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Old 05-19-2009, 04:36 PM   #31
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Would people be converting from PDF files if ePub and Mobipocket files are also available?
Probably not. The question is, if your PDF is tagged and DRM-free, do you need to maintain ePub and mobi versions?
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:58 PM   #32
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Just when I add the book via Calibre, the cover is not showing up, but for my other ebooks, some of them have the cover shows up, I can add the cover manually though on Calibre.
I'm not sure if Calibre's ebook-viewer is 100% correct with covers, so it could be that - the Sony Window's "eBook Library" software's normally very accurate when compared to the device itself though...

Just out of interest, what software do you use as your 'source' for generating the PDFs?
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:55 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
Probably not. The question is, if your PDF is tagged and DRM-free, do you need to maintain ePub and mobi versions?
I do think the need is there to maintain ePub and Mobipocket. Might as well also maintain LRF for 500 users.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:11 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
Would people be converting from PDF files if ePub and Mobipocket files are also available?
No converting from PDF is always a last choice. ePUB/MOBI/LITare the preferred format.

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:02 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
Probably not. The question is, if your PDF is tagged and DRM-free, do you need to maintain ePub and mobi versions?
Not tagged, and probably won't be. Based on what little I read and what you told me about tagging, the only reason I can think of why it would be useful for the PDF files in question is for text-to-speech--but that would be much better supported by an aural CSS marked XHTML document... which may as well be an ePub.

The part about tagging facilitating conversion and reflowing sounds nice at first, but PDF really is indisputably the wrong format for both of those things even by my reckoning.

For the same reasons that I do not see reflowing Mobipocket and ePub files ever being able to reach typographic "perfection", reflowing PDF files (once reflowed from the originally intended page/font size) can never be better than an attentively produced Mobipocket or ePub.

Will the PDFs be DRM-free? Definitely. If it were not to be so, I would not have been posting unprotected full versions on Mobileread.com.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:04 PM   #36
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I do think the need is there to maintain ePub and Mobipocket. Might as well also maintain LRF for 500 users.
I started playing with ePubs yesterday. It seems doable, so that's probably what I will do, the very way you suggested it. (i.e.: Make a good quality ePub, and convert to Mobipocket and LRF therefrom.)
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:00 PM   #37
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No converting from PDF is always a last choice. ePUB/MOBI/LITare the preferred format.
Mine was a rhetorical question. PDF's are poor choice as a source for conversion, and that is, IMHO, the major problem with that format. The content is locked in.

The existence of the file in another format is not a guarantee of delivery. Since a PDF version most likely looks better, it is more likely to reach me as an e-mail attachment. Where and how to find ahi's full Giles translation, on the ever-changing web, and in presence of quite a few "Sun Tzu" Google hits?

Although the statement that "proper typography is literally impossible to automate" is correct, I doubt that many of us would trade the flexibility of ePub for a slightly better typesetting.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:17 AM   #38
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Mine was a rhetorical question. PDF's are poor choice as a source for conversion, and that is, IMHO, the major problem with that format. The content is locked in.
No argument from me on that.

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The existence of the file in another format is not a guarantee of delivery. Since a PDF version most likely looks better, it is more likely to reach me as an e-mail attachment. Where and how to find ahi's full Giles translation, on the ever-changing web, and in presence of quite a few "Sun Tzu" Google hits?
By searching for the publisher's website (as aided by the copyright page). It will lead you to Pax Librorum --> http://www.paxlibrorum.com/books/taowde/ (to be updated soon once all the formats are prepared)

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Originally Posted by Ankh View Post
Although the statement that "proper typography is literally impossible to automate" is correct, I doubt that many of us would trade the flexibility of ePub for a slightly better typesetting.
Such is my impression--hence my decision to put together an ePub and derive therefrom Mobipocket and LRF files too.

However when the fully annotated (complete with embedded chinese characters and commentaries galore) version comes out, I do not think I will undertake the torture of typesetting it as an ePub. I will do my best to provide materials to enable others in the community to do so... but any half-way faithful reproduction (or even retypesetting) of the full original content of the 1910 Giles translation is just too complex to have it come out properly with nothing but CSS and HTML. In fact, it's even too complex to be worth typesetting by most modern printers... as far as I know only facsimile editions exist, other than ones that selectively strip out this that and the other form the original contents.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by ahi View Post
By searching for the publisher's website (as aided by the copyright page). It will lead you to Pax Librorum --> http://www.paxlibrorum.com/books/taowde/ (to be updated soon once all the formats are prepared)


Well, if there is a publishing house, then things get complicated. DRMed ePub has its content purposely locked in, and choice of PDF there would not surprise me. I don't like it, but it would not surprise me. I am hoping that DRM-free delivery will prove its worth as a better business model for publishers, but the jury is still out.

However, for any work on the copyright and DRM free content, a strong case can be made for use of one of the re-flowable formats. Flexibility to use tools to add soft-hyphens in the future, for example, or to adjust format for new devices is essential as our reading platforms continue to evolve.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:30 AM   #40
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Well, if there is a publishing house, then things get complicated. DRMed ePub has its content purposely locked in, and choice of PDF there would not surprise me. I don't like it, but it would not surprise me. I am hoping that DRM-free delivery will prove its worth as a better business model for publishers, but the jury is still out.
No DRM on anything, period. Pax Librorum is in the business of selling dead-tree books. The eBooks are considered a tool for promotion.

The 5x8 inch (paperback book's original size) PDF was downloaded more than 3000 times since February. Once all the different formats for eBook readers are up there, I expect those will receive reasonable interest too.

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However, for any work on the copyright and DRM free content, a strong case can be made for use of one of the re-flowable formats. Flexibility to use tools to add soft-hyphens in the future, for example, or to adjust format for new devices is essential as our reading platforms continue to evolve.
A strong case based on the abandonment of said eBooks. A publisher that is interested in having their eBooks read, will take the effort to update their formats as needed.

I suppose I make the distinction between "free range" eBooks that have no real guardian, and "published" eBooks that somebody is responsible for.

Reflow formats, I will grant you, are probably best for the free range ones. Published ones though, I strongly feel that the publisher should put in the effort required to ensure their eBooks are both amicably readable and well worth reading. (And yeah, I know we are a bit of ways from there still, but a man can dream!)
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:00 PM   #41
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No DRM on anything, period. Pax Librorum is in the business of selling dead-tree books. The eBooks are considered a tool for promotion.
As far as I am concerned, that falls into "freebie" category, with a COMPLETELY different set of rules. And the rules are that publisher is free to do whatever he thinks will work.

I have nothing against DRMed freebies. Or one heavily laced with advertisements. I might chose not to read them, but I do not have anything against them. It is a freebie, it is a marketing tool, there is no such thing as a free lunch, take it or leave it.

With a business strategy that you just laid out, I would argue that you SHOULD use PDF's. It is a showcase, it sends a message that pbooks offered on that site will be properly typeset and worth the "pride of ownership", which is a very important aspect of pbooks (specifically, hardcover, paperback is doomed) sales in these digital times.

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I suppose I make the distinction between "free range" eBooks that have no real guardian, and "published" eBooks that somebody is responsible for.
Sadly, the lack of maintenance and guardianship is built into our world.

I believe that this is precisely the space where a smaller player can make a difference and carve his niche market.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:12 PM   #42
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