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Old 10-18-2009, 05:00 PM   #1
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Interest in a free 'Norton Anthology' type of book?

A lot of people have looked for lists of classics to start with; there are so many available now! I keep thinking back to my days as a university English major and how 90% of the stuff we read is probably available on-line now and someone with an ebook reader and Project Gutenberg could almost certainly follow my entire university curriculum completely for free.

I know someone has put together a freeware French textbook and released it under a Creative Commons license. I wonder if there would be interest in an English textbook. Texts from Gutnberg and elsewhere could be combined with backgrounder info from perhaps Wikipedia (since it is licensed for Creative Commons use) and people could just download the books for free for their own use or for use in courses or classes.

It would be a lot of work to put this together, free texts or not Would there be interest in such a thing? Would any of you download it?
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #2
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I'm sure there would be some interest. Volume 1 of the NA English Lit is 3,000 pages long, and it would be great not to have to haul a book like that around.

However I have a bad feeling that without the "official" Norton label, its utility for students might be somewhat limited -- i.e. a student may have to get the paper book anyway, even though the etext would be a great supplement. It depends on how closely you can mimic the order and contents. Navigating a book like that could also be a bit tough, the TOC alone would be a beast.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how motivated Norton will be to release their own official version, since it's a pretty expensive book. I don't know if it's just a cash cow or genuinely expensive to produce, or how they would want to price the ebook. I expect readers might not be thrilled by spending $40 on an ebook they can't resell.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
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I wouldn't download it for my personal use but I am sure there would be demand for it. After creating it you could upload to a number of ebook sites and put it on torrents sites.

Also if you create a website for it, include details of that in the zip file (and links to mobileread hehe)!
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