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Google eBookstore fail

I purchased a book from the Google eBookstore today. Boy, I'll never do that again… I was scrounging around for books to take on an upcoming trip, and found a book in the Google eBookstore that seemed workable, so I decided to buy it and put it on my Nook ST. Thus began a journey of many steps, most of them unpleasant:

  1. Get signed up to buy a Google eBook. A bunch of cruft here, but eventually got through Google Checkout.

  2. Actually purchase the eBook. That step, unsurprisingly, was rather easy.

  3. Try to figure out how to download the book. Uh oh.

  4. Try the "Read This Book" button, without comprehending that it is completely different than the tiny "Read This Book On Your Device" link immediately below it. Doesn't help.

  5. After some navigation, find Google's "help", with detailed instructions. The most informative part was that there is no way to simply download the eBook from Google and put it on my Nook. That, apparently, would bypass some kind of DRM nonsense and allow me to do things like share the book with my family and friends without breaking its utterly trivial DRM. No, I apparently have to have a working copy of Adobe Book DRM Thingy to get my book—and of course there is no Adobe Book DRM Thingy for Linux.

  6. Start to fill out a request for a refund for my book. I can probably just buy it off the Nook store, and in any case I'm pretty angry. But I relent when I realize that all of this means that I have to either have two $6 copies of the same eBook in flight or give up on the book for my trip.

  7. Borrow my wife's Windows box.

  8. Plug the Nook into the Windows box.

  9. Locate ABDRMT on the Adobe site.

  10. Download ABDRMT.

  11. Go through the usual rigmarole of installing and running a program on Windows. There's a reason I don't use this OS, dammit.

  12. Go back to Google's help. Finally figure out that "Read This Book On My Device" is what I should have clicked earlier. Do so.

  13. Follow the instructions for ABDRMT. It first sends me to a browser window to register an "account" with Adobe.

  14. Get my Adobe account. They ask for a whole bunch of optional personal information. Go away, Adobe.

  15. Next, I need to locate my "Adobe Id". It turns out to be the email address I used to register my account.

  16. Go back to the browser and click on the ePub link to set up my book.

  17. Supply my Adobe Id and password when prompted by Google in the browser.

  18. Go back to ABDRMT and supply my Adobe Id and password again. ABDRMT now somehow figures out how to download the book from Google and remove the DRM, replacing it with different, Nook-compatible DRM. Thanks ABDRMT.

  19. Carefully following the Google help, go click on some tabs in ABDRMT and drag this giant icon of my book onto this tiny list item labeled "NOOK" that doesn't look like it's dockable at all.

  20. Take everything down, apart, etc.

Congratulations to me. I'm now the proud "owner" of a Google eBook, and can read it on my Nook.

Google claims to have about 1/3 more eBooks than anyone else. All I know is that of the titles I've searched for so far, the recent ones are available on any of the Kindle, Nook and Google eBookstores. Anything before about 1990 appears to be not available at all.

Given this situation, I don't expect to be "buying" another eBook from Google anytime soon. Maybe ever. Fob

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