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Friday News: Kobo nixes tablets, grammar rules you can forget, libraries and Adobe ADE, and Agatha Christie’s jewels

Friday News: Kobo nixes tablets, grammar rules you can forget, libraries...

Tamblyn added that its “most valuable customer for us is the customer who reads on e-ink devices and tablets. They are worth 23% more to us in terms of sales”. . . .

Douglas McCabe, analyst with Enders Analysis based in London, said that Kobo needed to acquire exclusive content to be competitive in the e-reading market. “Kobo has to establish itself as the niche e-reader competitor to Amazon’s Kindle,” he said. “The tablet market has too many very successful players—Apple, Samsung, Sony, Google, Tesco, Amazon itself. Kobo is lost on that battlefield.” –The Bookseller

Classic style makes writing, which is necessarily artificial, as artificially natural as possible, if you’d pardon the oxymoron. That is, you’re not physically with someone when you write. You’re not literally having a conversation with them, but classic style simulates those experiences and so it takes an inherently artificial situation, namely writing, and it simulates a more natural interaction, the more natural interaction being (a) conversation (b) seeing the world. So two people in the same place, one of whom directs the other’s attention to something in the world, is a natural way in which two people interact and classic style simulates that. –New Republic

Librarians who have ebook collections need to inform their patrons right now that if they are using the latest Adobe Digital Editions software, their reading history, including ebooks they didn’t borrow from the library, belongs to Adobe and anyone else who’s watching. (See how librarians at Ryerson responded within 24 hours.) Next, they have to figure out what steps to take to fix the problem.Beyond that, we all need to have a serious conversation of whether our devotion to privacy is merely lip service, an old-fashioned hang-up we have decided doesn’t matter anymore and should scrub from the American Library Association website, or whether we will actually, you know, stand up for it. Because right now, that’s not happening. –Inside Higher Ed

Four years after buying the trunk, Mrs Grant had builders in and wrenched open the box with a crowbar.

Inside she found a purse of gold coins, a diamond brooch and a three-stone diamond ring, items that are mentioned in Agatha Christie’s biography as pieces earmarked for her and her sister Madge. –BBC

Making Sure your Kobo book can be downloaded

Making Sure your Kobo book can be downloaded

Discussion about the recent changes to B&N have revealed a number of Kobo customers are having trouble with some Kobo books they’ve purchased.  Kobo’s Customer Care department (a misnomer if ever I heard one) will tell buyers who complain that the problem occurs because the book is “ePub3″.  This is actually not the case.  EPub3 books can be downloaded just fine – the problems arise when you come across a (fortunately) rare KePub book.

ETA: I’ve been keeping an eye on the comments and browsing through the Mobile Reads forum about this topic.  It seems the problem is both ePub3 and KePub – ePub3 books can be downloaded – other etailers don’t seem to be having the same problem.  Those books which are uploaded to Kobo in ePub3 format are going to be KePubbed and won’t be downloadable.  This appears to be a compatibility issue with the way Kobo likes to do things and ePub3.  This thread at Mobile Reads suggests that all new Tor books will have this problem if purchased from Kobo, as they are publishing their books in ePub3 format. 

Unfortunately, therefore, it seems the problem will become more frequent.  If downloading matters to you, I do suggest you either learn the obok trick referred to in the comments (Nate at The Digital Reader has some tips) or follow the steps below to check the format before you buy. I suppose customers could also complain to the relevant publishers – if they receive enough complaints perhaps it will spur a fix at either end.

KePub is, as I understand it,  Kobo’s proprietary ePub format.  If you do buy a KePub book it won’t download to your PC and while it will appear on your Kobo reader (if you have the wi-fi turned on), it doesn’t show up in the files if you connect the device to the PC in attempt to load the book into Calibre.  Wherever the file is kept, it’s not visible to the average reader trying to back up her books.  Library Addict tells me that KePubs can be placed on the PC via the Kobo for PC app but I haven’t tested this myself.

My best advice is to avoid KePub books altogether.  Here’s how:

1.  Before you buy a book from Kobo, Save a Preview to your library.

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2.  If the Preview indicates the book has a download format of “EPUB (DRM FREE)” or “Adobe DRM EPUB” you are safe to buy and download as normal.

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3.  If the download format is blank, the book is most likely a KePub and you should buy the book elsewhere if you want to download it.

Kobo Screenshot4_phixr

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This is what it looks like if you make the mistake of buying a KePub ebook from Kobo (I got a refund by the way)

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***PLEASE NOTE:  This DOES NOT WORK on Pre-Orders. The book has to be available to save a preview to your library.  If you pre-order, it’s a crapshoot so far as I can tell. ***

It does add an extra step to the process but it guarantees you will be able to download your legally purchased book onto your PC and import it into Calibre.  If it has DRM, and if you are a DRM-stripper (for personal use only) you can even back it up so it remains yours yours yours.