Awarded ebook only viewable online

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Awarded ebook only viewable online

1sgrayme
nov. 16, 2021, 10:16pm

I tried searching relevant keywords but couldn't find a matching situation.

I requested an ebook in October and I got an email right at the end of Oct with a link to the "pdf copy" of the ebook from the publisher. When I visit that link though, it's a PDF hosted on Google Drive that has been set to "viewers cannot download". I am not allowed to save the ebook in any way. Technically, I can read the book this way, but it is very inconvenient and does not seem to be in the spirit of receiving complete copies of books to review. Reading access could be taken away with click of a button. I would not have requested the book if the Early Reviewer listing had disclosed the ebook was going to be given in such a limited manner. The material is dry non-fiction to start with, but I can't dive into the content while being somewhat frustrated by the questionable intentions of the publisher.

So the short of the situation is that I can view a copy of the ebook, but I can't actually count it in my book collection.

Is this publisher's "delivery" considered acceptable and I just need to be more particular that ebooks clearly state they can be downloaded before requesting?
Or is this unacceptable for the program and what steps should I take?

2lilithcat
nov. 16, 2021, 10:52pm

What was the book, and what did the description say about the format?

3sgrayme
nov. 17, 2021, 12:55am

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The description has the standard forewarning about it being an ebook, nothing about how the book is delivered.

4reading_fox
nov. 17, 2021, 6:38am

I'd be very aggrieved with that - I was annoyed when one title I received was a 3month only! DRM'd Netgalley thing - Contact LTstaff in the first instance directly message AbigailAdams26 because I'm not sure she's got the time to read every post on talk.

5lilithcat
nov. 17, 2021, 8:29am

>3 sgrayme:

Publishers really ought to be required to specify format and details such as you describe.

I once won an ebook that required me to register on a different site. Needless to say, I didn't. But had I been forewarned, I would never have requested the book.

6MarthaJeanne
nov. 17, 2021, 8:54am

>5 lilithcat: Me, too. My recollection is that the book was taken off my list. Otherwise I would have written a review that said that I couldn't read it because I had not been given a copy that I could read.

7lorax
nov. 17, 2021, 11:04am

If I ended up with an ebook in a format I can't access on my device, or that required registration on another site, I'd count that as "I never received this book", same as if I got a paper book that had been damaged to the point of unreadability.

8AbigailAdams26
nov. 19, 2021, 10:14am

My apologies for the delayed response in this thread. I've been ill this week, and away from work a bit. sgrayme, I have responded to the email you sent me.

Regarding the larger issue, although distributing ER books in this fashion is not against any policy we currently have in place, it is very unusual, and is not something members would be expecting, unless forewarned. I have reached out to the publisher, and asked them to include this information in the giveaway description, for any future giveaway offered via this method. I'm very sorry for the disappointment that member may have experienced, when not able to read their ER title as expected!

9lorax
nov. 19, 2021, 11:08am

This seems like a place to reference an earlier thread discussing preferred formats for e-books, and point out that there was a general consensus in favor of providing format information in the giveaway description. This would of course be in addition to the "non-downloadable" aspect discussed here.

10AbigailAdams26
Editat: nov. 19, 2021, 11:36am

>9 lorax: Yes, thank you for linking to that. Although I have not made any official announcement here in the group, we are currently working on a redesigned ER program, and this preference is definitely something that we have been paying attention to. In fact, the new ER will require publishers to specify both formats available and method of distribution (attachment in an email, downloadable link provided, etc), in order to offer a digital giveaway.

There was a sneak peek at the new ER, in this month's SOTT, and I will try to write something up for the group as well. Right now, we're looking at a launch sometime in the new year.

11sgrayme
nov. 19, 2021, 12:54pm

>8 AbigailAdams26: I got the response email and noted the contained information. Thank you for taking care of this. I hope you're feeling better.

12MarthaJeanne
nov. 19, 2021, 1:25pm

We've also had a lot of complaints from publishers that people don't want to review PDFs. Several of us have refused books that would have required us to sign up for other sites. If the publishers are really interested in reviews, it is in their interest to let us know what they are actually offering so that the winners actually write a proper review.

13.mau.
nov. 21, 2021, 3:50pm

>12 MarthaJeanne: I don't care if an ebook is only available as PDF (I read them with a 10" tablet :-) ), but I agree that the publisher should tell people which formats are available.

14AbigailAdams26
nov. 22, 2021, 11:11am

>12 MarthaJeanne: >13 .mau.: I do agree with you both. This will be a required field, when new giveaways are offered, in our redesigned ER program, coming in the new year.

15AbigailAdams26
nov. 22, 2021, 11:14am

OK, I have heard back from this publisher, and they have told me that they have been sending downloadable PDFs to winners since August, after offering the non-downloadable Google Doc in their first months participating in the program, and getting negative feedback.

I am not sure what happened in this specific case. Perhaps this batch was sent in the old way? In any case, I have reached out to you privately, sgrayme, to confirm your email address, and will then respond to the publisher, asking them to send you another copy, in the downloadable form.

Anyone else who has experienced this issue, please contact me, either on my profile page, or via email at abigailadams@librarything.com, and I will reach out to the publisher on your behalf as well.