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Blast from the past

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  • Allan
    Hi, I don t expect anyone will remember but, once upon a time, I used to hang out here and contribute a little to ebook community, and to its predecessors in
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2009
      Hi,

      I don't expect anyone will remember but, once upon a time, I used to hang out here and contribute a little to ebook community, and to its predecessors in e-book list and TEN. Seems a lifetime ago but it's interesting to see some familiar names still here -- hello Jon, how's it going? How's Windspun doing? I do wonder whatever happened to people like networker, Marion Gropen (now there was somebody who knew the publishing business), Dorothea Salo and Glenn Sanders. Oh, and Michael Hart. Back in the day, we had some furiously enjoyable arguments, Michael and I.

      Anyway, I retired in 2002, after 20 years in the publishing game, gave up on the big plans we once had for ebooks and have since only followed ebook developments in a rather cursory and haphazard way. Blame it on the Queensland sunshine and the temptations of tropical sloth.

      Just recently though my interest has been revived a little (I was going to say rekindled but... bad pun).

      The release of Amazon's Kindle in this part of the world has created quite a lot of interest in OZ, and in NZ, as has the B&N Nook. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, in the last couple of weeks three of the authors I once published have also been in touch asking similar questions about how they might go about selling their work as ebooks.

      My answer was, I don't really know anymore. So I thought I might ask you guys. These writers are asking me to set up something to convert their mss, create ebooks and sell their titles for them. In other words, be a publisher again. It's tempting, if only to add a bit of interest to my now mundane life, but I'm so out of touch I'm not sure how I'd go about it, in a practical sense. I'm no html wizard, and I no longer have employees to do these things for me!

      I see that we finally seem to have a workable 'standard' in ePub, but that there are also still lots of other competing/proprietary formats. Has anyone developed an automated or semi-automated process for converting original digital files (the original mss will be in Word mostly I suppose) to ePub and the other popular formats? Or is it still the case that getting it 'right' still demands hand-coding each mss?

      What formats need to be offered to cover the market? Is it still the case that it has to be everything from PDF to all the proprietary formats? How good is the market these days? Is it feasible to have no more than maybe a dozen new, original works and perhaps the same number of backlist titles available? For me it's probably no more than something interesting to do but the writers will be far more interested in selling lots of books.

      Basically, I'm curious to see what's changed since 2002, and what, if you were just starting out, those ePublishers here might do, or do differently.

      Yes, I'm picking your brains. Forgive me. It's not that I'm unwilling to do the research (again) but that I know how much knowledge there is around here. Why reinvent the wheel? Any help much appreciated.

      Allan Munro
    • jmlar
      Hi Allan, HTMPublishing.net specializes in formatting books to Kindle, iPhone App, and Nook specifications. jameslaroche@htmpublishing.net
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 2, 2009
        Hi Allan,

        HTMPublishing.net specializes in formatting books to Kindle, iPhone App, and Nook specifications.

        jameslaroche@...

        --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, "Allan" <munro.alan@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi,
        >
        > I don't expect anyone will remember but, once upon a time, I used to hang out here and contribute a little to ebook community, and to its predecessors in e-book list and TEN. Seems a lifetime ago but it's interesting to see some familiar names still here -- hello Jon, how's it going? How's Windspun doing? I do wonder whatever happened to people like networker, Marion Gropen (now there was somebody who knew the publishing business), Dorothea Salo and Glenn Sanders. Oh, and Michael Hart. Back in the day, we had some furiously enjoyable arguments, Michael and I.
        >
        > Anyway, I retired in 2002, after 20 years in the publishing game, gave up on the big plans we once had for ebooks and have since only followed ebook developments in a rather cursory and haphazard way. Blame it on the Queensland sunshine and the temptations of tropical sloth.
        >
        > Just recently though my interest has been revived a little (I was going to say rekindled but... bad pun).
        >
        > The release of Amazon's Kindle in this part of the world has created quite a lot of interest in OZ, and in NZ, as has the B&N Nook. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, in the last couple of weeks three of the authors I once published have also been in touch asking similar questions about how they might go about selling their work as ebooks.
        >
        > My answer was, I don't really know anymore. So I thought I might ask you guys. These writers are asking me to set up something to convert their mss, create ebooks and sell their titles for them. In other words, be a publisher again. It's tempting, if only to add a bit of interest to my now mundane life, but I'm so out of touch I'm not sure how I'd go about it, in a practical sense. I'm no html wizard, and I no longer have employees to do these things for me!
        >
        > I see that we finally seem to have a workable 'standard' in ePub, but that there are also still lots of other competing/proprietary formats. Has anyone developed an automated or semi-automated process for converting original digital files (the original mss will be in Word mostly I suppose) to ePub and the other popular formats? Or is it still the case that getting it 'right' still demands hand-coding each mss?
        >
        > What formats need to be offered to cover the market? Is it still the case that it has to be everything from PDF to all the proprietary formats? How good is the market these days? Is it feasible to have no more than maybe a dozen new, original works and perhaps the same number of backlist titles available? For me it's probably no more than something interesting to do but the writers will be far more interested in selling lots of books.
        >
        > Basically, I'm curious to see what's changed since 2002, and what, if you were just starting out, those ePublishers here might do, or do differently.
        >
        > Yes, I'm picking your brains. Forgive me. It's not that I'm unwilling to do the research (again) but that I know how much knowledge there is around here. Why reinvent the wheel? Any help much appreciated.
        >
        > Allan Munro
        >
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