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How the Lack of an eBook Version Converted Purchase to Borrow (Updated)

UPDATE 12/1: Looks like I was in the wrong part of the catalog. Or blind:


Dahak, on November 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm said: Edit Comment

You were just looking in the wrong place for the eBook.

You’d get the eBook version of Memory here:



I went and bought the $6 book as I’m sure I’ll be reading more than once. Great story of redemption on a number of level and a reminder of how even the best of us can let their honor slip.

==============Original Post================

Thanks to a tip on Facebook, I recently scarfed up legal free copies of almost the entire Miles Vorkosigan saga, quite possibly my favorite Military SF/Space Opera series. I downloaded epub formats of the books into my iPhone and started reading away.

As I made my way through the series I realized that Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold, was not on the CD. I really wanted to read Memory because from what I’d gleaned from descriptions is that it served as a bridge from Miles’ early adventures with the Dendarii mercenaries to his later adventures as an Imperial Auditor.

Reasoning it was only fair to pay for an e-book since I’d gotten free samples beyond belief, I popped over to Baen Books, completely prepared to buy the eBook of Memory. Only there wasn’t an eBook. My only choices were hardcover or softcover. Not wanting to believe that Memory was the only Miles book not in eBook form, I checked a few other vendors. As you might expect, no dice. So I went back to Baen and started to order the paperback when it occurred to me to check my local library’s catalog. Not only was there a copy of Memory in our system catalog, but it was held at the Douglas Library branch, about a five minute walk from my house.

So I didn’t go through with the order process. I strolled over to my local library branch, checked out the book and read it. It was every bit as satisfying I hoped it would be. If it hadn’t been available locally, I probably would have ordered it from Baen in preference to doing interlibrary loan, just because I like Bujold a lot. But in this particular case, the lack of an ebook was a dealbreaker in terms of making a sale.

I’m not trying to make any overarching conclusions about ebooks or book sales in general with this post. This is merely one more anecdote and YMMV.


4 Responses

  1. Most creative people appear to ‘get’ the concept of having their efforts be available digitally.

    Most publishers still seem to have issues with the concept.

    I don’t know which is in play here regarding the lack of eformat ‘Memory” availability.

    I will note the following as an example of why I’ve been switching all my books, music, video and art to digital.

    I currently share a 3,000plus sci-fi collection with my mother. It’s housed on 8 floor to ceiling 3’ wide book shelves. That’s 24 linear feet of uninterrupted shelving. There are 8 shelves per bookcase. That’s 192 linear feet of shelving. Our books are ‘2 deep’. That is to say that we have a row of books across the shelf in the normal position. Then we have a second row of books across the shelf turned 90 degrees forward so that we can see the spines of both rows of books on each shelf. This is 384 linear feet of shelving needed just to house our joint sci-fi collection.

    I now have eformat versions of about 2/3rds of the paper format books plus a whole lot more ebooks which I have not gotten in paper form. All stored on about 100G of disk storage.

    My niece is getting the book collection. I’m looking forward to recovering lots of wall space.

    As for my own personally created art, I’m working on getting several large panel displays and incorporating a new AMD Radeon display adapter once I get the funds. The new ‘high end’ adapters can support up to 6 displays. I plan on mounting up to 4 on various walls and then running ever changing art images. The remaining 2 will be on my desk of course.

    Rather than have a bunch of physical ‘things’ which take up space and require storage room, I intend to use tech to make my life physically simpler and roomier while still having a very rich {visually and aurally} environment.

    I want to limit my collection of ‘things’ to objects I like to touch.

    Publishers don’t seen to ‘get’ that the change in their business model is long overdue and that people simply aren’t willing to pay extortion level prices anymore. They need to understand that their value add is ease of use and ease of delivery. If they can’t or won’t accept this, then everyone will become criminals and a pox upon the foot dragging Luddites.

  2. You were just looking in the wrong place for the eBook.

    You’d get the eBook version of Memory here:


  3. Dahak – Thanks for the link! I’ve bought the $6 book. Wish there was a tip jar for Bujold. Or did I miss that too?

  4. No telling – Sounds like an interesting plan. How did you get the eformat books?

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