L&L Publishing eBooks

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby LL Publishing » 05/07/12 02:30 PM

Over the past several weeks we've been developing a new website for L&L Publishing ebooks - http://www.llepub.com. This site will feature L&L Publishing's books available as instant download PDF files.

You will find current titles, such as the new Al Schneider book as well as out-of-print titles. As of today, about 50% of the books are available and the remainder will be available over the next couple of weeks.

While the site hasn't officially launched, a few people found out about it and they have been very happy with the products. The site is live and accepting orders through PayPal.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 05/07/12 02:38 PM

Should we be looking forward to seeing the cervon books sell at a fraction of the cost?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/07/12 02:49 PM

For searchable reference purposes I just bought and downloaded a copy of The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings. Process went smoothly.
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Postby LL Publishing » 05/07/12 02:52 PM

Brad,

Thanks for your reply.

L&L carries several Cervon titles. If you're specifically referring to the Castle Notebooks, no, those will not be offered as ebooks. Other Cervon titles, yes.
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Postby JordanB » 05/07/12 03:18 PM

Are there any terms that we should know about the ebooks? For example, are we allowed to print them?

Will the Elmsley Books be "e-published"?

Will see any unpublished manuscripts (ie-MINT III)?

Last question..do you ever plan to reprint hard copies out of print titles (such as Impossibilia or the Elmsley books)?

Richard.....when are we going to see (more of) this from Kaufman and Co? I bought the Terry Seabrooke book you did a few years ago and love it. Would love to see some of the bigger books (specifically Card Craft) as an e-book.

I really didn't think I would get into the whole e-book movement.......until I got an iPad.
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Postby AJM » 05/07/12 03:22 PM

LL Publishing wrote:If you're specifically referring to the Castle Notebooks, no, those will not be offered as ebooks.

For now...

Steve

I can't see this development being of interest to me - however I am intrigued by the Slydini e-book, apparently it comes printed on high quality enamel paper. Might download it to see how it looks.

Cheers

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/07/12 04:01 PM

You'll eventually see our titles as ebooks.
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Postby AJM » 05/07/12 04:37 PM

Don't get me wrong, I have an e-book reader and am a regular e-book purchaser, although have very few on the subject of magic.

While I appreciate that there is, and will continue to be, a migration away from physical magic books and magazines, as long as they continue to be available that is what I will purchase.

On a separate, but related, topic I am often surprised by the number of posters who mention that they print off their ebooks and file them in folders/binders - sort of defeats the purpose...

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Postby LL Publishing » 05/07/12 05:31 PM

JordanB wrote:Are there any terms that we should know about the ebooks? For example, are we allowed to print them?


Yes, you can print them.

Will the Elmsley Books be "e-published"?


Yes, those will be available soon.

Will see any unpublished manuscripts (ie-MINT III)?


The plan is to release the published books. There haven't been any plans for unpublished material.

Last question..do you ever plan to reprint hard copies out of print titles (such as Impossibilia or the Elmsley books)?


Currently there are no plans.

AJM wrote:
LL Publishing wrote:If you're specifically referring to the Castle Notebooks, no, those will not be offered as ebooks.

For now...


Again, these will not be offered as ebooks. Simple.

A quick note about making a purchase on your iPad. An app is recommended - iZip. The files are are archived and need to be unzipped. iOS doesn't do this without an app and on an iPad this will cause a download problem.

iZip is free. There's another app for $4.99 - GoodReader that's very versatile and can also handle the zip file. Both of these will open the file and send the PDF to the reader app of your choice.
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Postby erdnasephile » 05/07/12 05:40 PM

Wow--that's really something!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/07/12 05:45 PM

My understanding is that the free version of iZip will only unzip the downloaded file (there is a Pro version of iZip that you can buy, but I didn't explore it). The free version of iZip isn't a pdf reader: you need to buy GoodReader for that (which is excellent for viewing pdf files on an iPad).
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Postby erdnasephile » 05/07/12 05:51 PM

Question for L & L: are these pdf files password protected or watermarked?

Will any of the ebooks ever go "out of print"?
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Postby LL Publishing » 05/07/12 05:58 PM

iZip will send the PDF to iBooks and that will allow you to read the PDF.

The PDF files are not password protected or watermarked. There are no DRM restrictions. Most DRM protected files do little to protect the file from unauthorized use/copying/sharing and just makes it inconvenient for the honest people who have respect for the material.
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Postby erdnasephile » 05/07/12 06:02 PM

Good for you L & L -- I completely agree with your stance on this, and will put my money where my mouth is shortly.

Thanks for making these titles available!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/07/12 06:04 PM

"On a separate, but related, topic I am often surprised by the number of posters who mention that they print off their ebooks and file them in folders/binders - sort of defeats the purpose..."

Not at all. For me, the advantages of buying PDFs are swift availability from small, cottage industry producers, and ease of distribution. I can buy a book from the other side of the world in moments, not the week or so it would take to mail a real book. I do, however, prefer reading on paper, and before I got my tablet dragging a monitor into the loo was proving awkward.

There is a danger, though, that I've noticed. Because ebook take no physical space, it is all too easy to get overwhelmed. When I started selling my CDs and found myself with a flush Paypal account, impulse purchasing became a real problem. I currently have well over 400 PDFs that I've bought over the last eight years or so...
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/07/12 06:13 PM

I'm in a pedantic typo spotting mood this week, and there's a doozy in the Impossibilia listing :)
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/07/12 06:16 PM

On another note, why do you need a customer's physical address if you are only selling ebooks? Also, this information comes from Paypal, so probably doesn't need to be red starred in the registration form...
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Postby LL Publishing » 05/07/12 06:38 PM

The customer registration information is just part of the software. You've brought up a good point though.

Some customer information on the registration form is easy to turn on and off in the admin panel. For example it can ask for date or birth. I just looked at it and turned off a couple of things, Company Name for one. But other things, like name and address are not something that can be turned on and off without going into the php files and making modifications to the code.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 05/07/12 06:52 PM

Thank you for clarifying the reprint of the Cervon Castle notebooks - that was the item I was asking about.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 05/07/12 07:30 PM

Has any reformatting been done to the larger books to make them more appropriate for smaller e-reader screens? PDF's on smaller readers (kind, nook, the 7 inch tablets) tend to be an exercise in frustration with all the scrolling involved.

Even a larger (10 inch) tablet like the ipad could benefit from pdf's being reformatted for it.

I hope these weren't just scanned into pdf form, given some basic ocr (for searching) and then put out that way.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/07/12 07:59 PM

The pdf of Classic Magic (Jennings) is a simple scan of the pages (and searchable).

Considering the amount of work involved in performing OCR on all of the text, scanning all the illustrations and photos one at a time, and redoing the entire layout in order to prepare an older title for a more flexible appearance on various e-platforms--as a publisher I can tell you that it's unlikely to happen. Our market is too small.

It's extraordinarily labor intensive to recreate a book, and the potential economic return doesn't seem that it will make the investment of time and money worthwhile.

I was looking at my own titles on my iPad this afternoon (I do have pdfs of some of them), and they are perfectly and comfortably readable without any side-to-side scrolling when the iPad is in landscape orientation. Some of them, like 5 x 5: Japan, were perfectly easy to read when the iPad was in portrait orientation.
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Postby LL Publishing » 05/07/12 08:15 PM

It should also be pointed out that besides the economic reasons Richard mentioned, reformatting has the potential for moving the illustrations/photographs to undesirable places in the text unless the entire book was recreated from scratch. Even if that were feasible from an economic standpoint, it would still be unlikely that there would be zero issues on every PDF reading device.

The iPad is the dominant tablet and these PDFs look really good on it with absolutely no scrolling necessary in both portrait and landscape.
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Postby JordanB » 05/07/12 08:52 PM

I have been the first to criticize in the past, but let me be the first to congratulate. I think this is great. I have been looking for a decent price on some of the OOP titles for a while and will be snapping up the ebooks as soon as possible.

I understand the allure of the paper book, and given equal circumstances, I prefer a hard copy....but the bottom line is that I'm interested in the information.

I think Michael Close was way ahead of his time with the Closely Guarded Secrets book. Lybrary also had something similar with the Card College ebooks. The integration of video into the text is really great. I love it with iGenii. Hopefully we'll see more of this in the future.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/07/12 09:13 PM

There's a difference here between ebooks and other forms of "enhanced" texts which Jordan cites.

There is no video or audio here: ebooks can't support much of that (I've investigated.) I've been waiting for the technology to improve because I have some great A/V to integrate into my older titles, but the tech isn't up to it yet if you're going to deliver the product via download.

And this is TRUE: "reformatting has the potential for moving the illustrations/photographs to undesirable places in the text unless the entire book was recreated from scratch."

And that was my point. It is not cost effective to recreate my enormous books from scratch.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 05/08/12 12:21 AM

I used to think Chris was wrong about PDF vs. eBook format but after using an iPhone,iPad 1 and iPad 3, Blackberry Playbook and Kindle Fire I have to agree with him. PDFs can be very good on a larger screen, but on 7 inch tablets (and smaller) PDFs are a sad second place to a real ebook format, if you are reading on multiple devices. One of the best things about ebooks is reading them on your phone whenever you have a few minutes free. That's why Kindle books 'remember' your page so when you pick up your phone you are on the same page you were on your Kindle, PC or iPad. That may be less of an issue with magic books, than with regular reading materials though...

You can get Adobe Reader for the iPad for free and spend the five bucks you save on one of these books.

Even so, I'm happy to see digital versions of some of these books even if I already own them in paper.

Lake Tahoe Card Magic is a small gem and given the price it's a must have. If you want a copy of The Coney Island Fakir though, buy it from Amazon in Kindle format. It's cheaper and you get a real ebook version.
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Postby John Signa » 05/08/12 12:33 AM

The term e-book applies to a variety of formats, including PDF, ePub, enhanced ePub, iBook, etc, each with different levels of support for embedded media and reflow.

See Comparison of E-book Formats

Richard & Bill, you both were probably referring to ePub?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/08/12 01:00 AM

I was referring to straight pdf files, not ePub.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/08/12 02:58 AM

I would disagree with the idea that embedding video is not 'there' yet; for example, I was able to get around 42 minutes of video into my ebook on the pass, and a similar amount in the top change book.

The main hurdle is the iPad's refusal to run Flash, since all video embedded in PDFs (version 9 and above) is automatically converted to FLV. While this may seem daft to some, it eliminates the need to install codecs on the target device, and standardises the video. (For example; Mike's books used embedded Quicktime MOVs, which required Quicktime to be installed. I experimented with embedding MPG files, but the quality was far below what was acceptable.

The second problem is one of layout; in order to embed the video clips it would be necessary to re-layout the book (although it would, technically, be possible to drop the videos files into scanned pages, I can't see it looking good). As we've seen, this is labour intensive and probably not worth the effort. A cludge to get around this would be to have a bunch of video pages at the back of the book, and link to these in the text...
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Postby mrgoat » 05/08/12 03:03 AM

Ian Kendall wrote:The main hurdle is the iPad's refusal to run Flash, since all video embedded in PDFs (version 9 and above) is automatically converted to FLV.


You can embed any file format you want into a PDF. Flash is dead. Move on from that. MP4/h264 ftw.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/08/12 03:41 AM

Is that in Acrobat 10? My version 9 automatically converts anything you embed into FLV.

If you can embed MP4 then that's great news. I wonder what the upgrade price is, though...
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/08/12 04:39 AM

Bloody hell, Adobe helpline is purgatory. I've one simple question and I'm on hold for my third transfer...

For the record, though, the website lists 'flash compatible video' embedding for Acrobat X.
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Postby mrgoat » 05/08/12 05:26 AM

Ian Kendall wrote:Is that in Acrobat 10? My version 9 automatically converts anything you embed into FLV.

If you can embed MP4 then that's great news. I wonder what the upgrade price is, though...


I've no idea why you would make a pdf with acrobat. It's a disgusting piece of software.

Use InDesign!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/08/12 07:10 AM

A) I cannot afford InDesign.
B) I make the PDF in either Word or PagePlus first, then import it into Acrobat to embed the videos (which have to be done that way).
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Postby mrgoat » 05/08/12 07:26 AM

Ian Kendall wrote:A) I cannot afford InDesign.
B) I make the PDF in either Word or PagePlus first, then import it into Acrobat to embed the videos (which have to be done that way).


Oh Christ. How awful. I feel bad for you having to do book layouts in Word. /me shudders.

There are open source alternatives to InDesign if that is out of your budget. I don't know which are good on a PC, but it would be worth playing with a few. It would make your life so much easier!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 05/08/12 08:17 AM

Isn't it fun how quickly something can get off topic when everyone on that side is still asleep :)

Oh, and PagePlus is a good alternative to InDesign.
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Postby mrgoat » 05/08/12 08:43 AM

Ian Kendall wrote:Oh, and PagePlus is a good alternative to InDesign.


And can embed mp4 files.
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Postby Jeremy Greystoke » 05/08/12 09:28 AM

Nudging this back from the .pdf creator software threadjack, I'm curious if the three volume Pallbearer's Review reprint is scheduled for issuance as an e-book. That's a purchase I would most definitely be interested in making. The bound reprints are great, but being able to have a full file on my iPad would be wonderful. M.I.N.T. Volume 1 is another eagerly awaited title. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

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Postby Oddly Bent » 05/08/12 12:25 PM

LL Publishing wrote:iZip will send the PDF to iBooks and that will allow you to read the PDF.

The PDF files are not password protected or watermarked. There are no DRM restrictions. Most DRM protected files do little to protect the file from unauthorized use/copying/sharing and just makes it inconvenient for the honest people who have respect for the material.


Well, I would get them password protected and make the PDF copy protected. Otherwise you will find them on torrent sites the week after you release them. That is what happened to one of my books.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/08/12 12:32 PM

They're going to end up on torrent sites anyway.
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Postby mrgoat » 05/08/12 12:36 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:They're going to end up on torrent sites anyway.


Indeed, if they are worth having, they will be pirated.

Password protection on a PDF is trivial

http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=s ... 7P4QTw6ogH
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