LexisNexis eBooks

When I was in Victoria Police, prosecutors got their own copy of the paperback abridgements of Bourke’s Criminal Law Victoria and Motor and Traffic Law Victoria. LexisNexis sold (and still sells) the same edition of Bourke’s, with a different cover, to the public, but not the other text.

That changed this year, and right now the Motor and Traffic Law abridgement is on sale. Much as I like having access to stuff electronically for its portability, it’s handy at times to have a paper copy as well.

So, I decided to order a copy today, and also get the Bourke’s Criminal Law bundle of paperback and eBook.

This is my first legal eBook purchase, so I’m keen to see how it goes. The promise is good, but from what I’ve seen, the reality isn’t quite up to the promise. You can read a frank and not exactly glowing review at the Law Geek Down Under blog here — and I recommend you do.

My automated order and payment went through easily enough, and I got an email confirming the order.

Right. So how do I download my eBook?

Surely the email will tell me how? No. That’s okay: there’s a link at the bottom of the email to support on the website.

Except the link is broken and goes to a dead page.

Okay, then the site map will show me.

Except that also goes to the same dead page.

Okay, the main page will surely have some information?

Nothing I can find there.

But Google leads me to this.

So I download the PDF instructions — which seems odd, when they could be on the webpage, complete with hyperlinks to BlueFire Reader, the eBook reader LexisNexis chose for its service.

Right. Install BlueFire. Enter Adobe ID (I already have one) to authorise my iPad.

The instructions say:

3. Forward this email to an email address that can be accessed on your iPad.
4. Click on the link you received in your email.
5. Click on ‘Open in BlueFire Reader’.
6. The book will then be downloaded in BlueFire Reader.

The email I have doesn’t have a link that opens anything in BlueFire Reader.

Surely I don’t have to wait till a person sends the paper copy to also get the email to download my eBook? Surely? Every eBook I’ve bought from Amazon is available for download seconds after clicking “purchase”.

So I ring the help desk. Which is unhelpfully closed on weekends.

Please call back Monday to Friday chirps the helpful recording before it hangs up. Or send an email. Which I’ve done, and had a very nice form reply telling me they’ll get back to me, or I can call them between 8 AM and 8 PM.

Except, I now know, not on the weekends.

I’ll post a review of the actual experience of using an eBook from LexisNexis when I can actually get it. It shouldn’t be this hard.

In the meantime, I suggest you don’t buy yours out of business hours unless you want to wait for delivery in the same time frame as you do for physical books.

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