Monday, January 29, 2007

Mundanity - high-tech style

Boy, poor quality work stands out. Bought this book which is only available as an ebook now. Problem is that I had to pay for "shipping and handing" when it was delivered by e-mail.

Second thing is that the rendition leaves a lot to be desired. Two sets of page numbers, the whole thing formatted to letter size, so that the text covers only just over half the page.

Third is that this was OCR'd from the original text, so there are duplicate (and different) page numbers, plus some minor errors.

What did I do with it? Well, I exported the copy to a text file and eliminated the page breaks and as many errors as I could simply find. Then I opened up the text file in Open Office, copied the formatting from another file and then exported it to a PDF file. Now it is formatted into a file I can use. Reads easier.

I'll polish it along as I go, but it is an interesting scene to look at what I do with information now.

Helps I've published over 30 books by now via Lulu. But POD publishing is another point which is new to this Internet Universe we all live in now. Live in rural Midwest, write/edit and publish several books internationally - pay them a small fee and I can have it up on Amazon/Barnes&Noble.

Facinating thing. 10 years ago, I could only get the print version - or not, since it's out of print.

Worth a note, at least.

-- update --
Turns out I didn't pay for shipping/handling. Now the interesting thing is that through another publisher, I found this company doing a similar thing - posing books off as "ebooks" which are not all that high quality and contain typo's, etc. What they do is take web pages and convert them to PDF's, adding in a "copyright" and link to sell their own books. As I have done, they have only claimed copyright in the digital sense and not actually registered with the copyright office (I checked). As these are public domain works, it's great that they provide a central clearing house for such works. However, anyone can get by their weak PDF protection and then re-edit these books for their own use. But as they edit the books, they are improving the value and so have earned a new copyright for their own works. (Check out how many copies of Master Key System or Science of Getting Rich there are out there...)

So if you are fascinated with texts which are themselves great works, but copyright expired - then knock yourself out. The world always needs readable books...

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