Terry Pratchett Discworld Bundle vs DRM

Terry Pratchett was one of the most brilliant writers of the last hundred years. I own everything he ever published, in print, a worthy investment of several feet of precious shelf space. Tattered SFBC hardcovers from the 1980s with feebly-glued pages covered in faded dust jackets, battered paperbacks smuggled from Canada, spiffy hardcovers from when the world realized his work was amazing. I have it all. (If you’ve never read Pratchett, Wikipedia has a handy flowchart to help you decide where to start.)

HarperCollins launched a Terry Pratchett Discworld ebook Humble Bundle. You can get all the Discworld novels for $18, minus the oddities like “The Science of Discworld.” I’ve been waiting for an ebook bundle like this. I naturally grabbed it.

BUT–getting the actual ebook files is a right pain.

HarperCollins is one of those big publishers that think everything needs DRM, and they came up with a convoluted dance to comply with it. Sort of.

The books are delivered via Kobo. You don’t need a Kobo account, although if you have one that’s dandy. You can download the books, except what you download isn’t the book. You download an Adobe DRM file, usable by Adobe Digital Editions. Open that file in ADE, and Adobe sends you an unencumbered epub.

I had to switch to the Windows machine to do this. ADE is so clunky, halfway through downloading these 38 books I had to reboot the whole computer. Then I passed them through Calibre’s DeDRM_tools plugin to get the actual files.

Pratchett is worth it, of course. But he deserves better. And so do we.

If HC wants to compete with stolen ebooks, they need a better system.

My web store does not do everything I would hope. Ideally, you would give me money and the epub would appear on your device automagically. But at the moment, “give me money and get a link to the epub” is looking pretty dang good.

4 Replies to “Terry Pratchett Discworld Bundle vs DRM”

  1. I would love to buy this bundle and the whole song-and-dance to get to the files would be worth it. Unfortunately I live in Europe, so I get: “Promotion unavailable – Sorry, this promotion is currently unavailable in your area”. Is it really region-locked or is the bundle expired?

  2. Yep. In traditional publishing, authors license books to publishers by country.

    HarperCollins only has the right to sell Pratchett’s ebooks in the US. Transworld bought that right for most of the rest of the world.

  3. All you need to do on Linux is make sure Calibre has the ascm plugin as well as the DeDRM and Obok plugins.

    On Kobo download the .acsm files to a directory then right click on them, ‘open with’ Calibre.

    Done. No Windows.

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