Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

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the.fee.fairy
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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 254999Post the.fee.fairy »

I think a lot of the non-sales come down to what Dave (or Andy...can't remember which) wrote in my sister's Ish bible -

Get this book muddy, covered in food and homebrew. Don't keep it perfect!

(something like that) You can't do that with an ebook!

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 255001Post red »

the.fee.fairy wrote: I do hope that this is not the end of paper books, it won't be quite the same for future generations to inherit an ebook device full of Granny's recipes, or a computer file. I like my old recipe books that someone's written in the margins!
true - we inherited a copy of Mrs Beeton's househole management from himself's great aunt - there are bit of paper throughout with handwritten recipes etc. it just wouldn't be the same

I read a lot - if i were living abroad or travelling a lot i can see an ereader would be ace - but i gave that up for my ishy life, so old (mostly 2nd hand) books it is. and lots of them. - sometimes it actually costs more to get the e-version - and in most cases - there isn't a lot in it - 35p cheaper to buy booze for free in digital form from amazon.
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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 255002Post the.fee.fairy »

I love my paper books!

Last year, before i left in the summer i donated a whole suitcase full to the hostel in the city.

But...I couldn't do without my e-reader now!

I admit...i do sniff my paper books regularly just to get a fix!

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 255022Post big brew ejit »

I have a kindle and it is great for novels, classics etc but I wouldn't put cook or homebrew books on it as I like to peruse through said books.

Also of you see the mess I make when cooking, its like a trail of destruction in which a kindle wouldn't fair very well. I like where my HB and cook books are on the kitchen top, gives it a bit of character not like a sterile tidy modern kitchen.

Last thing, I have a copy of booze for free and like sitting down and having a read whilst having some HB or homemade wine have yet to try the prison wine.

Last last thing, I think people realise without thinking that its not really practical to have cook books on e readers.

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 255024Post Mrs Moustoir »

Must admit, I do love old fashioned cookbooks too but one thing I do use my kindle for, is to have a look at cookbooks before I buy the hardback versions.

Sometimes you can download and read sample chapters for free.

But then, I'm just an old skinflint...

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 255025Post big brew ejit »

Doesn't make you a skinflint, means you're using your loaf.
Saves going to the bookshop for a look.

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 265157Post butlermh »

Yes, there is a reason.

It's nothing to do with the readers. At the moment, when people discuss ebooks versus paper, they get into this incredible emotional argument which in a few years we will look back on as being crazy.

My view is slghtly different, because I just got back from an extended period working in Switzerland, and I am about to leave to live in Taiwan. So I am having to dispose of my huge hoard of 700+ books that I had in store here in the UK.

If I could compress my entire library into my kindle and ipad, then my life would be much simpler. Once you get used to e-readers this fetish for dead trees seems a bit weird! Looking after a lot of physical books takes quite a bit of effort.

But although the hardware is amazing, the formats being used by the publishers feel like they are ten years out of date. So the current generation of Kindles is great for novels - things that you read in serial fashion - but hopeless for books you read in a random access fashion.

And two classes of books you read random access are guide books - which should be a killer application for ebooks as even a lightweight lonely planet weighs the same as an ipad or three times as much as a kindle - and cookery books.

I have an IPad too - if you are serious about ereading you need both, Kindle for novels etc and IPad for magazines - and today I have been looking at cookery ebooks. They are appalling. Only one Jamie Oliver book available in this format. It is a PDF .. basically a glorified image format .. so the file is big, takes ages to render and there is no random access apart from a thumbnail map of the book, practically impossible to navigate. There are quite a few Nigella titles available .. both on the ipad via itunes or on the Kindle. However they clearly use a kindle-like ebook format, so some support for random access because they have a table of contents, better than the PDF, but still not great, OCRd ebook format, very few photos. I found my favourite Rachel Allen book, this appeared to be in the same format, but they had obviously taken a lot more care assembling it, included lots of the photos.

And then there is the price ... itunes wants £25.99 for the Jamie Oliver one .. daylight robbery! I know the real books are supposed to be that kind of price, but normally you can get them in Sainsbury's for half the price. The Nigella book is £10 and the Rachel Allen is £13. This is too much! The ebooks should be under £10.

The problem is for the publisher it's easy to make a "serial" format ebook ... you just OCR it ... but to make one you can random access with working links, good pictures, that requires some work .. and they clearly aren't prepared to do that AND YET they still want to charge the same as a real physical book.

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 265185Post dave45 »

I too hate DRM... its bonkers. I joined Liverpool library so that I could download legal ebooks for my Sony reader. The DRM process is a nightmare, and now that my old PC has croaked i doubt that I can ever recover.. When I "borrowed" a book from the library the DRM system prevented anyone else from simultaneously "borrowing" it.

?????

The whole idea about ebooks is that there is no such restriction, yet the DRM luddites have won the day at present...

Which is also why copying ebooks aint "theft" - defined as intention to permanently deprive the property owner of his property... its unlicensed copying.

Make it easy, price it sensibly and people will pay. We are nowhere near that.

The main problem with all e-readers IMO is battery life. I bought several ebooks to read on my ipad on holiday...but you can't read a book on a single charge.. its "10-hour" battery life is down to about 3 hours after a year. And the ferry trip was 5 hours....so I bought a newspaper!

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 265187Post marshlander »

If I had the money I would have a kindle for novels but prefer the real thing for everything else. I'm also convinced that they will be superceeded by new technology and you will loose your library - I've drawers full of knacked cds for example then there's video tapes...floppy discs.. ooh who remembers betamax? :lol:
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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 265192Post contadina »

dave45 wrote:The main problem with all e-readers IMO is battery life. I bought several ebooks to read on my ipad on holiday...but you can't read a book on a single charge.. its "10-hour" battery life is down to about 3 hours after a year. And the ferry trip was 5 hours....so I bought a newspaper!
My kindle battery lasts a couple of weeks, allowing me to read around 10 books. I think Amazon say that if you read for hour a day the battery will last one month. An iPad, is a notebook, first and foremost, so chews though the battery much faster.

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 265206Post Jandra »

Interesting discussion.

I've been an e-book fan for over 5 years now. Due to problems with my arms, keeping open a book is a strain for me. The e-book readers are splendidissimo for me.

I've recently also bought an iPad and that does add a new dimention to e-books, I must say. With the swiping it is much faster to 'browse' through a book and much more intuitive and 'book-like' as well. Also illustration are great in the iPad; the grayscale doesn't do most of them justice. I read Permaculture Magazine on my iPad and I don't mind that. Can 'blow up' the font and pictures, even if that means touching the screen more often to follow the text. For the reading of plain text, portability and battery life (!) I find my kindle far superior, though.

Actually I wouldn't mind the books being DRM protected, if the standard format would be uniform and exchangable between devices and allow for easy lending/borrowing. Obviously author rights should be protected. As it is now, I think it is extremely inconvenient to say the least.

But for me it solves more problems than it causes, so I consume...

Jandra

PS: Another type of books that does better on paper than in e-books: Gardening books!

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 265211Post GeorgeSalt »

The Kindle does not suit non-linear narratives, the navigation options are so poor (and most authors/publishers are not very good at adapting their work for the Kindle format - I'm pretty certain that Kindle does support links within the text).

The iPad/Android table systems are better suited to the encyclopediac format of cookery books and the like, but requires additional skills to be learned/bought to get the most from it. The succesful e-publications will incorporate interactive elements (read coarse location data, check the date and make seasonal suggestions) and be useful beyond just converting raw text into an onscreen format (selectable conversion between imperial and metric elements, scaleable ingredient quantities).

Taking text and converting to ebook without further work isn't going to work, except for fiction and linear nonfiction.
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..

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Re: Cookbook ebooks low sales for a reason?

Post: # 266979Post the.fee.fairy »

ButlerMH: When you're in Taiwan, have a look for a chinese brand ebook reader. There's a website in Mainland China called Taobao - I don't know if they use it in Taiwan too.

You can pick up an ebook reader for around £30 here - 4gb, full colour, MP3 etc. They 'play' most formats of book. I've found that my ebook is invaluable to me. i love reading but can't get many english language books here, so i download them from places.

The problem with the Kindle here is actually getting the books to download - Amazon have different downloads available depending on your country. I've not found many English books on Amazon.cn that i actually want to download, and even looking on amazon.co.uk there are loads of books, but I can't download them because the IP address is the wrong country :(

So...go get a Chinese 'fake' ebook (copy/clone type). They're cheap and last well!

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