When the simple isn’t – Buying ebooks on Kalahari

Posted on June 6, 2011

For a while now I have been wanting to read Mandy Wiener’s “Killing Kebble”. Having just finished Lauren Beukes’ two books, Moxyland and Zoo City on my Kindle it was time.

Lauren’s books weren’t available on Amazon for Kindle, but she provided a useful hint in that the eBooks can be purchased from AngryRobotStore.com for £4.49 each, so around R100 for the pair. They come down in epub format and are quickly converted to work on the Kindle using the excellent Calibre (best friend of every Kindle owner).  Simple, quick and you can be reading in just a few minutes.


Killing Kebble is available from Kalahari.net as an e-book in epub format. Yay. Or so I thought. I paid the R105, got the sms on my phone confirming they had the money, and waited. Scavenged, looked. Mmmm. No download link, found a link to my “Library Box” where I found my purchased. Happily flagged with a status of “new”. Yes, I just bought it so I guess it is new. Still no download link, I click the “show only products to download”, nothing shows up. Odd I thought. Clicked the “More information” action button to be instructed to download Kalahari’s (Beta) e-reader, create an account on adobe.com and a whole lot of stuff.

Bugger. I just bought a DRM’ed book. What the heck. Ok, so I want to read the book, let’s see how this works. I downloaded the 20 Meg reader, installed it, had a failed Adobe Air install. Loaded the reader, Air installed again and worked. Created the account on Adobe.com (do I really need to give them ALL my personal details, so many people have been hacked recently I am more nervous to hand these out). Finally all installed and ready and …

Still no book showing up. My LibraryBox in the reader is empty, a link to the Kalahari website, follow it, and back to square one. My new book with nothing showing.

Call the call centre. Speak to the lady there, mmm. How long ago did I buy the book? About 15 minutes or so. No, I must wait. Wait for what? For the money to be taken off my account. The SMS from the bank says that’s done. No, I must wait for the order to be processed, packaged and made available for download. How long? Maybe an hour, maybe two, maybe more. Damn, Amazon is sooo much easier. One click a few seconds and your book is on the Kindle ready to read. All this pain and I still don’t have my book which I am going to have to read on the laptop by the sounds of it.


Sorry Kalahari. In the time taken to Order this book, download your software, create an adobe account, phone your call centre and write this blogpost the book still isn’t available to me. That’s a big fail.

When I bought Lauren’s books I had them bought, downloaded, converted, installed on the Kindle nogal and was finished Chapter 1 in half the time it has taken till now. Purchases from Amazon are delivered directly to the Kindle in seconds (one click purchasing is great).

I wonder what it would take to get a refund. Maybe I can get the physical book at CNA rather next time I am at a mall. Seems would be a whole lot easier ….  I certainly won’t be buying anymore Kalahari ebooks.

P.S. Lauren when is your next book due for release? Really enjoyed those last two.

Update : Two phone calls and 3 hours later, still no sign of the book. In the Kalahari marketing gumph sprouting the benefits of their e-book service they say “eBooks are delivered almost immediately on kalahari.net. You can search, purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair.” Sadly I wish that was so. I wait know for a return phone call once they contact “technical” to see if there is a technical problem. Seems must be that or else I am just stuck in a time warp.

Update 2 : Still no call this morning, but noticed a second bank authorisation SMS against my credit card last night. When I got to Durban this morning the book was available for download. ePUBee (find link in comment below) did a good job, and with further help from Calibre (link above) I am now happily reading “Killing Kebble” on my Kindle. Life should not be so complicated for those wanting to buy and read a book.

Update 3 : See my later blogpost here for info on how to read it on your kindle : http://j-j.co.za/2011/06/converting-your-ebooks-to-read-on-your-kindle/

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Categories: General, Pick On, Praise

11 Responses

  1. willie:

    did the installation of kalahari and registered with adobe, but could not varifi my accound, still no download on a book paid 4days ago, bad kalahari, bad……

    22.03.2012 22:46 Reply

    • Justin:

      Sucky service yes. The one book I bought had to phone and mail them, didn’t buy again ……..

      23.03.2012 17:48 Reply

  2. Dale:

    Can’t download my books

    15.03.2012 18:27 Reply

    • Justin:

      Give a bit more detail, will see if can help

      15.03.2012 19:02 Reply

  3. antoinette van vuuren:

    i have the same problem, BYE BYE KALAHARI, NEVER AGAIN!!!!!

    21.12.2011 22:13 Reply

    • Justin:

      I have pretty much stuck to buying books on Amazon. Generally cheaper and pretty painless, can read them on Kindle and iPad. A no-brainer actually. Until the Kalahari’s of the world come up with a competitive offering they will just lose.

      21.12.2011 23:30 Reply

  4. Which Kindle to buy as a South African | j-j.co.za:

    […] = 'jjza';I have posted a few times in the last little while around my challenges in buying ebooks from Kalahari, then on converting ebooks for use on the Kindle, and more generally on buying ebooks in South […]

    30.06.2011 17:12 Reply

  5. Shaun Trennery:

    I’m in the same boat. Own a copy of the Killing Kebble eBook but will not get to read it unless I can work out how to get it on my Kindle. Please share if you work how to do it.

    17.06.2011 12:43 Reply

    • Justin:

      When I eventually get to download the epub file will see if there is anything out there that can help. Not very hopeful though. Will post any further here as it comes to light.

      17.06.2011 13:00 Reply

    • Justin:

      Shaun take a look here : http://www.epubee.com/remove-drm-from-epub-on-adobe.html

      I still haven’t been able to download my epub so can’t try any of the options. Let me know if you have any luck with them.

      17.06.2011 13:27 Reply

      • Justin:

        Hi Shaun
        Using epubee drm remover and calibre let me convert the book and download it onto the Kindle. Happily reading it now. Give me a shout if you need any further details on getting them to work.

        18.06.2011 11:22 Reply

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