E-books of the Vlad novels

Because so many people have been asking, here is what I know about e-books of the Vlad novels: the ones published by Tor are out in various formats and ought to be easy to find.  The ones published by Ace/Berkely are not, because my contracts have ambiguous wording that makes it unclear if I have the right to sell those, or if someone else has the right to publish them.  I am checking into this now (or, rather, my agent is).  I hope to know more soon.


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35 thoughts on “E-books of the Vlad novels”

  1. Would it be terrible form if someone were to convert those books from dead tree format to digital format and made them available to others?

  2. Chris F.: I sort of assumed that’d been done already, though I don’t actually know. It would be terrible form–and royally piss me off–if someone did that and then charged money for them. If no one was charging money for them, chances are I wouldn’t notice. As it were.

  3. I’ve been listening to the Audible versions ever since a group of Civil War buffs showed up at my house and in spite of the fact that one of them ignores me on Twitter. They are really quite enjoyable. The narrator does a wonderful job and is consistent with voices and nuances so far across all the ones I’ve listened to. You can get an Audible subscription that gives you 2 credits per month for $14 allowing you to usually listen to 2 books per month without shelling out any more do-re-mi. Occasionally newer, very popular books require 2 credits but I just wait until they aren’t so new and popular. So far all the Vlad books have been 1 credit each.

  4. Thanks for following up on this; I actually managed to buy the newish short story on Amazon Uk but it still stoutly denies all knowledge of ebooks of your novels other than Brokedown. Ditto Kobo.

    My only consolation is that Adam Smith is turning in his grave…

  5. “The ones published by Tor are out in various formats and ought to be easy to find.” Ought to be, yes. Are, not so much. Tor USA has signally failed to create an ebook store. I’d buy them if I could.

  6. Right you are, but those sites don’t exist for me. In that all of them sell only DRM-encumbered files, as far as I can tell. Tor has promised to join Baen in selling non-DRM books but actually has not.

  7. I can’t speak with certainty for all the ebook stores I listed, but I can tell you that that Apple’s store and ebooks.com have the following note on Tor titles: “At the publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.”

  8. Just to add an info point, the non-DRM language noted by @strangepuppy is also on all the Tor titles I buy from Barnes and Noble, in the book overviews (ie, not glaringly obvious).

  9. Thank you. I don’t buy from Apple because they won’t let me. (I don’t use WIndows or Mac.) I wasn’t aware that ebooks.com sold any non-DRM books. I’ll probably buy some as soon as I use up my current smartphone reading reserve.

  10. Thank you for the suggestions but, with the exceptions I mentioned, the various ebook sites mentioned all deny the existence of Steven Brust; I assume that this is because I am in England.

    I don’t give a toss about DRM; I would simply like to buy Steven’s novels in a convenient form so when, for example, I go on holiday, or into hospital, I don’t have to load up my suitcase with my hard copies of his books.

    I’m trying not to sound plaintive, and I fully recognise that on the continuum of deprivation this is footling stuff, but it just seems profoundly silly…

  11. Do you have a Kindle? Apparently on the “manage your Kindle” page, you can set your country…under “Your Kindle Account” on the left side is “Country Settings.” I have been told that you can reset that to whatever country you want, as long as you provide a valid address to go with it…so you set it, buy what you wish, and reset it if you feel it’s necessary.

    I have never done this, but I do understand that it works.

  12. Thanks, some dude; I don’t have a Kindle, so I use the app for my iPad when I have to buy a Kindle edition.

    For a glorious half hour I thought that Tor had fixed it; I actually managed to download the first chapter of ‘The Paths of the Dead’ from iTunes to see what they had done with the presentation, and, having read the chapter, hit the ‘Buy now’ button.

    Whereupon it informed me that I had to buy it from the British iTunes and removed the sample chapter forthwith. No prizes for guessing that the British iTunes site denies all knowledge thereof…

  13. I saw the announcement back then, but Tor USA never did open an e-store and I made the (incorrect) assumption that DRM-enforcing stores like Amazon would still enforce DRM on Tor titles. I know better now, thanks.

  14. As far as I can tell, commenter Stevie is running into at least two problems, both of them fundamentally stupid. And neither of them are Stevie’s fault.

    First, we don’t have an ebook sales agreement with Apple UK yet, although I’m told that’s in the process of being fixed. So for the moment tons of Tor titles _on which we have UK rights_ aren’t available in the UK “iBooks” store. Even though we have, I repeat, the right to sell them.

    Second, for no good reason that I can see, almost none of Steve’s Tor titles are available in the Amazon UK Kindle store. I believe this can be fixed in a matter of days, and I’ve just now notified the people who can fix it. (I suspect some kind of rights-database problem, but that’s just speculation on my part.)

    It’s all extremely irritating, I totally agree. This kind of BS is one of the several reasons that Tor walked away from DRM — because one of the effects of DRM is to train our most devoted readers to become pirates. The same is true of the arcane territory-based restrictions on which so much of publishing is based. There are real, sensible, non-malign reasons that the territory model evolved the way it has — and, not incidentally, it has served to increase a lot of writers’ income. But it makes no emotional sense to the American reader who wants an ebook only available in the UK market, or vice versa. Doing end-runs around systems this obviously capicrious and arbitrary is never going to feel like “stealing” to anyone. Thus, again, do we turn our most devoted readers from customers into pirates.

    (Opinions mine, not the official positions of Tor or Macmillan, etc etc. But I express the same opinions at work as I’m doing here, and the powers-that-be are definitely listening.)

  15. I really wish that the MPA felt the same way you do. Region encoding on DVDs and Blu-rays is not what I call customer friendly! I have several DVDs that I bought while working in the UK that I can’t watch without hacking a DVD player.

  16. This is exactly why my wife and I own a region-free DVD player — a model made, not surprisingly, in Australia, where they hate the region-encoding scheme with the fire of a million burning suns.

  17. PNH

    Thank you for getting back to me so soon; I have been navigating the maze because I have a keen interest in reading Steven’s future books, as well as the ones he has written in the past, but in order to write those books he does have to eat, and eating requires money. I would like to provide him with some in a win-win outcome; I get the books and he doesn’t die of starvation.

    Equally I have a keen interest in reimbursing publishers because, inter alia, they read the slush pile so I don’t have to, and they too have to eat.

    I do hope that you get at least bits of this sorted fairly soon; I have to go into hospital in a couple of weeks time. I’d like to be able to take some of Steven’s novels with me on the iPad but no absolutely pressure, man…

  18. OK…if the other fixes talked about below don’t happen soon, try the “Manage your Kindle” thing anyway….since you have a relationship with Amazon buying Kindle books, I bet you this will still work.

  19. Yes…a region free DVD player is fantastic….they can be easily obtained online…..and are not any more expensive.

  20. Some dude

    I’ve just spent almost a day trying to install the Apple update on my iPad, which is what tends to happen when I get delusions of adequacy on the computer front.

    However, my daughter will be here for the weekend and she is much, much better at this than I am so I’m going to get her to see what might be done; in the meantime, thank you!

  21. Fingers crossed for you, Stevie….believe me, I know how frustrating our oh so helpful technology can be at times!

  22. I own every Vlad and every Paarfi novel (some of them more than one copy), but if you were to offer the whole package for, say, $100, I would snap it up instantly.

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