images.jpgI just had to reprint this comment by Clytie Siddall. The comment was in response to Joanna’s article Publishers, rejoice!:

Today I spent some time hunting down in ebook the next few volumes of a series my teenage daughter had started. I’d bought the first volume (The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett) from Fictionwise in the halcyon international e-reading days before geolimitations were imposed. She read it this week, and was happily anticipating the next volume in the series.

I found the ebooks at Borders Australia, and bought them. The ensuing conversation:

Her: OK, so I just get this from your Bookshelf and open it in eReader.

Me: Unfortunately, no. I can’t get it from Fictionwise, and I can’t get it in that format.

Her: Why not?

Me: That’s a good question. I’ve been looking for the answer for several months now. You know I’ve got a dozen different readers on my iPhone?

Her: Yes, but… I thought I wouldn’t have to go through all that cr*p.

Me: You and the rest of the reading public. Borders have it in ePub–

Her: So I can open it in Stanza!

Me: Um, no.

Her: Why not? Stanza does ePub.

Me: Yes, but these books have DRM.
She gives me a disgusted, iTunes-generation look

Me: It is doable, sorta. You need to download the desktop reader, and the iPhone reader, and log in to my account at Borders…

After half an hour of setup, we’re still waiting for the books to download

Her: If it were my money, there’s no way I’d put up with this cr*p.
(She gives up and starts playing video games)

There you are, publishers: one keen reader and customer of the future.