First, I should add a couple of countries for purchasers of the downloadable PDF of the book about the Panasonic Lumix LX5 — Australia and the Philippines. I guess it makes a lot of sense for people from that part of the world to purchase the PDF, because the shipping cost to send the paperback book would be quite high, and it would take quite a while for the book to get there. Though I imagine that, as more and more people read PDFs on their iPads, iPhones, and other devices, the PDF versions of books (as well as newspapers, magazines, etc.) will become increasingly popular. I still will be selling a version of the LX5 book for the Kindle, but not until December, because that version needs to be converted to the Kindle format by someone who is an expert at that process, and he is backed up until December.
I’m also still waiting for the paperback version of the LX5 book to show up on Amazon; I guesss it will take a few more days for the listing to get from Lightning Source’s computers to Amazon’s.
One commenter asked whether you have to get permission from a company to write about its cameras. I haven’t sought a formal legal opinion, but in practical terms this doesn’t seem to be an issue. I’m not using any copyrighted materials that belong to Panasonic, including any text or photographs; I take all my own photographs and write all my own words. In more practical terms, Panasonic and other camera companies must realize that having books like this available can only help them, because the books should help people use the cameras more effectively.
And, of course, it seems unlikely that an author would write a book of this sort about a camera that he or she was going to criticize generally; I can’t see writing a guidebook such as “How to Use (or Attempt to Use) the Horrible Excuse for a Camera by Company X”. And, if someone wanted to write a book that criticizes a particular brand or model of camera for some reason, it’s hard to see how that would lead to legal problems, unless it disclosed trade secrets or violated some other specific provision of law.
Anyway, these are interesting questions, and if anyone has better answers it would be good to hear them.