What is the libre/FOSS way to distribute ebooks?
2 votes by Peter Panski — 2 votes, 13 comments

I can just provide download links to PDF and ePub files but most people will have problems to get it easily to their reader. If the reader is using Calibre then it is easy that way. Any ideas or tips?

If the copyright allows it, how about archive.org? Otherwise I would just send them the book via whatever; email, download link. P2P could also work. If you're going to meet them then a usb-stick or something like that, I think there's also libre nfc drivers so you could possibly send a book from one phone to another that way but I've never tested if that works with Replicant. Remember that FLOSS can usually only apply to software.

Do you mean the "FOSS way" to share a PDF/ePub file? => Send to email or provide a download link, they will then take care of uploading the file to their device (if they can't download from the Internet)

Or do you mean the "FOSS way" to distribute the content (source)? In this case the best way is to provide some source that can be easily converted to other formats, for instance markdown, odf, or latex. PDF is not really a good format in this regard...

Like a library people can get their books from on their ebook readers. Sadly PDF is the most requested format outside of ebook readers. And it just works(tm) and files created easily. I wonder how people enter download links or read emails on their ebook readers. How do most people get the ePub files there?

How do most people get the ePub files there?

I just download them onto an sdcard, which i can then put in my eBook Reader.

This is my experience as well.

  1. download file
  2. copy file into device (SD card)

Why does people say "it just works(tm)"? I don't get it.

Back in the days there was "Plug-n-Play" which did not work as smoothly as the name suggests. Then it is obviously easier to explain why something does not work than why something works. Together with the tendency to "not change a running system" the answer "it just works" was used so often it jokingly must have been registered as trademark by someone.

most people will have problems to get it easily to their reader

what is difficult about downloading a file?

Most ebook readers have very basic browsers. Also entering an URL is quiet the hassle.

QR Code then

Most readers do not have a camera.

What kind of ebook readers are you talking specifically?