Gifting: Part 3, More about eBooks vendors

by on Nov.11, 2010, under Articles, Computers, Novels, Opinions, Roleplaying Games

So in Part 1 I talked about what started this endless series of articles.

In Part 2, stated some questions about eBooks and never really answered them.

In this part I’ll continue analyzing the four different avenues of eBooks that I’ve selected from the perspective of others giving me eBooks as gifts for the coming holidays.

Gaming PDFs

So unlike the rest of the publishing industry, the gaming industry has a history of not really getting the money. It is a niche hobby with only a small set of actual commercially viable games, and a plethora of independent games. For a really cool indie game, click here! Because gaming books are largely text and art affairs, the only format that really supports them well is the PDF, which has poor DRM controls. Because of this, it is possible that the more commercially viable game publishers have taken hits in sales due to pirating. On the other hand the indie community has embraced PDFs as a way to get their games actually seen. Gaming PDFs are largely available through two distributors: RPGNow and DriveThruRPG.

Both sites sport their own versions of the WishList system and therefor also have a gift giving system. Setup your wish list, point it at your friends, and they can purchase the PDFs or other downloads for you. Plus since they are web based, they can interface with Amazon’s wishlist. The biggest issue with doing that is getting your friends or family to understand the idea of eBooks/PDFs and that they need to especially gift the product, rather than just purchase it, although the files are sharable so that isn’t as horrible as it sounds. But linking a download to your account allows you to download updated PDFs at no cost.

And that brings us to:

Independents

Independents are probably the easiest since they’re almost assuredly going to be selling directly from their website. So they interface with with the Amazon Wishlist. But there is no guarantee that the independent will support a download for someone else, or a gift version, rather than you just purchasing it.  There are also independent game companies that like to sell bundles of both PDFs of their game, and the physical product.

And now that I’ve all but finished rambling, in Part 4, I’ll discuss the solutions I’ve come up with and ask you all for opinions.

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