a question for you about ebooks

I’m in the process of reviewing my home and contents insurance.

Because I am obviously a tad rabid about my books, I, naturally, include these in my estimate about how much my stuff is worth.

Then the thought suddenly occurred to me… my ebooks.

Now how the friggin’ hell am I meant to value them?!

Has anyone else given any thought to this?

Ideas welcomed.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
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41 Responses to a question for you about ebooks

  1. Value at the price you paid for them.

  2. K. Z. Snow says:

    If your storage device(s) — desktop, laptop, e-reader, whatever — were stolen or damaged, I imagine you'd just add the total cost of the e-books stored therein to the cost of the physical device.

    “guffers” ~ Duffers with a sense of humor…like me!

  3. Tam says:

    I never thought about that but since I've been using Carbonite which backs them up on-line, if my computer was burned to a crisp I could just download them again. Something that is not automatically downloaded is music files. I should back those up physically.

    But usually it's the replacement value. You can't buy used e-book so you'd need to pay full price again. (in theory assuming you bought every one again. I know I wouldn't because there are lots I'll never read again.

  4. By God I never thought about something like this…I have over 300 ebooks *blush* if something happened to 'em I would probably cry and go fetal.

  5. Juniper says:

    You should be able to get an idea of spend, perhaps from your a/c details at the individual sites?

    You've made me, though, just have a look at my Paypal a/c. Bloody Hell! How have I managed to sneak that past my hubby all this time? Need to look at my credit card statement, but might save that one up for another decade or so.

    Do you really think that cat will be bothered to push through the scam? He looks to comfortable there.

  6. Juniper says:

    TOO, I meant too! I just hate to see that – multiple apologies. Must try harder.

  7. Funny lolcatz pic, that one!
    I've never thought about this, maybe because I always carry them with me and have a back-up at home. What can happen to them, right? Plus some are still downloadable from the ebook seller's site.

  8. JenB says:

    I doubt you'd be paid for e-books at all unless they were part of a total loss, especially as there's almost always a way to recover them. Insurance companies generally don't pay for data.

    You'd be paid for the device, just not the booksa on it.

    Just like if your iPod were stolen–you'd get the iPod replaced but not the music. Any music you couldn't recover would just be a loss.

  9. ElaineG says:

    OK, now I am in freak-out mode…cause I have about 800 e-nooks (umm, I am an indulged woman?) and NOW I need to go buy thumb drives and use em consistently sheesh! I have hard drive lists of all my paperbacks, along with paper lists, so I can replace those eventually but I never thought of keeping a list of my e-books….*runs off to do that pronto!*

  10. I don't insure mine because generally you can't insure data like that (as far as I know).

    Instead i have backups LOL I have one on a partition on my drive that syncs with dropbox.com (online backup and its free – you get 2GB of space)…. and then a couple times a year i burn em to DVD.

  11. Kris says:

    Hi all

    Just a general comment for the moment.

    We've been chatting about this on Twitter as well and, as JenB – didn't you used to work in the bizz, Jen?? – said, those in the know agree that data is generally not insurable.

    Backing up seems to be the best option, but, me being me, I always think about worst case scenarios and a home fire means that the USB you have safely hidden away ain't going to really cut mustard.

    Therefore the best option seems to be to back up remotely.

    Tiffany @ KindleVixen is going to do a 'hot to' post about backing up ebooks to a remote site and stuff for those of us who are absolutely clueless like me. I will post the link when she has it up.

  12. Kris says:

    PS – I'll also be giving my insurer a buzz about this today and will report back.

  13. How about backing them up on a USB drive?

  14. Kris says:

    *sigh* And I obviously can't type this morning.

    Tiffany is going to do a 'how to' post not a 'hot to'. Not that I doubt that she is hot. Her twitterpic is seeeexeeee. 😉

  15. Kris says:

    Katiebabs chook: I think that's okay if something happens to your computer or other device where you store the books, but what happens if something happens to your house itself and everything is destroyed or if you are carrying the USB with you and your handbag gets stolen?

    Can you tell that I am a glass half empty person about this kind of stuff?

  16. I don't think you can ensure e-books 😦

  17. Kris says:

    PSS – Oh and I'm sorry for scaring the shit out of some of you (eg KC & Elaine), but these are books we're talking about!

    It's important stuff!

  18. Kris says:

    PPS – Har, har! Made you look, Juni! 😀

  19. Kris says:

    Katiebabs chook: I'm beginning to get that feeling too. 😦

  20. Tam says:

    Well, my girl crush on Jordan Castillo Price went into full on true love when my netbook died a few weeks ago. ALL of my e-books were on there (800ish) and only there. But not a couple of months before she talked about Carbonite and so I thought I'd give it a try. It backed up all my files (not music but you can do that separately – most of our music is on our desktop) and it was super easy to get it back. You simply go their site and log-in and the tree looks like your tree and you choose the files you want back and boom, within minutes I had every book back.

    It also works that if you are at someone's house for vacation and want to read something on their computer (or you need a letter you sent to your bank or the picture of your birthday party), you again, log-in and simply download the files you want to whatever computer you're on. So it's a bit like having a portable USB of everything on your computer.

    It does however cause our desk top to freeze up, but worked like a charm on my netbook so it could be the operating system is old or corrupted.

  21. Ingrid says:

    Carbonite sounds like an excellent idea Tam. Esp as I am not that rabbit about making backups and such

  22. Kris says:

    Tam: I've just downloaded Dropbox, which is what Jen and KV use, and it does exactly the same thing as Carbonite.

    Ingrid: I've become even more rabid than usual because the Mumma had her netbook recently stoled and lost a bunch of data because she hadn't backed up recently. 😦

  23. Chris says:

    Dang, Kris – I coulda given you a link and increased the size of my wee Dropbox empire! 😉

    If you go with Carbonite, you should get a link from Tam or I – it will give us extra time in our subscriptions.

    I like Carbonite because it's wonderfully automagical and less expensive than Dropbox. I use the freebie version of Dropbox for files I need to access from multiple locations.

  24. Kris says:

    Chris: Well, why aren't you psychic! 😛

    If you are interested, Tiffany's post just went up: http://www.kindlevixen.com/archives/1605

  25. Chris says:

    Thanks for the heads up – that's a perfect post for linkity. 🙂

  26. Kris says:

    That's okay. My invoice will be in the mail. 🙂

  27. hdsmith says:

    So I have kinda been wondering how many books I have vs other people. I store mine on a USB drive as a back up.

    I looked at the number of files in that folder – 1275. Holy Crap! So some of these are duplicates cause I file by author and when you purchase an anthology with multiple authors, if those authors have their own folders – multiple copies.

    Good that I do not keep kids or pets cause obviously with this type of habit I would not be able to feed them.

  28. Kris says:

    Heidi: I will have a better idea of how many ebooks I own after I move them over to Calibre, which is taking fucking forever and making me thank God I only keep my, well, keepers on my PC hard drive.

  29. Emilie says:

    I haven't thought about how to value them. I have a lot of my favorites backed up onto three or four USB drives. If I really like a book, I often get it in print, as well, so I have a shelf of print books that were originally e-books. I know which publishers allow you to download the books more than once and over a pretty long period of time. I'm more concerned with still having the books if the computer dies.

  30. Eyre says:

    Wow, I'd never thought of this. I guess I'm going to have to look into Carbonite or something like it. I've always backed everything up on an external hard drive, but that won't survive a fire.

  31. Kris says:

    Emilie: “I'm more concerned with still having the books if the computer dies.”

    I think most of us have thought along those lines, but not really about what happens when EVERYTHING dies including your back ups. It's a bit scary.

    Eyre: I hadn't thought about it either until I was making a list of what needed to be included in my policy, got to my books and thought 'oh, shit. Now what do I do about the ebooks?'

    If nothing else at least this post will have helped others to remote back up too.

  32. JenB says:

    I'm still in the biz. 🙂

    Okay, formal answer from an underwriter here in Texas (yes, I did call…I'm a nerd…LOL)–data is not covered on any kind of personal policy. E-books, songs, movies, etc., that are purchased and downloaded legally are almost always recoverable through the original supplier. If they're not, then it's your responsibility as the consumer to back them up. The device is covered, but the data is not. So the replacement value of an e-book, regardless of what you paid for it, is zero.

    This would go for an author trying to claim projected lost wages from the unfinished novel he/she lost when her laptop was stolen. Ain't happenin'.

    The end.

  33. Kris says:

    Thanks, Jen. That's great info.

    This is really interesting because I just rang my insurer and at the moment I am covered for a cumulative amount of $2,000 for things like, CDs, DVDs, AND digital storage. So my ebooks, iTunes music, etc is covered by my policy, but not for very much.

    However, if I list all of my ebooks, music, CDs, etc and forward that information to them, they will pay me a percentage of what the collection is actually worth should all of the stuff be destroyed.

    I wonder why it is different here in Oz then in the US?

  34. orannia says:

    I haven't thought of that – YIKES! – but I will have to include that when I renew my insurance next year!

    And I have an external hard-drive…I just need to actually set up the back-up! Will do so tomorrow!

  35. Kaetrin says:

    @ Chris – does Carbonite cost $$ to use? If you send me a link maybe I can use it now that Kris has scared the bejeebers out of me (thx so much for that Kris).

    I'd better investigate either Dropbox or Carbonite soon – I have 461 ebooks at last count and would be very sad to lose them.

  36. Chris says:

    Kaetrin: Sent! It's $55/year (US), I believe – but oh, it's awesome to have everything backed up automagically.

  37. Kris says:

    Orannia: Yikes is what I thought as well. I think everyone will be backing up this weekend. LOL.

    Kaetrin: Welcome! *beams*

    I have about 440 books in my keeper shelves. I didn't even bother to think about remote backing up my archived, not ever gonna read 'em again books. Quite frankly the thought of even attempting to back up that many terrifies me.

    Chris: Wow. $55 per year is cheap as chips for peace of mind.

    Why don't you gave the linkity to all of us? 🙂

  38. Chris says:

    Sent one to you, Kris. Sadly, they don't have a referral link like Dropbox does.

    Carbonite Australia

    Lifehacker's look at the top 5 Windows backup tools

    Lifehacker's look at the 5 top online backup options – Dropbox beat Carbonite, but doesn't have an unlimited option, so I didn't go that route.


  39. Kris says:

    Thanks, lovey!

  40. JenB says:

    Maybe bc Aussies are less likely to scam their insurance companies than asshole Americans?

    No idea.

    I'm sure some American companies offer small amounts for digital storage in the $500-1000 range, but only as one of those “Hey, look how cool and modern we are” promotions and not as general practice.

    Apparently being in this business my entire adult life has jaded me…

  41. Kris says:

    Jen: “Apparently being in this business my entire adult life has jaded me…”

    No! I would never have guessed. 😛

    “Maybe bc Aussies are less likely to scam their insurance companies than asshole Americans?”

    Or maybe too thick to even try it in the first place. LOL.

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