Ebooks - the pros & cons...

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Ian Kendall
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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 28th, 2010, 1:15 pm

Flash was blocked on the iPhone because it was a possible route for unapproved applications to get on the device, and we all know how much Apple hates that idea.

Flash is used all over the web, but most tellingly it's becoming the de facto standard for web video, so any site that streams video content is not viewable on these devices. It's why there's a standalone YouTube App.

Window Mobile has a working flash installation, and has done for years. My HTC Touch HD has no problem.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Pete McCabe » January 28th, 2010, 1:25 pm

Over on slashdot.org, one of the more tech-savvy forums, the general feeling is that Flash is
1) A huge CPU, and thus battery, hog
2) one of the very worst vectors for malware
3) about to see its functionality replaced by HTML5
so we may never see Flash on the iPhone/iPad.

Lately we are beginning to see Youtube switch to H.264, which is expected to play a big part in replacing Flash's video components. Apparently Google has a good chunk of its enormous server farm working on translating all Youtube videos to H.264.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby CraigMitchell » January 28th, 2010, 3:27 pm

And none of the H.264 videos will play in Firefox - as Mozilla does not support the patented H.264 video encoding method.

"In many countries, it is a patented technology, meaning that it is illegal to use without paying license fees to the MPEG-LA. Without such a license, it is not legal to use or distribute software that produces or consumes H.264-encoded content. Indeed, even distributing H.264 content over the internet or broadcasting it over the airwaves requires the consent of the MPEG-LA"

If only everyone would just get along ;-)

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 28th, 2010, 3:32 pm

What an incredible pain in the ass.
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Tim Ellis
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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Tim Ellis » January 28th, 2010, 5:21 pm

CraigMitchell wrote:If only everyone would just get along ;-)


Come on Craig, be realistic! If magicians can't get along do you really think there's any hope the IT world will? ;)

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Tim Ellis » January 28th, 2010, 5:22 pm

Interesting point by Naquada though... would we REALLY like to see all the magic pdfs available in iBooks?

Pros/cons?

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 28th, 2010, 6:55 pm

Of course you're going to see most magic books reformatted for electronic readers. It's not a question of it, just when.
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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Tim Ellis » January 28th, 2010, 6:59 pm

Books I can understand, but the more specialised ebooks from individual magicians...?

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 28th, 2010, 8:53 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:Flash was blocked on the iPhone because it was a possible route for unapproved applications to get on the device, and we all know how much Apple hates that idea.

Flash is used all over the web, but most tellingly it's becoming the de facto standard for web video, so any site that streams video content is not viewable on these devices. It's why there's a standalone YouTube App.

Window Mobile has a working flash installation, and has done for years. My HTC Touch HD has no problem.

Take care, Ian


Citation needed for your first point. I think Apple fell out with Adobe and don't want to pay for the Flash license.

Anyway, HTML5 does away with any need for Flash, so you might say, Apple are thinking F YOU ADOBE WE DONT NEED YOUR STEEEEEEENKING FLASH

There is no real reason why they COULDN'T do flash on the iphone or iPad

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 28th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Tim Ellis wrote:Interesting point by Naquada though... would we REALLY like to see all the magic pdfs available in iBooks?

Pros/cons?


I can't think of a single con. Apart from lazy ass publishers shovelling out plain PDFs and not doing anything 'cool' with them.

What are your thoughts, as a publisher?

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 28th, 2010, 8:56 pm

Tim Ellis wrote:Books I can understand, but the more specialised ebooks from individual magicians...?


Why on earth would a publisher NOT want their book on a platform?

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Tim Ellis » January 29th, 2010, 1:11 am

I don't see any benefit.

If it works like iTunes then publishers need to aim for quantity sales and drop prices dramatically, but I can't imagine it would increase the number of sales accordingly... and, if it did, secrets are cheaper and even more exposed than they are now...

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Tim Ellis » January 29th, 2010, 2:03 am

Ah, now I've seen a little more about the iBook store and I see it's not quite the same as iTunes in pricing with books at $14.99 and other reasonable prices.

I'm a bit odd though as I'd rather only promote my ebooks within the "magic community" as opposed to exposing them to a mass market on iBooks... but I guess there is the argument that people would still have to seek the books out...

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby CraigMitchell » January 29th, 2010, 2:05 am

At some point - that 'magic community' may only be found within the iBook network if Apple were to have its way for world domination ;-)

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby amp » January 29th, 2010, 8:51 am

I think EBooks are going to great for students . Less to carry and less back problems.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 29th, 2010, 10:11 am

Tim Ellis wrote:Ah, now I've seen a little more about the iBook store and I see it's not quite the same as iTunes in pricing with books at $14.99 and other reasonable prices.

I'm a bit odd though as I'd rather only promote my ebooks within the "magic community" as opposed to exposing them to a mass market on iBooks... but I guess there is the argument that people would still have to seek the books out...


Seriously. What are you worried about?

A horde of laypeople zooming round cyberspace maliciously BUYING your lecture notes from iBooks to find out how your act works and take down your livelihood?

I really cannot even vaguely see why you wouldn't want to offer your content on every available platform?

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ben Harris » January 30th, 2010, 1:59 am

Personally, I can't wait for the iPad. It will be great for travel, fun to play with, and will allow ebooks (including properly formatted pdfs) to be viewed wonderfully.

I don't see why a pdf needs to be anything other than text and pictures (as per a regular book). And, I do think it can be done nicely.

However, back to the original discussion in this thread:

The BIGGEST problem that people (especially publishers) seem to have with the electronic medium is piracy. And it IS a problem. Locking a pdf (as others have mentioned) does not work well, and is a hassle for the end user.

The solution we use is to employ a very clever dude (Mr X: his identity MUST remain secret) who spends his time shooting down stolen material.

It's time consuming, but it can be done. Often, there is a long and drawn out procedure to follow. And, many times the material is re-posted the day after it is removed! But you just keep banging away at the thieves until THEY give up.

The fortunate thing about the internet is that if you steal my product I WILL FIND YOU (or Mr X will). You leave a trail. Unless you rename the product (and you CAN'T or your tight-ass buddies will never find it), it is there for everyone to see.

It's actually EASIER to police than the old photocopy-distribution system that could be well-hidden and required a snitch to tip it.

Just my thoughts as an Ebook publisher.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 30th, 2010, 6:50 am

I don't see why a pdf needs to be anything other than text and pictures


Because you are missing out on one of the main advantages of PDF - the ability to combine text, images and video in one file.

I agree that a PDF doesn't _need_ video, but a book doesn't _need_ images either, and you can't deny they make learning easier (cf Sach's Sleight of Hand)

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby CraigMitchell » January 30th, 2010, 7:42 am

Hi Ben

How do you combat Usenet for instance ?

"But you just keep banging away at the thieves until THEY give up"

That's quite an assumption to make that they will give up. In fact, the person most likely to give up is probably yourself ... there's only one ( or two of you with Mr X ) and hundreds of 'online thieves' ... they're more likely to wear you out than you all of them ...

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 30th, 2010, 7:55 am

Ben Harris wrote:The fortunate thing about the internet is that if you steal my product I WILL FIND YOU (or Mr X will). You leave a trail. Unless you rename the product (and you CAN'T or your tight-ass buddies will never find it), it is there for everyone to see.


So let me get this straight. To circumvent your brilliant anti-piracy technology I have to alter the file name from:

Ben Harris Presents Foo

to

Ben_Harris Presents Foo

?

And you think people won't do this because then other pirates won't know what to search for?

The serious pirates have no presence on search engines and are hiding behind private FTP servers, or private forums. The altering of a file name by a few letters will make no difference at all.

Sorry to say, I just tried searching for your new effect. It took me about 3 seconds to find a pirated copy of it. So I don't think Mr X is doing an awfully good job.

You will never stop piracy. So why waste your time trying to stop it?

I don't get it.

A pirated copy does not equal a lost sale. Never has, never will.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Pete McCabe » January 30th, 2010, 11:38 am

These are just related links for interested parties.

A senior at Princeton did a study of files downloaded from BitTorrent and found that there is a direct correlation: files that are sold with DRM are more likely to be downloaded than those sold without it. The conclusion he draws is that if you make it easy for people to buy what they want (i.e. non-DRM files) then they won't bother to pirate. You can draw your own conclusion after reading the article on arstechnica.

Meanwhile apparently Amazon pulled all MacMillan books from their digital shelves last night, because MacMillan wants to charge $15 and Amazon is holding the line at $9.99. Some analysts believe this is the beginning of an Amazon-Apple war over the ebook market. This more or less happened before when the major record labels tried to do battle with the iTunes Music Store over pricing flexibility. At that time, the labels had nowhere else to go, since the ITMS had upwards of 95% of the online music sales market. But MacMillan is already signed up to sell books through Apple, so they have a much better position. Or will, when the iPad starts selling.

I was just thinking: how much would it cost Apple to design an iPad with an e-ink screen on the back? And entire Kindle DX costs $489, and although a significant chunk of that is the cost of the screen, it's not all of it. An iPad for, say, $800 with full color on one side and e-ink on the other would probably appeal to a significant number of customers. At least, it would appeal to me.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Pete McCabe » January 30th, 2010, 11:41 am

mrgoat wrote:So let me get this straight. To circumvent your brilliant anti-piracy technology I have to alter the file name from:

Ben Harris Presents Foo

to

Ben_Harris Presents Foo

?

And you think people won't do this because then other pirates won't know what to search for?


You don't think very much of Mr. X, do you?

I think what Ben is saying is that if illegal downloaders can find the book, then Mr. X can. This seems reasonable. Just as putting an underscore won't stop the pirates from finding bootlegs, it won't stop Mr. X either.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 30th, 2010, 12:01 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:
mrgoat wrote:So let me get this straight. To circumvent your brilliant anti-piracy technology I have to alter the file name from:

Ben Harris Presents Foo

to

Ben_Harris Presents Foo

?

And you think people won't do this because then other pirates won't know what to search for?


You don't think very much of Mr. X, do you?

I think what Ben is saying is that if illegal downloaders can find the book, then Mr. X can. This seems reasonable. Just as putting an underscore won't stop the pirates from finding bootlegs, it won't stop Mr. X either.


I don't think very much of anyone who thinks they can stop piracy. Cos they can't.

Judging by how easily one can find Crossroads using google I don't think he's doing very well. I hope Mr Harris doesn't pay Mr X money for his services.

There are similar business models in the adult industry. People pay removeyourcontent.com a fortune each month for doing some google searches and preparing DCMAs.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ben Harris » January 30th, 2010, 3:36 pm

I never said I could stop piracy. I'm not that stupid. I explained how I deal with it. It's the best solution I have and Mr X is as successful as anyone person can be.

Of course, he will not find and remove all pirated copies, that's impossible. You cannot stop piracy so long as you have a society that has lost all respect for intellectual property and is so [censored] greedy it does not care anymore.

Sorry I bothered to add my two cents worth.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 30th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Ben Harris wrote:I explained how I deal with it. It's the best solution I have and Mr X is as successful as anyone person can be.


But, a quick 2 second search on google reveals your stuff. So I am not sure why you are bothering? I would be genuinely interested in your thinking behind it?

With adult content producers I know that pay for similar removal services, it seems to be that it "just makes them feel better".

Seeing as you know you can't stop it, I'm curious as to why you even bother trying?

Also, I am interested in your attempts to discourage trading with your work. You are probably the most prominent magician to be publishing in this format.

Obviously, you must do more than just need the filename to remain the same. I read somewhere you used some watermarking technique?

Ben Harris wrote:Sorry I bothered to add my two cents worth.


I'm not. You're probably really the only person here qualified to talk on the whole ebook thing.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ben Harris » January 30th, 2010, 4:58 pm

Hi Mrgoat.

Firstly, I don't feel prominent or qualified. I've only been releasing electronic content (as part of the BackStory Project) for just over seven months. I'm a newbie in regards this.

There is probably never going to be an answer to the problem as the "just reach out and take it" attitude seems to be inherently human. All I can do is TRY to minimize it. To NOT TRY is to not give a damn. And I DO give a damn.

Is this so I can "feel better"? Probably.

We do not use watermarking, but all our products are secretly coded so we can, in many instances, locate the original source. Fortunately, we do sell quite a few of the ebooks so the theft-element is part of our "cost" for doing e-biz.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Pete McCabe » January 30th, 2010, 5:04 pm

At Magic Live last summer Eric Mead showed a CD that a friend of his had made. He had stumbled across a trove of bootleg copies of books, and there was a big list. Some were just scan of the pages, while some were fully-searchable text files.

After the talk I told him that I was very upset that Scripting Magic wasn't on the list. This was a joke. He replied that Simon Aronson had made the same joke just minutes earlier about his books.

At one point I toyed with the idea of releasing Scripting Magic on letter-sized 3-hole paper, with cardstock covers and held together with brads. This is how scripts are passed around Hollywood, so it would be somewhat authentic. I quickly decided not to, partly because it just would look cheap, partly because the book got too big, and at least partly because it just seemed too easy for someone to take out the brads and drop the whole thing in a copier.

But I have to say that when I emailed the pdf to the printer, it did occur to me that if this pdf got out it might well eat into sales. Because the book has no graphics, the final pdf file from which the book was printed is only 10 megs.


Logically speaking, the fact that you can't stop all piracy doesn't mean you shouldn't try to reduce it as much as you can. You can't stop all murder, but I don't think anyone would support decriminalizing it, nor laying off the homicide unit.

Most musicians don't suffer too much from music piracy because the music business has traditionally been structured that the label makes money from the records and the band makes their money from concerts. So bands could, essentially, give away their records and still make out.

This basic concept is, at least in theory, applicable to magic; you can write a book and give it away, then make it up in lectures.

But what about Steely Dan, a band that I love but one that for years didn't really tour at all. Will there be no room for the creator who doesn't perform?

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ben Harris » January 30th, 2010, 5:23 pm

In regards magic, we need MORE creators who DO perform. Then we may not have as much crap on the market! LOL.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ben Harris » January 30th, 2010, 5:33 pm

Peter.

In regards Eric's CDrom. Check out this list! Dee Christopher sent it along for a looksee.

http://rumahsulap.com/category/book-lecture/

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 30th, 2010, 6:26 pm

Ben Harris wrote:Hi Mrgoat.

Firstly, I don't feel prominent or qualified. I've only been releasing electronic content (as part of the BackStory Project) for just over seven months. I'm a newbie in regards this.


Hi to you too.

You get Dog Years with online activities. So you are really about 18 years into this now.

Ben Harris wrote:There is probably never going to be an answer to the problem as the "just reach out and take it" attitude seems to be inherently human. All I can do is TRY to minimize it. To NOT TRY is to not give a damn. And I DO give a damn.

Is this so I can "feel better"? Probably.


I wasn't trying to suggest that wasn't an acceptable reason, you know.

Ben Harris wrote:We do not use watermarking, but all our products are secretly coded so we can, in many instances, locate the original source.


Right. So, say I bought the Fred Robinson book. And I leant it to a friend. And they decided to scan it and post it online. And it was 'watermarked' with your technology. I would be the one Mr X would go after. Although I did nothing wrong.

Kinda smacks of the RIAA and MPAA's ineffective tactics.

So have you prosecuted anyone successfully for distributing your works using this technique or is it more to scare people?

That would be great, for a magician, to do. Pretend everything has some amazingly futureproof 'marking' system and if you upload it, WE WILL GET YOU. And the whole thing is just a lie to scare people.


Ben Harris wrote: Fortunately, we do sell quite a few of the ebooks so the theft-element is part of our "cost" for doing e-biz.


I don't think it's a cost, as I don't believe a pirated copy of your book necessarily equals a lost sale.

They are getting these massive 3 gig files with 239087120398 pdfs in. They don't even read them. They weren't ever going to buy your book. They just wanna collect them all. It's a pokemon thing.

It's trading cards.

It's 14 year old idiots.

imho.

Damian

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 30th, 2010, 6:33 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:Logically speaking, the fact that you can't stop all piracy doesn't mean you shouldn't try to reduce it as much as you can. You can't stop all murder, but I don't think anyone would support decriminalizing it, nor laying off the homicide unit.


If you take a killer off the street, it stops people near him being killed.

The thing with piracy is that you can't even take a killer of the street. You can't shut down these sites. You can't stop usenet. You can't stop P2P.

It's not a matter of shutting a site down, like it is with a murderer. It's just physically impossible.



Pete McCabe wrote:
This basic concept is, at least in theory, applicable to magic; you can write a book and give it away, then make it up in lectures.

But what about Steely Dan, a band that I love but one that for years didn't really tour at all. Will there be no room for the creator who doesn't perform?


I have been working with a friend on his material. He made an album where he did The Beatles Vs Wu Tang Clan. It's brilliant. Beautifully sampled beatles bits, with Wu Tang acapellas. He gave the whole thing away free. It's now had 35,000 downloads. It's in the New York Times. I made it so you had to give us a working email address to get the album. He now has permission to email all those 35,000 people to offer them the chance to BUY his other albums.

He isn't signed. He's not on a label. But from giving away his content he has a mailing list of 35,000 people.

Giving away content is not always a loss leader from the get go. Sometimes you can TRADE content for other things. In this case, an email address.

I have another friend and he is also releasing an album, but giving permission for people to rip it and share with a pal. It's PHYSICAL file sharing. The CD comes with a 10 page Visitors' Book. You buy it, rip it, write your name and address in the BACK page and give it to a friend you think will like it.

They have to rip it, write something, anything, in the book and give it to a friend. Continue until you get to 10 pages, and 10 people.

And your audience is multiplied ten fold. Be interesting to see if it works. Pre orders are looking good.

And yes, I do think magicians could give away ebooks or chapters thereof in a similar way.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Eoin O'hare » January 30th, 2010, 6:49 pm

Here's another idea, although a little more mean spirited(and it is just an idea)

Let's suppose i have just written an ebook, now, before I publish this ebook I'm going to do something a little strange-I'm going to alter the ebook.

I'm going to make it look like the original ebook that I've written but this new version of my ebook is deliberately altered to make it incomprehensible, yet it will occupy the same file size.

So I now have a good ebook and a bad ebook both have the same file size and both have the same title.

Now I publish my good ebook, and, at the same time I upload the bad ebook onto as many file sharing sites as I want.
Anyone downloading the ebook from a file sharing site will unknowingly get a bad ebook. They try downloading from another file sharing site but strangely find the same bad ebook. They decide to wait until someone uploads the working good ebook.

Meanwhile I have uploaded the bad ebook again to a number of file sharing sites again but this time I've changed the title to "This is working ebook"

Anyone downloading this will find it is also bad.

So, after all of this unsuccessful and frustrating downloading , the only option left for trouble free downloading is from me the publisher.


(I'm half asleep writing this so there's probably a blindingly obvious reason why this wouldn't work, and if there is, I'm sure you'll all tell me.)

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 30th, 2010, 6:51 pm

Looks like Damian's OD is kicking in...

However, it all makes sense. I remember the first time I found my stuff on a download site. Bizzarrely it gave me a small kick to realise that someone wanted to pirate my CDs. These days the best defence I have is to keep things cheap and cheerful so it's more hassle to look for it than to get it from me.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ben Harris » January 30th, 2010, 8:50 pm

Now I have a headache! LOL

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Brian Morton » January 30th, 2010, 9:03 pm

I have to say, as someone who's been an Apple devotee since 1986 (and never personally owned any other platform), that when I saw the iPad, I was initially underwhelmed ... and then I saw the iBook app for it and immediately thought of Mike Close's eBooks with video and thought, "OMGthis thing could revolutionize magic book publishing.

I've always been a book personI'm a published author myself, and never even gave a second thought to the eBook phenomenon (sorry, Mr. Wasshuber) until I saw the Close production as shown to me by a friend at Denny Haney's shop. But my hangup has always been with the device. Give the iPad an iteration or two, and I think it's one step away from really being an amazing magic teaching/learning tool. It could combine the personal teaching aspects of video with the immediacy of learning sleight handling from a book, where you don't need to be diddling around with a remote to see things over and over again in slow motion while referring to text simultaneously.

Richard is correct. In five years, I think this might be a game changer in publishing. And for smart magic producers, it might be a whole new world in magic publishing.

My .02

brian :cool:
Last edited by Brian Morton on January 30th, 2010, 9:04 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: typos, as usual

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Pete McCabe » January 31st, 2010, 2:30 am

mrgoat wrote:I have been working with a friend on his material. He made an album where he did The Beatles Vs Wu Tang Clan.


Listening to it now. Thanks for hipping me to this, dude.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 31st, 2010, 6:29 am

Eoin O'Hare wrote:Here's another idea, although a little more mean spirited(and it is just an idea)

Let's suppose i have just written an ebook, now, before I publish this ebook I'm going to do something a little strange-I'm going to alter the ebook.

I'm going to make it look like the original ebook that I've written but this new version of my ebook is deliberately altered to make it incomprehensible, yet it will occupy the same file size.


The music and movie industry tried this, many times, without any success.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 31st, 2010, 6:32 am

Ian Kendall wrote:Looks like Damian's OD is kicking in...

However, it all makes sense. I remember the first time I found my stuff on a download site. Bizzarrely it gave me a small kick to realise that someone wanted to pirate my CDs. These days the best defence I have is to keep things cheap and cheerful so it's more hassle to look for it than to get it from me.

Take care, Ian


The OD referred to here is that I took part in the homeopathy protests yesterday and took a WHOLE BOTTLE of belladonna. Still quite alive, remarkably.

And yes Mr K, make it so cheap it's not worth the hassle of piracy is a great solution.

The other is to offer something undownloadable. The adult industry is choosing interaction to do this. You cannot pirate a live 1-2-1 cam show.

Equally, with your stuff, one couldn't pirate a live cam tutorial between you and on the turnover pass. You could upload the file, but the important part, the interaction between you and me would be lost. The questions I asked would not be interesting to someone else. etc.

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby mrgoat » January 31st, 2010, 6:35 am

Pete McCabe wrote:
mrgoat wrote:I have been working with a friend on his material. He made an album where he did The Beatles Vs Wu Tang Clan.


Listening to it now. Thanks for hipping me to this, dude.


He's coming round this evening. I will let him know his work is being enjoyed by magicians now.

:D

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Re: Ebooks - the pros & cons...

Postby Ian Kendall » January 31st, 2010, 12:54 pm

The other is to offer something undownloadable. The adult industry is choosing interaction to do this. You cannot pirate a live 1-2-1 cam show.

Equally, with your stuff, one couldn't pirate a live cam tutorial between you and on the turnover pass. You could upload the file, but the important part, the interaction between you and me would be lost. The questions I asked would not be interesting to someone else. etc.


The problem here is one of staff. I can't pay a bored Polish student to teach the pass, so time becomes an issue. If ten people want a video chat every day, I'll never get anything done.

To some extent I do have a level of interactivity, as my customers can, and do, email me with questions. Luckily I'm still small enough to be able to do this personally, but there is a point at which I spend most of an evening replying to questions.

The plan, however, is to provide a learning experience that is complete enough so as not to require any additional help. This goes back to the idea of embedding video - if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least twenty pictures with a few hundred words thrown in. The ability to describe, show and then demonstrate is a massive step forward for teaching, but only if the teacher knows how best to use the format. You can't make a bad teacher into a good teacher just by adding video (in fact, most of the time you make it worse).

Take care, Ian


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