Thursday, September 27, 2012

Canning and Ebooks

This is a post ostensibly about canning but it is actually about ebooks (disclosure: making ebooks is my day job).

First, and most importantly, Workman has a special on canning and preserving ebooks for September, with six books on sale for $2.99. (There's also a free vegetable PDF-ebook for the low, low price of your email address.) Feel free to stop reading here.

I wanted Put 'Em Up. You get seven buying choices: Amazon, Apple, B&N, Google, Indiebound, Kobo, and Sony. I was going to read it on my iPad, but that still meant lots of choices. Which behemoth to support?

Apple is the obvious choice on an iPad, and it's the easiest: just open iBooks, find the book in the store, and Apple already knows your credit card information. You're reading within thirty seconds. Here's the sample in Apple's iBooks.

Amazon probably comes to mind first when you think about buying books, and many people use the Kindle iPad app to read Amazon ebooks on the iPad. To buy books from Amazon for my iPad, I have to switch to my laptop, but the book automatically is sent to my iPad.

I have a lot of quibbles with Amazon, including their insistence on their proprietary ebook format over the open EPUB standard. However, if you are intent on saving money at the expense of civilization, I should point out that the book is actually $2.51 at Amazon, a savings of an additional 48 cents. Here's the sample in Amazon's Kindle iPad app.

I buy most of my ebooks from Google, and here's why: through their partnership with Indiebound, you can buy ebooks from your local independent bookstore. So most of my ebook purchases are through the Harvard Book Store or Brookline Booksmith, bricks-and-mortar stores that I heart so, so much, and I consider the many extra clicks required to do that a reasonable tax on having such wonderful places in the world.

Here's the book in Google Play.

But wait, what's this? Google Play also has a "scanned pages" option that shows you how the actual book looks (like a PDF of the book). You can't zoom in or change the text size, but for me, this is the right way to experience a nicely designed cookbook.

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