I was on Overdrive this morning trying to remember what book I was wanting to search for* when I see some new links. In the spirit of curiosity and dead cats, I clicked. Overdrive is now offering DRM-free books. So, when they have a book that has a DRM-free version, it is called Open epub/PDF and has a cute little green, unlocked padlock symbol. The version that has DRM has a red, locked padlock symbol. These unlocked books still have a due date but I'm not sure how they can even enforce that without DRM. Now, there aren't a lot yet and the vast majority seem to be from O'Reilly but the fact that it's now one of the offered formats is, in my opinion, a tremendous step forward. I did get myself on the waitlist (yes, ridiculous, artificial scarcity, yada) for 3 Stargate:Atlantis official fanfiction books.


*Seriously, I have no idea what it was but I remember thinking about it and being really excited so I hope I eventually remember.

ETA: The vast majority on the first 3 pages were from O'Reilly but it looks like it's mostly science fiction with a couple of romance thrown in. Of course, this is my library so ymmv.
Rowling has finally decided to release the Potter books as DRM-free ebooks* and even physical bookstores are freaking out. (They've been "banned from selling" the ebook editions. This is a problem, because, of course, brick-and-mortar stores sell so *many* ebooks now; this will be a major blow to them. WTF?) Publishers are quick to insist that this is not a game-changer, not a major shift in publishing habits. (I'm with Wired: I think this is book publishing's Radiohead moment.)

Konrath is crowing that he was right a year ago when he said that authors, not publishers, would eventually destroy the publishing industry, if publishers didn't figure out what they actually had to offer. The WSJ says that other authors could be inspired "to self-publish when their deals come up for renewal or demand higher royalty rates than the 25% of net sales that most publishers offer today on digital editions."

Aww. Authors might notice that they have the right to set the terms for their work. Publishers might have to figure out what they've got that's worth 75% of the sticker price for the life of the book (or the life of the author + 70 years, twitch). And we'll get to actually find out if the last several years' of unauthorized ebooks** prevent the legit ones from selling.

* Current info is that the ebooks will be watermarked somehow, probably with buyer's name & either acct # or purchase order # like DriveThruRPG; I assume this'll mean they're locked PDFs.

** If anyone didn't realize there are Harry Potter ebooks already, the rock you're using for an umbrella is too big.
Archive of Our Own is an excellent source for free eBooks. Every single story posted on Archive of Our Own is free, DRM-free and is available for download in four formats: mobi, EPUB, PDF and HTML.

'But wait,' you say, 'Archive of Our Own is an archive for fanfiction. I don't read fanfiction!' Well, you are in luck, because Archive of Our Own has a very broad definition of fanfiction and thus a number of stories which may appeal to non-fanfiction readers. For example, do you like Regency romances or reinterpretations of fairy tales?

Try Lord Wolfe and the Ape-Leader (30887 words) by faviconwho_la_hoop: The sensible Flora Pilkington is delighted to be asked to accompany her cousin Emily, a wealthy heiress, on a sojourn to Bath – even if seventeen-year-old Emily is something of a ninny-hammer. However, when the dashing but mysterious Lord Wolfe rescues Emily from Terrible Peril, causing her to fall quite in love with him, Flora becomes deeply suspicious. Just who is this Lord Wolfe? Why does he persist in winking at Flora in such a deeply uncouth manner? Why does he refuse to attend all evening engagements? And what is the insufferable man's dark, awful secret? (For she is quite convinced that he has one.) Flora determines to find out, whatever the danger to her reputation...

Have you been enjoying (or enjoying panning) the recent zombie apocalypse fiction trend? Or perhaps you like your C. Wright Mills and Michel Foucault-centric sociology with a slice of humor?

Try Many Forms of Resistance (2323 words) by faviconamalnahurriyeh: No one had ever expected a critical theory conference to end so poorly. The worst you could usually expect was that someone would get wine thrown on them.

There are many short and longer stories in fandom categories at Archive of Our Own which, if they were to be published, would simply be considered fiction. You can browse the shelves of any US bookstore and find fictionalized history about real historical people, and re-interpretations of Shakespeare's plays, Jane Austen's works, or the Odyssey. You can also find all those categories at Archive of Our Own.

A list of fandom categories for non-fanfiction readers, a guide for how to browse AO3, and how to tell what's worth reading. )

Archive of Our Own is well worth everyone's time because it's chock full of great free (and DRM-free) eBooks. Take a chance and try it as non-traditional publishing source for free eBooks; you might be pleasantly surprised. Have fun browsing and happy reading!

Note: If you've found some great stories on AO3 which you feel might appeal to someone who wouldn't consider themselves a fanfiction reader, please feel free to leave it in the comments! More recommendations are good for everyone.
Following various links for the piracy debates, I came across this blog entry.  It tells you how to combine some scripts with calibre to strip DRM off of your books purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc.  It doesn't work for LIT books or iBooks with DRM.  I've installed it and used it and it is quite easy.

ETA: If you don't enter the correct information for the plug-ins, you will have to remove the books that still have DRM, fix the information for the plug-in and then, re-add them to calibre in order to remove the DRM. 
[crossposted to my own journal ]

I want to buy an ebook, epub version of Dune by Frank Herbert.

It has to be DRM free because I will probably need to view it across various different mobile devices.

All of the Dune sequels are available as epubs (or pdfs or mobi or any other dazzling array of ebook formats), at either equal too or less than the price of a real life paper version of the same title.

So why is it that the Dune ebook seems to only be available at twice the price of printed editions from the same stores !

THERE IS NO SANE COMMERCIAL reason that the ebook version (regardless of format) of Dune should be TWICE the price of the paper version.

None.
Nope.
None.

Even more so when the filetype is DRM'd up the butt, restricting usage of the file once I've bought it.

It almost makes me want to scream with frustration

I'd appreciate your htoughts on this because charging MORE for an ebook of a title which is already out in real world print is so infuriating me me I loose focus. Its almost like the publishing industry is trying to kill ebooks as a market all together. Which makes NO SENSE because they are already invested in the infrastructure
Perhaps someone can clarify this for me?

1. If I buy a Kindle, can I read ebooks from any other source, or am I bound to Amazon?

2. If I buy an ebook from Amazon, can I read it on any ebook reader, or am I bound to a Kindle?
The large ebook stores online (amazon, diesel, booksonboard) would like you to believe that *of course* you should have to give them personal info, and tie your purchased ebooks to a small set of devices (device includes your computer and ebook readers), and that it's perfectly reasonable that you can't reformat your ebooks--afer all, you can't reformat a paper book, right?

Well, yes. But you can look at a paper book's format before you buy it, and decide that the font is hard on your eyes or the letters are too cramped to read, or the table of contents sucks, or that it's just too thin for the price they want. You often don't have that option with ebooks. And with a pbook, when you're done, you can give it to a friend, or sell it, or cut it up and make paper mache out of it. With an ebook... the publishing industry, like the recording industry, has worked very hard to convince people the digital equivalents of these actions are illegal. (Some other time, I'll post about copyright law and ebooks. It's a mess.)

But some ebook publishers offer books without DRM--"digital rights management," sometimes called Digital Restrictions Management. They offer books, usually in several formats (because without DRM, it's a minor matter for them to do so), that you can reformat, or read on any device you have handy. You can also give them away to someone else; some publishers tacitly encourage this (Baen); others tell you it's forbidden (Fictionwise).

Inside: List of some non-DRM publishers I've found )
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