Ebooks versus print books

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Bead Flowers wrote
on Jun 15, 2012 6:27 PM

I don't know if anyone has already started a discussion like this - I couldn't see one, but I'm curious to find out a bit more about how ebooks of beading patterns are shaping up versus traditional print books?

Personally I really love books - there's something about the smell of printed pages and actually physically holding a book that you just don't get with an e-book. On the other hand, I haven't really tried out any beading e-books...they certainly seem to have an advantage in that it can be good to watch a video of someone doing a technique rather than trying to piece together diagrams and descriptive text. I'm guessing maybe it's easier to find your way around an e-book if you can search for a subject instead of looking up the index and then trying to find the right page. Just a few thoughts...

If you had the choice between buying a title as an e-book or as a print book, would you have a preference and why? I'm thinking about a traditional kind of format which starts with an introduction to a stitch and then has different projects to try, rather than just downloading an individual e-pattern here.

So, thoughts anybody...?

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whatsup1 wrote
on Jun 15, 2012 7:15 PM

When talking beading patterns, I only like an EBook if I can print the pages. I have one EBook through Zinio that I can't print from (and I have to look at it on my computer and not my IPad), and I hate it. I like to look at the pictures and read but it isn't practical to use for a beading pattern. From what I understand, the publisher or author has the final say as to whether printing is enabled on their book, and also what operating system can access the book. This book wasn't enabled for printing, and it wasn't enabled for IOS (IPad). I haven't tried any beading EBooks on my Kindle, but I imagine it would have the same problem. I have an EBook I bought from the interweave store that came as a PDF, and I like that a lot. I can browse and read the book, and print a pattern.

 

There is a book on Zinio I'm interested in, and I emailed them to find out if printing was enabled. I'd never buy a beading book where I can't get a printed copy of the pattern somehow.

Peg

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Valbeads wrote
on Jun 15, 2012 9:58 PM

I have both.  When I download anything from Interweave, such as old issues of Stringing(my favoritest beading magazine in the whole wide world...yeahyeahyeah I know favoritest isn't a real word, but it is now!(g)), they download to my Adobe PDF.  It's not so bad, because if I really want to examine a photograph, I can really blow it up to get a good look at it.  My laptop is hi-def satellite so even when I blow out the pics, they're still crystal clear.  The eReader software I have is BookPlace, and I'm pretty happy with it.  I've bought a couple of beading books from them and they're displayed on my monitor in traditional book format, so that's okay, too.

That being said, I have subscriptions to Stringing, Step by Step Wire Jewelry(both Interweave) and BeadStyle(pub. by Kalmbach), as well as boatloads of books that Interweave has released.  I have a bit of an easier time reading the printed page as opposed to a monitor, even after all these years, and as you mentioned, there's just nothing quite like the feel of the pages in your hands, and the smell of the ink.  I tend to be a very tactile person and a laptop just doesn't feel as nice as turning pages!  Not only that, but you don't have to worry about you backup battery running out of juice should the power go out; books and magazines don't need them!

I guess what it boils down to is that it's personal preference.  Given my druthers, I'd much rather have a magazine or book.  But I can be flexible.

Val

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Bead Flowers wrote
on Jun 16, 2012 5:52 AM

Thanks Peg, that's a really interesting point - I hadn't even thought about being able to print pages (or not!). I'm with you in that I would still much rather prefer to read something printed out - I'm sorry to admit that I do that a lot on the internet, find an article and then print it off to read! I don't live in much of a paperless world!

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Bead Flowers wrote
on Jun 16, 2012 5:57 AM

Thanks Val!...favouritest is definitely a real word :)

I'm just debating what to do with a beading book that I self-published through Blurb about 18 months ago. Blurb has got too expensive to keep printing off copies to sell, but I don't want the book to 'disappear' either. I've been looking into either re-printing it myself (expensive!) or trying to get an existing publisher to take it on (no news there yet), but I also have an offer to turn it into an e-book. Ideally it would be nice to keep it as both print format and e-format, but the e-publisher doesn't seem too keen to work that way, which I can kind of understand. I'm not sure whether the traditional print market is tapping into a different set of people from the e-market, in which case it wouldn't be a problem as it's not competition for the e-book. So I thought I'd talk to a few people and try and find out a bit more before I decide what I'm going to do!

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on Jun 18, 2012 11:47 AM

So far I haven't purchased any beading books as e-books, but I'm open to it. My reader is a black and white Kindle, so I guess I'd want something that I can pull up on an iPad (for color) - but that's probably pretty standard now. I don't think the ability to print will be a huge issue for me, as long as I can set up an iPad in my work area and use it like a print-out - BUT I know from feedback that I receive on About.com that many beaders still do strongly prefer the ability to print out patterns -- just like Peg pointed out.

Of course, as with any book contract, be sure to review the terms carefully, especially to see what it says about license and rights.

Is your book about beaded flowers? I think there's still strong interest in that area as long as you can reach your target readership.

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Valbeads wrote
on Jun 18, 2012 2:28 PM

That's a question that I can't answer, since sadly I'm not all that familiar with the publishing market. That's someplace I've been hesitant to dabble in, yet.  Not really sure it's a place you should be "dabbing" in, any road, I guess.  At least, not without doing your homework first..  But good on with with the e-book offer.  Besides, even if they turn it into an eBook, we can still print hardcopy, right?  No law saying you can't do that for your own private use, just not peddling it about as your own work, I believe.

As for why I don't have a Kindle or an iPad?  I dunno; I guess in some areas of technology I can still be a bit of a Luddite!Big Smile  I'm sure the Borg would say, "Resistance is futile!"(lol)

Val

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whatsup1 wrote
on Jun 18, 2012 8:48 PM

Valbeads:

Besides, even if they turn it into an eBook, we can still print hardcopy, right?  No law saying you can't do that for your own private use, just not peddling it about as your own work, I believe.

As for why I don't have a Kindle or an iPad?  I dunno; I guess in some areas of technology I can still be a bit of a Luddite!Big Smile  I'm sure the Borg would say, "Resistance is futile!"(lol)

Val

I assume you are talking about the end user printing it. Frankly, it is not easy unless the EBook is printing enabled. You cannot print anything directly from the Kindle. Some Zinio books are print enabled, some are not. I don't think you can print from IBooks or the INewsstand. One workaround from the IPad and a laptop/desktop is to use "print screen" (or, on the IPad, pressing the "home" and "off" button at the same time takes a picture of the current screen and you then can print the picture) but I've found that the quality is not good enough to read the writing.

 

Peg

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Valbeads wrote
on Jun 19, 2012 12:25 AM

Yeah, see?  That's the tech schlub in me coming out.(g)

When I was thinking about eBooks, I was thinking about all the stuff I have downloaded and stored on my computer, whether in PDF format or on my eReader. I can hardcopy both formats. 

This is why I don't have a Kindle or an iPad or even a smartphone.  Why would I want even a phone that's smarter than I am?Tongue Tied

Val

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Ricki Ayer wrote
on Jun 19, 2012 7:49 AM

My sentiments exactly Val.  I like books - real books.  I don't have a Kindle, or an iPad either and no smart phone for me either.  I have a very basic cell phone for emergencies only - I see no reason to be connected 24/7.  I ride the bus to and from work and it it unbelieveable - seems like everyone has a phone in their hand the entire time and is either talking or texting or surfing the web.  I can't for the life of my understand why people need to talk on the phone the entire trip and have a busload of people able to hear their conversations.  I sit in the back with my book and read - a nice way to ease into or out of the day.  Much less stressful to me.  So count me in with a vote for print books!!

Ricki

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Valbeads wrote
on Jun 19, 2012 1:19 PM

I've just always liked the feel and texture of books.  I do have a cell phone- I'm just not married to it.  Like I said- I don't like devices that are smarter than I am!(lol) 

It's kinda sad that people don't seem to want to connect on a prsonal level any more.  On the other hand, if it hadn't been for the internet, I wouldn't have met some of my dearest friends who live in England, and actually gotten to meet them in person a couple of summers ago.

I don't know about you, but I'm a people-watcher.  I do it all the time, no matter where I'm at. People do the most interesting things when they don't realize they're being observed.  You learn a lot of interesting stuff about your fellow humans.  I also like going up to the airport observatory from time to time to watch the planes take off and land.  They have speakers thetre so you can hear the pilots communicating with the tower.  It's fun to imagine where these people might be going and where they've come from.  Interestingly enough, I get ideas for my jewelry that way.

Val

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yumemiru wrote
on Jun 20, 2012 4:49 PM

I'm one of the "younger set" {just turned 20 not even a week ago} and one of the best things I got for my birthday was my Kindle Fire. I prefer ebooks to print books {although I still have quite a few print books because I read a lot even before I got my Kindle} because they're cheaper {hi, I'm a college student with a tiny bank balance}, and because I don't really have to worry about the book closing on its own due to gravity or flipping a couple pages if I have a fan on or something. Also, if you need to look at a picture more closely, you can just blow it up right there on the screen and get it as big as you need it...provided your e-reader of choice is a touchscreen. >.> But then again, I'm young and I've grown up with electronic devices, so I can understand how people can still prefer print media.

Also, someone mentioned that they couldn't get Amazon content on their iPad or something like that...I'm pretty sure you can download a Kindle app from Amazon's website. I did that before I had my Kindle because I wanted to save on books this semester, and it was actually pretty nice. However, I don't really like reading books on my computer...

~Katie

 

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Sharon Mc wrote
on Jun 24, 2012 4:59 AM

I enjoy initially reading the beading material in a physical hardcopy format. But, when I'm ready to use an actual pattern from a book or magazine I scan the pattern onto my pc and then transfer it to my ipad. I have at least bead weaving patterns on my ipad right now (not including the bead emags and ebooks that I own). I find that I love working from a pattern using my ipad rather than a printed page.  I'm saving on paper and when using the ipad I can zoom in very close if need be. Its also very easy to carry my ipad into bead stores with me to always have on hand what beads I need for multiple patterns at any given time. The ipad makes the whole process so much easier!

Sharon Mc

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Bead Flowers wrote
on Jun 26, 2012 12:53 PM

Thanks Chris! The book I'm trying to work out how best to take forward is actually a book of miniature beaded cakes in Peyote stitch.

I am also working on a book of beaded wedding bouquets (so yes, French beaded flowers) with an e-publisher. Hopefully that will come out later this year. The publisher is largely responsible for the marketing with that one, although I will of course be advertising it myself when the time comes - after all, the more the merrier! I think that one will work really well as an e-book because I've been able to include videos demonstrating the French beading which seems to work very well for that technique, perhaps more so than for the off-loom weaving. Anyway, fingers crossed and we shall see what happens!

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Bead Flowers wrote
on Jun 26, 2012 12:57 PM

Belated happy birthday Katie!

It's really nice to hear from a younger beader as well. In fact, it's been great to hear such a range of views and it has really helped focus my thoughts. Like a lot of you, I tend to live in the technological dark ages - I have mastered a laptop and a mobile, but don't have an e-reader or ipad or even i-phone or similar...I'll probably catch up eventually, but meanwhile I have no experience of e-books! It seems like being able to print off pages is a big 'must', so I'll definitely bear that in mind...lots to think about, but thank you everyone!!! Smile

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