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Old 12-07-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
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Free! With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow (ebook + audiobook)

With a Little Help is a new short story collection by Cory Doctorow, who you probably know already. If you don't he writes sci-fi/fantasy/nerdtastic books, and they're all available for free download at his site.

This one's no exception. Here's the summary (of a sort):
Quote:
With a Little Help is my first serious experiment in self-publishing. I’ve published many novels, short story collections, books of essays and so on with publishers, and it’s all been very good and satisfying and educational and so on, but it seems like it’s time to try something new.

You see, I’ve always released my work under open licenses from the Creative Commons project, so that my readers could share and remix my works. A good number of these readers wanted to know why I didn’t distribute the physical book as well, and see what a writer working on his own could do.

So here we have it. With a Little Help, consists of 12 stories, all reprints except for “Epoch,” which was commissioned by the Ubuntu project‘s Mark Shuttleworth for $10,000 (this being the most expensive option for buying the book — don’t worry, there are cheaper editions).
You can find more info and download links here. Or here if you just want to go directly to the ebook. So far it's available in PDF, .html, .txt, ePub, .odt, and .sst.

You can also download the audiobook, read by Neil Gaiman, Mur Lafferty, Wil Wheaton, Leo Laporte, Emily Hurson, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Hugh AD Spencer, Mary Robinette Kowal, JC Hutchins, Roy Trumbull, Jonathan Coulton, Spider Robinson, Jesse Brown, and Russell Galen, for free here!

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Old 12-07-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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Downloaded and added to library! TY
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:05 AM   #3
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Ta!

As a side note.
Ebook uploaded are rubbish. At least ePub & LRF
OK. LRf was created by an amateur but ePub? I find it ironic, because it is ebook by a computer freak?

Last edited by astra; 12-08-2010 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:36 AM   #4
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Thanks, I've been wondering when this would come out.

Looks like the paragraph numbers in EPUB are a default feature of SISU (the software used). You can just google "SISU epub" and look at some of the example EPUB output files, and they have the same thing.

I'm curious what people are objecting to about the PDF. But I'm not a fan of the paragraph numbers in the EPUB.

Personally I'd fall back to HTML... why, if you replace the DOCTYPE with a more lenient HTML5 one, and then run it through HTML Tidy, the only error is the 100 or so duplicate ID values, which don't matter for parsing or rendering.

Ho hum. I'd like to think I'd have found something more appropriate than SISU. To be fair, there's no one tool that does everything you'd want.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:27 AM   #5
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I downloaded HTML, ran it through BD and got a perfect LRF
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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Cory makes the first submission of any format available for download, so if the first submitter creates a crappy version, you might as well check out the other versions and convert them to your preferred format and see how they look. Unfortunately, it seems like every ePub version submitted to Cory was done by people who were more interested in being first than producing something that looks nice.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:01 AM   #7
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No, the epub is an official version. It's the software Cory is using that is "crappy".

I'd be surprised if a fan conversion looked like that. I suppose it might work for the iPad, but most e-book fans would understand why the paragraph numbers aren't appropriate. It makes far more sense for this to be a conversion by someone who knows that EPUB is a standard format, but who doesn't use it themselves.

[So if we do have any of our epub experts here, it would be great to a) suggest a fully automated conversion program which e.g. generates a good EPUB from the HTML version and b) politely explain exactly to Cory why he should use it, and even help set it up].
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