Why would anyone buy Google books…?

I just bought a book through Google Play, simply because the author chose to sell it there and on Kindle only. The Kindle book cost $62 yesterday ($50 today), the print book $47, and the Google Play version 300 SEK ($38). There’s no PDF version available.

But, all the pain…

Now I have to use an iPad to read the book. Or read it on the net, logged in to Google. Both experiences are less than great. The iPad app is laggy as hell, and the Google Books browser interface is unusual in its formatting, to put it mildly. But both are still better than what the Kindle experience would have been. So now I have GoodReader for most PDF books, Kindle for some, and Google Books for this single book. Great.

I bought the book for my company. The “receipt” Google sent me does not mention my name or my company name, breaking the accounting rules, so I can’t book it. It includes 25% VAT without specifying if that’s Swedish VAT or something else, so I can’t deduct it. The Google account settings don’t have any place where I can insert my Swedish VAT number, either.

In short, all this combines to make this book almost three times more expensive to me than it should have been. Or put differently: I could have bought three books for the same cost.

Oh, adding insult to injury, I had to register a Google Wallet to pay for the book, leaving my credit card info with Google for “future purchases”, which I sincerely hope I will never have to use. Yes, you can remove the card again in the wallet settings, which I did, but it should not have to be stored in the first place.

I wrote to Google customer service about this. I’m not holding my breath.

Please, people, don’t publish this way.

Scrivener, BibDesk, LaTeX, and symlinks


  • Writing in Scrivener on OSX
  • Using BibDesk for bibliography
  • Writing several different articles or books using the same BibDesk database
  • Getting the database into the local folder tree so that it is included in version control

Assume the database is at:


In Scrivener, use the following in the meta-data page, which is the first page in the manuscript:

Base Header Level: 1
Title: Rethinking the EHR
Author: Martin Wehlou, MD, CISSP
BibTeX: ../BibRef
mycopyright: 2014 Man in The Middle AB, Sweden.

Then, in the base folder of your book or article, create a symbolic link to the real BibDesk database file:

ln -s ~/Documents/BibDesk/Database/References.bib BibRef.bib

The “base folder” is the folder where your .scriv file is. Scrivener creates the .tex files in a subfolder, so that’s why you need the “..” before “BibRef” above. By the way, I called the link “BibRef” just to make it clearly different from the actual database name, but you can use anything you like. As long as it doesn’t contain blanks or strange symbols.

Now everything works and life is good.