I wish there was ONE open-format platform for all ebooks without DRM

I LOVE my Kindle, don’t get me wrong. Being able to instantly download books, no matter where I am, having access to a huge library, being able to carry so many books without adding to the weight. It’s a delight. BUT I’ve bought ebooks from various platforms over time, and I find it really irritating that I can’t easily transfer ebooks from other platforms to my Kindle, or from my Kindle to other ebook readers, without using third-party software.

I don’t think it should be like that. A book should be a book. Once you buy it, it should be yours to enjoy on any device you want to, and lend to who you want. I am probably in the minority of authors who think like that, but it just seems wrong to me to have closed-formats for ebooks. It’s frustrating for the consumer, because you can get locked in to the specific ebook reader you buy, or you can’t easily lend a book, the way you can when you buy paper books. And you can’t easily comparison shop, like say between B&N and Amazon, for the same ebook, without running into problems if you have only one ebook reading device.

I understand wanting some restrictions, but I think if we made it easier for people to read ebooks, no matter what ebook reader they have, and easier for people to lend their ebooks (and then get them back), we might find people buying and sharing and getting excited about books even more.

Some publishers have already put this into practice, like Baen, but they are in the minority.

What are your thoughts on this?

6 Responses to “I wish there was ONE open-format platform for all ebooks without DRM”

  1. JD Savage Says:

    I’m totally with you on this. When I bought a book, a record, a CD or a DVD, I could lend it, play it and share it anywhere. I think this will probably happen as the whole eBook thing matures, but right now, Amazon is trying to force others from the market, and its the user who pays the price.

  2. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    I hope it happens, JD. It would be nice to be able to buy our ebooks and read them on any device.

  3. liamodonnell Says:

    This author agrees with you 100%, Cheryl. I’m so annoyed when I’m faced with DRM on anything – especially books. I’m planning on trying to convince my pubs to drop the DRM on my ebooks. I am hopeful they’ll see the benefits over the perceived risks and realize that DRM can be stripped away in minutes anyway, so why bother?

  4. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    I hope your publishers listen to you, Liam. I think it would be so much better for readers and for writers, and therefore publishers, too.

  5. Josh Says:

    Absolutely agree…unfortunately, if digital music and iTunes are a mirror of the future of ebooks, I’m afraid it isn’t in the near future.

  6. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    You may be right, Josh. 🙂

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