Kobo App With DRM-Free ePub

Well, standing here embarrassed as all hell over my huge error in that last post, I’ll come back for more.

Here are directions from the Mobileread Kobo Reader Wiki on how to add DRM-free ePub and PDFs to the Kobo reading app on an iDevice.

How do I ‘side-load’ PDF and unencrypted epub files into the Kobo application using iTunes?

Kobo Books: Read Adobe DRMed ePub On An iPad


That’s what the man of Kobo Books just said:

@mikecane You’re absolutely right re: Desktop Reader. My error. Side-loading live for iPhone, iPad, eReader, still in dev for Desktop ReaderFri Sep 17 21:01:16 via web

That is MAJOR.

That means that reading public library loans of ePub eBooks dipped in Adobe DRM will work on the iPad!

UPDATE: Bad parsing by me of what is in the Kobo Blog post:

You should definitely be able to add in unencrypted, unDRM’d stuff. It would be even better if you could get DRM’d books from other vendors in. (We’re part way there now. Side-load PDFs, un-DRM’d ePubs into our Desktop Reader (Oops! Not yet! Working on it. — MT), Kobo eReader, iPad and iPhone apps. Add Overdrive library books on the Kobo eReader. More to come…)

(The mention of “eReader” up there is for the Kobo Reader hardware.)

My huge error.

Adobe DRMed ePubs will, however, work on the Kobo Reader hardware.

All the rest can use only DRM-free ePub.

Get the Kobo software and try it! DRM-free ePub. (Which, alas, is what iBooks can already do… so, you know, never mind!)


Sony Reader 101: Borrowing Public Library eBooks — an all-purpose primer for borrowing ePub eBooks from public libraries
OverDrive Search (click on Search for a Library tab)
Sony Library Finder (easier; no tab to select)

iWork Adds ePub Export

I was busy watching a live video session of an Android tablet and so ignoring Twitter.

When the video was over, I got hit with several tweets about Apple updating iWork’s Pages desktop app with ePub export capability.

Right now, these are two links to look at:

Test-driving Apple Pages with ePub export

ePub export comes to Pages in iWork 9.0.4 update

More about this at another time as I learn more.

Would A Seven-Inch iPad Kill The Kindle?

Short answer: No.

1) The Kindle has two components: the Kindle as device and Kindle as eBook file format.

2) People have made an investment in Kindle books. Those who decide to switch from a Kindle device will use the Kindle app on the iPad. This really doesn’t wipe out the Kindle as such. It makes it a parasite inside the iPad. And those Kindle users will continue to buy Kindle books because what reason is there to split their library into Kindle and ePub (ePub equalling iBooks, Nook, or Kobo)? As I discovered for myself, Amazon offers more books that anyone else and it’s likely to stay that way. Amazon will also push books more than Apple will.

3) There is still a place for eInk until something comes along to make LCD/LEDs in bright sunlight possible. Pixel Qi’s status is still questionable. No one other than Notion Ink (which is still vaporware) has publicly stated it will use that screen — and even then, they curiously offer a model with a conventional LCD screen. Plus, Apple loves its IPS LED screen because it makes colors pop.

4) A smaller iPad would still weigh more than a Kindle. An iPad would most likely be the same size and weight as the Pandigital Novel, which also has a seven-inch screen:

Pandigital Novel: 7.5” x 5.5” x 0.5” – 16 oz

Barnes & Noble Nook: 7.7” x 4.9” x 0.5” – 12.1 oz

Amazon Kindle 3: 7.5” x 4.8” x 0.335” – 8.5-8.7oz

Sony Reader Touch: 6.9” x 4.8” x 0.4” – 10.1 oz

Kobo Reader: 7.24” x 4.72” x 0.393” – 7.795 oz

5) A smaller iPad will still cost more than a Kindle. This makes toting it around more of a financial risk.

6) A smaller iPad will be the New New Thing to steal. Theft anxiety is not conducive to relaxed reading in some public places.

7) A smaller iPad is likely to impact iPod Touch sales more than Kindle sales.

8) Amazon can always put the squeeze on its suppliers and further crush the price down from $139 for the WiFi version.

All that being said, everyday people are very fickle. They once paid $399 for a Kindle. If a seven-inch iPad came in at $299, people could make do with the limitations of an LED screen in bright sunlight (by sitting in the shade) and all the rest of the reasons I set out above. Especially that bit about theft risk — a $399 Kindle was a lot of money to wave around!

Plus, even if it didn’t wind up killing the Kindle device, it’d still outsell it at least twenty-to-one.

Meanwhile, Over At Tumblr …

… where I post because this blog is still waiting for Kittenageddon to end:

eBook Notes For August 7, 2010

Price Misperceptions: eBook Readers Versus iPod

And my utter humiliation and ruination and thorough defeat:

I Fought The Kindle — And Lost

Micro Fondle: Kobo Reader

This is the first of three micro fondle reports today. The other two are the Sprint 4G HTC EVO and the Amazon Kindle DX Graphite with new Pearl eInk screen.

I had to go to lower Manhattan today to buy some thermal compound. Since I made a point of also carrying the damn camera, I stopped in Borders to see if I could finally get a picture of the Kobo Reader.

Well, lo, there was a Borders rep with a live demo model I could try out!

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The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights

This was inspired by a big bunch of Samples I downloaded from Amazon’s Kindle Store. These are not specific to Kindle format. All eBook formats suffer.

People like lists of ten. I have nine here as a work-in-progress minimum.

1) You have the right to a proper cover.
a) The cover should be the same as on the current printed edition.
b) The cover should be large enough to fill at minimum a five-inch screen.
c) A thumbnail of the cover shown for sales or library software purposes should be the same cover as in the eBook.

2) You have the right to a Table of Contents (TOC).
a) The TOC should have links to the matter inside the book so you can jump to each part.

3) You have the right to proper formatting by default.
a) Formatting should mirror a proper printed book.
b) Paragraphs should have indents without spaces between paragraphs.
c) Only after such proper default formatting should a reader be able to mix things up via a device’s software settings (typesize, spacing, margins — in other words, reflow overrides).

4) You have the right to highlight passages.
a) Sharing highlighted passages should be optional, opt-in, and protect privacy.

5) You have the right to set Bookmarks.
a) As many as you damn well want!

6) You have the right to Copy passages.
a) Copyright holders have the right to restrict this to one paragraph at a time to make piracy too time-consuming.

7) You have the right to legible illustrations.
a) They should be zoomable or several sizes should be available via linking.

8) You have the right to proofreading.
a) Any eBook with more than ten typos should be refundable as defective.

9) You have the right not to be assaulted by screens of blurbs when starting a book.
a) Blurbs are unnecessary in eBooks — they’ve already been bought!

Barnes & Noble Is For Sale: Amazon Should Buy It

Barnes & Noble Goes on Block

Barnes & Noble Inc. has put itself up for sale, struggling amid a changing landscape for book sales.

The nation’s largest bookstore chain announced Tuesday that it was reviewing strategic alternatives and ways to boost shareholder value.

This is all about the money.

Sarah Weinman, who has covered the ongoing tale of Barnes & Noble, has an analysis of the intricacies and politics at work.

This news could not have come at a worse time for Barnes & Noble — right after Amazon’s trifecta of press announcements (eBook sales, the Kindle 3, and Larsson selling one million Kindle books).

People do not want uncertainty when it comes to spending money — especially in these straitened times. Hearing about Barnes & Noble being for sale brings to mind all other companies that were sold and became worse after the process. How many potential sales of the Nook will now be killed by this uncertainty?

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Get Over It: ePub Is Dead And HTML5 Wins

What Nixonland means for EPUB

Second, it marks Apple’s, and perhaps EPUB’s, path toward HTML5. It is no coincidence that the one non-complying piece of Nixonland is a tag from HTML5. Not an Apple proprietary extension, not a weird JavaScript, but part of the language that both Apple and Google have been heavily promoting for the last year or so. How long can it be before EPUB supports HTML5, EpubCheck validates HTML5, and Nixonland and other video-containing ebooks are legitimate entries in the iBookstore?

Apple joined the IDPF. Google and HP (Palm) are also members. So is Nokia.

iOs, Android, webOS, Symbian — all use the WebKit rendering engine. That’s four broad global mobile operating systems that basically define the walk-around go-anywhere Internet today.

With WebKit available, why would any of these companies agree to further the cause of ePub for eBooks?

Why would any of them agree to a spec that keeps changing and that has always — and will always be — behind the spec of the Internet itself?

Why would any of them agree that eBooks should be in the grip of one company — Adobe! — for its rendering engine (as well as DRM!)?

There is no plausible reason whatsoever for these big-footprint members of the IDPF to agree to the continuation of ePub.

ePub is going to be put to death. My own wish is that it will be a swift beheading so everyone can get on with their lives. My fear is that it will be a piece-by-piece dismantling that leaves eBooks in an absolute mess.

Whichever way it happens, ePub is just dead.

Amazon has won the war for eBooks that can use a purpose-built device.

Everyone else will go with HTML5 for eBooks.

And don’t forget: the Kindle 3 now has a WebKit-based browser inside.

Your ePub eInk Device Will Be Obsolete Soon

This is what every owner of a Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo Reader does not want to hear:

@MatthewDiener @lizcastro @crych next epub spec is going to raise the bar, substantially. it will rest on implementers to deliver.Fri Jul 23 13:28:43 via Twitter for iPhone

@MatthewDiener @lizcastro @crych the spec, and proofs/demos will become public before end of year.Fri Jul 23 13:36:07 via Twitter for iPhone

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