Feeds

WTF is... up with e-book pricing?

Price rises coming

Security for virtualized datacentres

Paperback priority

One way of saving money is – as with printed books – by waiting for the paperback. When it was first published, Margaret Attwood’s The Year of the Flood had an e-book RRP of £18.99, matching that of the hardback, and was discounted at Waterstones to £13.59. The Kindle edition now sells for a publisher-set £6.99, while the paperback is discounted from £7.99 to £5.16 by Amazon.

Project Gutenberg

Good Gutenberg: your first port of call for free out-of-copyright material - and not just the familiar classics - in all the key formats

Complicating matters still further, WH Smith tells us that they’ve only signed up to agency pricing for Hachette and Penguin titles. However, Year of the Flood, despite being from a member of the Hachette group, is still selling on WH Smith for £4.59, compared to Amazon’s £6.99.

Want to shop around for e-books? Get a smartphone

Shopping around for e-books may be becoming less advantageous, thanks to the introduction of agency pricing, but it's nonetheless becoming easier to do.

The main barrier to seeking the cheapest supplier for a given e-book is DRM and file format. Amazon's Kindle has a format all of its own, with the .azw suffix, while other e-bookstores use the ePub format.

But while many protected ePub e-books use Adobe's Adept DRM, part of its Digital Editions system, Apple's iTunes bookstore uses the company's own Fairplay DRM.

Fortunately for smartphone owners, apps are appearing that allow you to hold multiple e-book libraries alongside each other.

On the iPhone, for example, in addition to Apple's iBooks, you can download a Kindle reader from Amazon, and there are a number of readers that support Adept, such as Bluefire Reader, Txtr and Stanza.

Sony Reader app

Sony is developing an e-book reader app for iOS and for Android. Hopefully it will bring Adept support to Android. While there are a fair few e-book reader apps in the Android Market - notably Kobo and Aldiko - none appear to support Adobe DRM.

All this is great news for smartphone and tablet owners, but the fixed nature of dedicated e-book reader devices means they're unlikely to gain support for formats and DRM schemes not favoured by the manufacturer.

This advice will annoy E Ink fans, but it's true nonetheless: if you want access to the broadest range of e-bookshops, you need a smartphone.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate
Belay that toil, me hearty, and park your scurvy backside
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.