Library 2.0: A Cites & Insights Reader

Remember these paragraphs in a recent post?

But, in fact, I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been active–making much faster (and, I think, better) progress on my next “real” book than I anticipated.

Part of that progress, oddly enough, will yield a self-pub. book in the very near future, one that might herald one aspect of C&I’s future. More about that when it happens. It’s something I thought about doing a long time ago, but at this point the self-pub. becomes part of the professional book preparation (in an odd way), which makes it well worth the effort.

Well, it’s happened, so here’s more about it…although “it” isn’t quite as complete as I was hoping, and may change in the future.

Library 2.0: A Cites & Insights Reader

You can either click on the link above (which gets you to the book page, which may or may not include the download purchase link) or go to my “author spotlight” page (previously called my store), at http://stores.lulu.com/waltcrawford, where you’ll find a brief description and buttons to purchase either the paperback or the PDF download.

The book includes five essays on Library 2.0 that appeared in Cites & Insights between 2006 and 2011, with no textual changes from the original essay but arranged in a single-column, 6×9″ with wide margins, format for easy reading. There’s a people-and-sources index.

The book includes:

  • Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0”: Volume 6 Issue 2, Midwinter 2006
  • Beyond Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0”: Volume 6 Issue 3, February 2006.
  • Library 2.0 Debased: Volume 8 Issue 3, March 2008
  • Library 2.0 Revisited: Volume 9 Issue 9, August 2009
  • Five Years Later: Library 2.0 and Balance: Volume 11, Issues 2 and 3, February and March 2011

The paperback costs $13.99. The PDF download costs $5.99. Both prices are set to yield $4.00 net to help keep Cites & Insights going.

The issues and essays online have been replaced by an announcement for the book–and the new, temporary, addresses for the original issues and essays. Given that the first essay continues to be downloaded more than most contemporary issues, and that I’ve never seen a dime’s worth of revenue or, for that matter, recognition that it’s still being used, I feel that this is a reasonable “speed bump,” at least until I find a revenue stream for C&I.

What’s Missing

My original plan was–and still is–to make this C&I Reader, possibly the first of several, available in a variety of ebook formats in addition to PDF (even though the 6×9 PDF should work beautifully on any netbook, notebook or desktop and on most e-readers with 6″ or larger screens).

But this book is also deliberately an example of micropublishing with little or no budget: The PDF is generated directly by Word2010 (as a PDF/A), not using Acrobat–and I could probably have prepared the book using LibreOffice. And the cover didn’t use graphics software: It’s entirely created using Lulu’s Cover Wizard and built-in themes. So I wasn’t going to go out and spend money on conversion tools for EPUB and Kindle PRC, especially given that I don’t expect to see huge amounts of revenue.

Theoretically, if I take the Word document, strip out running page headers and footers, and save as filtered HTML, Calibre should be able to convert it (with an added cover image from a separate file) to either EPUB or PRC (actually MOBI, but that’s supposedly the same format).

And, indeed, when I did this, the EPUB looked great in Calibre’s simulated ebook reader–I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked. The MOBI version wasn’t quite as good (all text had been converted to “serif” even though all headings in the original are in a sans typeface), but it was good enough.

Well…the EPUB may have looked great in Calibre, but Lulu’s upload process (to submit an EPUB to the iBookstore, with Apple taking 30% and Lulu taking 20% of the remainder, so to get roughly $4 I’d have to charge $6.99 or $7.99) said it was error-filled, listing errors that I don’t even understand. Oh, Lulu would be happy to fix them…for a price.

And my attempt to create a Kindle Direct Publishing account, so I could try the MOBI/PRC version (which would need a $5.99 price to yield around $4), failed. I may try again, although at this point I have little faith that Kindle will like the Calibre-created MOBI file any better than Lulu liked the Calibre-created EPUB file. (There’s also B&N’s PubIt process. Maybe later.)

In other words, it’s still the Wild West out there: ebook formats are nowhere near as easy to generate or deal with as nasty old PDF. That will change, but we’re not there yet.

I may try again later. We’ll see.

There may be more C&I Readers, depending on what happens with this one. There may not. I have no definite plans. Doing this one enabled me to show exactly how a micropublisher works with a service provider in step-by-step illustrations; that’s worthwhile in any case.

And if there are howls of pain or rage because it’s no longer a single click to pick up Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0″ for free (yes, I have pointers to the new addresses…but I reserve the right to change those pointers and addresses periodically), well, show me the money. One correspondent has suggested that I should sponsor C&I myself…which sounds great, but since it’s already in a negative-revenue situation, I’m not sure how this improves matters. I haven’t eliminated the free versions, and I haven’t attempted to negate the CC licenses. I’m just trying to encourage a few people to pick up a neat bundle of the whole story as told here…and contribute a truly trivial sum to help keep C&I going.

 

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