This blog is one year old this month!
Technology evolves very quickly. Some big things about ebooks have changed in the past year. I think, overall, that the biggest thing has been the evolution of devices that you can use to read ebooks on. All major e-reader suppliers have released touch screen versions of their devices, and they are also moving into Android-based tablet-like models as well. I am actually surprised at the level of acceptance of tablet devices. Since they are generally not very necessary devices, I thought most people would consider them to expensive. But that’s another thing – the prices of these devices are dropping quickly. And, of course, Amazon keeps selling more and more Kindles and Kindle eBooks.
Some changes have also come in software. Microsoft recently announced it was discontinuing Microsoft Reader. I also expect formats like Mobipocket and the old Palm eReader will be gone soon. Because of that, I’ve moved them into a new category on this blog called “Obsolete Software”. I want to keep those posts around in case someone needs a reference later on, but there is no need for them to have their own categories anymore. ePub and PDF seem to be emerging as the most popular formats. ePub is so great because the text will move to adjust to your screen size, and everyone is just so familiar with PDF that they keep using it.
This isn’t meant to be a huge year-review of the state of ebooks, just a little ‘look back’ from where I sit. I think I’ve been pretty consistent in updating this blog about once per week on average. I expect that I will keep doing that. I might bring in some additional topics that are related. I am interested in how ebooks affect authors and publishers, for example. I am also always interested in how new devices and software will change the market and the user experience. So, we’ll see how it goes! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
The Top 5 Reasons Why Your eBook Isn’t Opening — #5: The eBook File is Corrupted or The Download Link is Bad
This is an article series that will explain the most common reasons why ebook users have trouble opening an ebook that was purchased from an ebook retail website. Most of these issues are easily avoided by simply following your download instructions, installing the software you need, and making sure that you’re using the correct ebook format for your eReader. This post covers reason #5: The eBook File is Corrupted or The Download Link is Bad.
These are the least commons reason why your ebook isn’t opening correctly, but they do happen from time to time.
Sometimes the website selling the ebook will have made a mistake in the download link, which will cause it to not work when you attempt to download your ebook. Even the people running ebook websites are humans, so mistakes can be made. Sometimes the problem originated before it even got to the ebook store. When a book publisher wants to sell their books as ebooks, often they list their ebooks with a company that distributes ebooks and provides DRM on the downloads. The book publisher must provide the distributor with all of the pertinent information about the ebook, including the file name. If that file name is provided incorrectly, it will still be incorrect when it gets to the ebook store.
Sometimes the ebook file itself has become corrupted. These files have to be sent from the book publisher to the distributor to the ebook store, and they go through a lot of different servers during that time, they’re stored in multiple databases, and the download happens through multiple pieces of software. It is a bit of a miracle that the files don’t get corrupted a lot more than they do. If you end up with an ebook file that has become corrupted and won’t open, keep this in mind.
However, remember that these occurrences are not common. The majority of the time, when an ebook isn’t opening the reason is that the user is trying to open it with the wrong software or the wrong e-reader device. For example, if you try to open a DRM-protected PDF file with Adobe Reader, the program will give you a message that the file is corrupt. In this case, the file is not actually corrupt — that’s just the only way that Adobe Reader knows how to tell you that it can’t open the file when it’s meant for Adobe Digital Editions.
If you’ve found this post through Google and haven’t yet read through the more common reasons why your ebook isn’t opening, please check those out first before you assume that your ebook file is corrupted. See all posts in this series.
This is a series of five articles that explains the most common reasons why ebooks won’t open after they’ve been downloaded from an ebook retail website. Most of these issues are easily avoided by simply following your download instructions, installing the software you need, and making sure that you’re using the correct ebook format for your eReader. This post covers reason #2: You’re Using the Wrong Software.
Please consider this extremely common scenario: A person buys an ebook. He is so excited to download his new purchase / very busy and he wants this downloaded now – after all, he bought an ebook so that he could get it now and not wait for shipping / needs to get this downloaded right away for research, that he skips right over all of the download instructions and jumps straight into downloading the ebook. Then when he has it on his computer, it won’t open. He gets an awful error message and now nothing he does will work.
One of the most frequent explanations for this is that the user is attempting to open the ebook with the wrong software. The usual culprit is an Adobe program – either Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. There is nothing wrong with those programs if you’re opening a regular old PDF file, but if you’ve purchased an ebook from a retail website, it is very likely that the file is protected by DRM. When that is the case, it means that the ebook must be opened with Adobe Digital Editions. No other Adobe software will work.
Now, that is assuming that the ebook purchased was in a format covered by Adobe’s Content Server – either PDF or EPUB. This person in our scenario might have purchased an ebook in an entirely different format, such as Microsoft Reader or Mobipocket. In that case, it would be really wrong to attempt to open that file in an Adobe program.
This entire problem can be avoided by reading and following the download instructions. All websites that sell ebooks will tell you which program is required to open the ebook. The best thing to do is to install that program before you even purchase an ebook. That way you’ll be able to verify that the program can run on your computer before you spend any money.
The next article in this series is going to cover another very common reason why your ebook isn’t opening: You Didn’t Follow the Proper DRM Procedure. See all posts in this series.