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GenCon 2013 Interview: M. Sechin Tower, Lead Developer at Exile Game Studio
April 15, 2014 | 9:00 pm

GEDC1287During GenCon 2013, I had the chance to speak with Sechin Tower, Lead Developer at Exile Game Studio and author of Mad Science Institute. I asked him about Exile’s use of Kickstarters for publishing its game products, and this is what he had to say. Me: Tell me what Exile’s been doing with Kickstarters. Sechin: Exile has been a recent comer to the Kickstarter market, but we’ve found it extremely useful to not only jumpstart a project that would take a little longer to get going, but to also get the word out and to give people a...

‘Steam in the Willows’ all smoke, no fire?
December 5, 2013 | 3:26 pm

steam-in-willowsRan across this Kickstarter project on GalleyCat. Australian writer Krista Brennan is raising money for “Steam in the Willows,” a “steampunk version” of the classic Kenneth Grahame novel The Wind in the Willows. It will be published in PDF, print, and (if a stretch goal is met) audiobook editions. Since the original book is in the public domain, people can of course publish or self-publish any version of it they like, and Brennan will be doing just that. Her project has successfully met its AU$6,600 goal (about US$5,985 at current exchange rates) with a week to go in the Kickstarter....

GenCon 2013 Interview: Phil Reed, COO of Steve Jackson Games
October 6, 2013 | 5:00 pm

GEDC1300I last spoke to Phil Reed, COO of Steve Jackson Games, at GenCon in 2011. We discussed e23, Steve Jackson Games’s DRM-free PDF e-book store, which had expanded far beyond its original intended goals of just republishing out-of-print stuff to publishing in-print stuff at the same time as or even before it came out in print. I caught up with him again at GenCon 2013 for another brief interview. We touched on e23’s ongoing success, but Reed had more to say on the subject of Kickstarters—something that was on the minds of a number of other writers and industry...

The Internet Archive’s Open Library is violating authors’ copyrights
July 10, 2013 | 8:53 pm

Open Library is a project of Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive. We’ve written about Kahle, the Archive, and Open Library a few times, including some times I’d forgotten about. Kahle’s Internet Archive was first founded as a way to keep a historical record of the ever-changing Internet for the benefit of future sociological and cultural researchers; it later expanded into archiving other media as well. More recently, Kahle started collecting print books, and scanning them as well as archiving them; it was his intention to collect and save one of every print book ever published. These scanned books would also...

Ten years after publication, The Time Traveler’s Wife to come to e-books
June 10, 2013 | 5:09 pm

the-time-travelers-wifeThe Guardian reports that author Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, is finally giving the go-ahead for an e-book version of her popular 2003 novel to be published through new independent e-book site Zola Books that her agent is starting. She is also writing a short-story-length sequel for the site. Niffenegger said that she was sitting on the book not because she was a “weird book luddite,” but because she was “preserving [her] ebook virginity” because she didn’t feel e-books had lived up to their full potential yet. Then Zola Books came along, based on the principle...

Wizards of the Coast starts selling D&D PDFs again
January 23, 2013 | 3:31 am

ScreenClip(45) Remember how, back in 2009, Wizards of the Coast pulled all its PDF products from on-line gaming store Paizo and announced it was ceasing PDF sales altogether? Apparently it only took about four years for the company to change its mind again. Wired’s GeekDad reports that WotC has launched a new e-book store site, dndclassics.com, in conjunction with on-line RPG e-book seller DriveThruRPG. The site currently offers over 80 products ranging in age from the old red and blue books up to the latest 4E stuff, with prices ranging from $4.99 for older products to $17.99 for...

Why (and How) I Scan Old Books
September 24, 2012 | 9:34 am

Epson scannerIt was Flann O'Brien, under his byline of 'Myles na Gopaleen' in The Irish Times, who wrote: "When I want to read anything, I usually write it meself." I know this because I have The Best of Myles (1968), published in paperback by Picador, which I found second-hand at a church fête some weeks ago. A quick search of e-book sites reveals that there is, as yet, no other way to read it than on paper. All yez Kindlers, Koboists and Androghedans, as O’Brien might have described you, will have to find some other book. But not me. In a few...

1DollarScan adds platform customization to its budget scanning program
April 2, 2012 | 11:50 pm

TechCrunch reports that 1DollarScan, a US subsidiary of Japanese jisui (third-party book-to-e-book scanning) company Bookscan, has introduced an improved formatting service called Fine Tune. Fine Tune promises to custom-format its scans so that they work better and load faster on all different platforms. For example, Fine Tuning for the iPhone, Android devices, or e-readers offers compression, margin removal (to make the PDF fit the screen shape better and waste less space on already-small screens), and optimization for the different resolutions or display technologies. CEO Hiroshi Nakano says this approach is particularly important for making inroads in...

PDF is most popular format, PC is most popular reader for O’Reilly e-book customers
March 23, 2012 | 9:15 am

O’Reilly TOC general manager and occasional TeleRead contributor Joe Wilkert has a piece up on O’Reilly Radar looking at a survey O’Reilly recently conducted of its e-book customers, asking on what devices and in which formats they planned to do most of their e-book reading. Wilkert reports that the most popular non-PC e-reading device, with a 25% share, was the iPad—but 46% of those who responded said that their primary device for viewing O’Reilly e-books was their PC, and about half of the people who responded said PDF was their format of choice. When...

PDF format is dead end for e-publishing
March 16, 2012 | 9:15 am

I found an interesting article on the blog of “technology innovation company” DPCI about how PDF format is an e-publishing dead end. In an era when e-readers have so many different potential screen sizes and different text formatting and rewrapping abilities, the article notes, a format that was primarily developed to freeze a page into a form that would look the same no matter where it was printed is a dead end for screen reading. PDF is a dead-end format. What I mean by this is that the nature of the format mimics what it was...

Air Force cancels iPad electronic flight bag program over GoodReader
February 23, 2012 | 12:56 am

The Air Force’s plan to use iPads as electronic flight bags in cargo planes, which I mentioned here, has hit a snag, and the Air Force has canceled an order for 2,861 iPad 2 devices. (The original story involved the Air Force purchasing 18,000 iPads. NextGov’s doesn’t have any word about what’s going to happen to the other 15,000. Perhaps the 2,861 was just the first order, so the others have been canceled as well.) It turns out that someone remembered that PDF reader GoodReader, which was going to be used as part of the package, was developed...

New York Times blasts ‘pirates’ while it ‘pirates’ an article itself
February 9, 2012 | 12:17 pm

When it comes to copyright and piracy, it often seems that some of the most vehement objectors don’t practice what they preach. The Boston Phoenix’s Carly Carioli has posted an editorial to the Phoenix’s blog calling out the New York Times, which published a couple of scorching columns on piracy over the weekend, for at the same time ripping off an article to which the Phoenix holds the copyright. The article in question is a 36-year-old investigative report into football injuries which was scanned and uploaded in PDF form to the New York Times’s website and linked from an...