L&L Publishing eBooks

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Ian Kendall
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Ian Kendall » May 8th, 2012, 4:39 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 5:26 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Ian Kendall » May 8th, 2012, 7:10 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 7:26 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Ian Kendall » May 8th, 2012, 8:17 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 8:43 am

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


And can embed mp4 files.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Jeremy Greystoke » May 8th, 2012, 9:28 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Oddly Bent » May 8th, 2012, 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 8th, 2012, 12:32 pm

They're going to end up on torrent sites anyway.
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 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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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 8th, 2012, 12:54 pm

If you want your works cited - ie of value to those who are attempting due diligence when putting new works into their place in context of our literature:
1) in print or available by PDF
2) vetted

Or it can just be 'rediscovered' and wind up on YouTube

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby LL Publishing » May 8th, 2012, 12:57 pm

mrgoat wrote:
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


There are a lot of magic books out there already - L&L's, Kaufman's, lecture notes, etc.

PDF "protection" is a joke and as was posted before, it just annoys the honest people. Any sort of digit rights management typically punishes the real customer. The thief is going to get it anyway.

The person who would steal a file was never going to be a customer. Most of these guys grab anything and everything just to have it. They're getting very little benefit from it, except bragging rights that they have it. Most likely they will never read the book and even more unlikely would ever practice or perform the material. They have no respect for themselves, so they're not going to respect the material by giving it the work it deserves.

What it comes down to is that it's just not worth worrying about.
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 8th, 2012, 12:59 pm

The value added in getting a work from its publisher or (better yet?) author includes a gain in direct access and open dialog.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 1:07 pm

LL Publishing wrote:
mrgoat wrote:
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


There are a lot of magic books out there already - L&L's, Kaufman's, lecture notes, etc.

PDF "protection" is a joke and as was posted before, it just annoys the honest people. Any sort of digit rights management typically punishes the real customer. The thief is going to get it anyway.

The person who would steal a file was never going to be a customer. Most of these guys grab anything and everything just to have it. They're getting very little benefit from it, except bragging rights that they have it. Most likely they will never read the book and even more unlikely would ever practice or perform the material. They have no respect for themselves, so they're not going to respect the material by giving it the work it deserves.

What it comes down to is that it's just not worth worrying about.


Couldn't agree with you more.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 1:08 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:The value added in getting a work from its publisher or (better yet?) author includes a gain in direct access and open dialog.


Indeed. Interaction in the key. That is something you cannot pirate. Which is why live web cams have taken over from recorded content in my industry.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Mike P » May 8th, 2012, 1:23 pm

I have seen two companies that did a good thing to combat the piracy your talking about.

Mark Tams made his files with the name of the person who purchased it and changed various aspects of the PDF file to identify it should it ever be pirated or upped to a torrent site.

Vanishing , inc also did a good thing by embedding the purchasers name in the file. I have only seen one of those files that was pirated and it had the offenders name on it. I will have to ask Josh what they did to the guy who purchased and then upped the file to the web.

Where there is a will there is always a way to pirate something. This is as old as dirt it seems.

Marlo worried about his works being copied and sold way back in the 40's and 50's.

Secrets are not so secret.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 8th, 2012, 1:37 pm

"Vanishing , inc also did a good thing by embedding the purchasers name in the file. I have only seen one of those files that was pirated and it had the offenders name on it. I will have to ask Josh what they did to the guy who purchased and then upped the file to the web."

The only thing they can do to the guy is refuse to sell him stuff in the future. They don't have the money to prosecute him for copyright violations or "piracy." So, it amounts to nothing more than a smack on the hand.
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Ian Kendall » May 8th, 2012, 1:54 pm

To be fair, Jamie Badman in the Underground Collective tagged the PDFs you bought with your email address when you bought it, and also password protected them. This was several years before Andi wrote to code to tag their videos.

I think that's a good disincentive, providing you can set up the Acrobat server. Might be worth a chat with Jamie, for people who are moving into this realm.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby erdnasephile » May 8th, 2012, 2:15 pm

Question: under the licensing agreements with most magic ebook publishers, can the original owner sell that ebook to someone else at a later date (after deleting it from their own hard drive)?

If so, wouldn't having your name stuck in the file be a disincentive to do so? (since you don't know what subsequent buyers down the line might end up doing later)

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 8th, 2012, 2:17 pm

e* I would not be surprised to see it go the other way
- IE actionable to have your name or personal information inbeded into a piece of property that can wind up in the hands of an identity thief.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Chris Aguilar » May 8th, 2012, 4:04 pm

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

What it comes down to is that it's just not worth worrying about.


How refreshing to see such a realistic/commonsense take on the matter.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby the Larry » May 8th, 2012, 4:38 pm

I find marking a product with a customers name, email or other identifier is completely counter productive. When that original customer sells his products on the second hand market somebody else will now have a product with his name. That person is now free to upload it to pirate sites and will not only be shielded by that name, but will actually direct the blame to the original buyer. This then also means that anybody is free to pirate it even with their name on because they can now always claim that they sold it to somebody else who must have uploaded it. Complete non-sense. I can't imagine any serious company actually doing this. On top of it how hard is it to use some fake name to register a customer account?

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 8th, 2012, 4:40 pm

the Larry wrote: I can't imagine any serious company actually doing this.


No serious companies do do it.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby the Larry » May 8th, 2012, 4:56 pm

Name names.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 8th, 2012, 6:45 pm

Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Gordon Meyer » May 8th, 2012, 6:50 pm

Another voice chiming in to the thank L&L for this initiative. So nice to have simple PDFs that I can read without hassles.

No need to get iZip to install the files on your iPad, GoodReader and Readdle (a superior PDF reader, imo) both handle zipped files without helpers.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby JordanB » May 8th, 2012, 9:29 pm

I agree and think the DRM is a waste of time and that you shouldn't worry about it too much.

I would guess that the marginal cost of an ebook is $0, so you only have to deal with the fixed costs of royalty fees, licensing, scanning the books, etc.

I think the trick is finding a good price point that will cover the fixed costs and provide a nice return while discouraging people from pirating. In the Steve Jobs bio they talk about the iTunes model and how successful it was....a lot of it due to the pricing model.

Just curious....I'm not in the publishing business, but what would the cost be to outsource reformatting to a true e-book? I don't even know if it's possible to do, but when I was in public accounting we would have clients use services where service providers in another country would bid on projects....and frankly....many had fantastic results. We had clients get web development and other technical projects done quicker and MUCH cheaper than if they had hired somebody here in the US.

While I love the searchable PDF, I would be willing to pay a slight premium for a reformatted e-book. Not sure if others feel the same way.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 8th, 2012, 10:14 pm

Nothing has a cost of $0.
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Bill Duncan » May 9th, 2012, 2:11 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Nothing has a cost of $0.

That's only true if you are looking to the right of the decimal. When you pay a flat free for service, and bandwidth, the cost can get so low that it is effectively zero. See:
http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2 ... eased.html

The author would argue that some things cost more to charge for than they sell for... sort for like digital celery.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 9th, 2012, 7:08 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Nothing has a cost of $0.


If you're smart with your digital workflow, you can format once, and write for many devices. I produce a monthly magazine for free. After I have made it, I can export the PDF, then export an epub version. The epub version costs me literally $0 to produce.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Ian Kendall » May 9th, 2012, 7:20 am

That might work for new products, but most of the subjects here are old books that are being resurrected.

Also, you'd have to factor in the exorbitant price of InDesign for your magazine. The first one costs you a thousand quid, the second five hundred and so on... ;)

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby mrgoat » May 9th, 2012, 8:03 am

Ian Kendall wrote:That might work for new products, but most of the subjects here are old books that are being resurrected.


I was just talking about producing something for nothing. Not resurrecting the old books L&L are doing. That clearly has a cost.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Gordon Meyer » May 9th, 2012, 9:43 am

mrgoat wrote:If you're smart with your digital workflow, you can format once, and write for many devices. I produce a monthly magazine for free. After I have made it, I can export the PDF, then export an epub version. The epub version costs me literally $0 to produce.


You're forgetting the cost of your own time, which at the very least, is Opportunity Cost. As Richard said, nothing costs $0. (And that includes me writing, and you reading, this message.) It's basic economics.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 9th, 2012, 10:16 am

Yes, even one minute of my time is worth something, hence nothing that involves me has zero cost.
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Jim Riser » May 9th, 2012, 12:29 pm

mrgoat;
Your concept of time being worth nothing displays a total lack of understanding of the complete situation. Your time may be worth nothing. Perhaps you have no real marketable skills. My time and that of those who actually produce in this world is worth something. Please do not project your lack of perceived worth onto others. You do a lot of blowing off like you think you are an expert but I see nothing of substance being produced. Talk is the cheapest commodity out there.

Now, even though YOUR time is worth nothing, it still costs to create e-publications or to merely press the save button. There is the cost of the computer, the software, the storage device, the electricity, the building in which you are frittering away your worthless time, the food you eat, the clothing you wear, college expenses, the digital camera for creating the e-publications, etc. The list of expenses goes on and on. It grows even larger if you support others or require specialized machines to develop your creations. There is nothing free and it all contributes to the real cost of e-publications.

Magic seems to attract those who readily figure that the time of others (those who do the actual work) is worth nothing. Part of this is the "entitled" attitude many have or what I term the "I deserve" attitude. This is all factored into the fuzzy thinking behind excuses for being cheap. If you are too cheap to pay others for their time, knowledge, skills, then learn to do without or create your own items.

I have been experimenting with e-publication formats for the past couple of years. Richard is correct when he states that the technology is not yet ready to product exactly what we want - especially for multiplatforms. I, also, am creating a series of pdfs that I am test marketing through my web site. If it turns out to be less than profitable, I will not put the time consuming things together. Like any real business person, I expect to be fairly compensated for my creations.

Now, back to actually producing something of value...
Jim

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 9th, 2012, 1:26 pm

I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case, people certainly will.
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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby JordanB » May 9th, 2012, 1:42 pm

I should have elaborated. When I refer to marginal cost I'm referring to the cost to produce one additional unit. In the case of the eBook, the costs are the same regardless of whether you sell one copy of an eBook or thousands of copies of an eBook. The time, technology, and all other costs are upfront costs. Therefore, the more copies of an ebook you sell, the cost per unit drops.

I would think the only costs that increase with sales are the costs of sales (credit card fees, Paypal fees, etc). All other costs should be relatively the same whether you sale one eBook or ten thousand because the costs are independent of sales.

Even the opportunity cost of time is a sunk cost once you have produced the first .pdf.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Bill Mullins » May 9th, 2012, 2:24 pm

I still think you are underestimating the costs of selling.

Suppose Richard had already transferred "Williamson's Wonders" to an ebook, and all the sunk costs you refer to are already sunk.

You want a copy, so you call up or email the Genii office and order it from Margaret, and she emails it to you.

She has to take your order, process the payment, put the email together, send it, and log that it was sent. All of that takes time on her part, and Richard has to pay for that time. It may not be much, and it might be cheaper still to automate the whole process via links on the Genii webpage. But the marginal cost of selling is not zero.

Further, Richard has to keep robust records of all this so when you call in 3 years after your hard drive crashes, he can confirm that he did send you one, and out of the goodness of his heart, will send you another, along with an admonition to keep good backups this time. Again, not free.

The only way in which it approaches zero is it probably doesn't cost Genii much more to sell you three copies of the same than it does one.

But every new customer, and every new order, costs something.

If you can do it for free, you should do so, and charge companies for the service. No matter how little they are paying internally now, you can charge less, and both you and they come out ahead. Win !

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby erdnasephile » May 9th, 2012, 3:06 pm

Jim Riser wrote:mrgoat;
Magic seems to attract those who readily figure that the time of others (those who do the actual work) is worth nothing. Part of this is the "entitled" attitude many have or what I term the "I deserve" attitude. This is all factored into the fuzzy thinking behind excuses for being cheap. If you are too cheap to pay others for their time, knowledge, skills, then learn to do without or create your own items.


1+ Magicians are some of the cheapest people I've come across when it comes to the acquisition of the tools and ideas of their craft. How else to explain some big names trying to sneak into MAGIC Live for free a few years ago, as well as those unethical photocopies and knockoff props.

Our miserly ways are neither universal nor unique in today's society, but they are certainly not becoming.

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Re: L&L Publishing eBooks

Postby Ian Kendall » May 9th, 2012, 3:06 pm

I think we're crossing into Gossage/Vardebedian territory here, many crossing conversations.

In Damian's defence (and I think he accepted this) I got the impression that he was talking about the cost of a different version - for example; you produce a PDF using all your whizz bang technology. The cost to produce an ePub version is negligible, because you have already done the work and all you need to do it click on an export button. This is not the case with converting old books.

The distribution of electronic media is incredibly easy to automate - there are several options out there; L&L are using Zen cart, which is a three click install on any Apache web server. It is powerful, but a complete b1tch to configure (in my experience, anyway). My shop runs on Wordpress and can handle physical as well as electronic publications.

Knowing what is where three years down the line is not really a problem, either, since all these shops involve the customer having an account and getting all their downloads from their account page. As long as the shop is still there, there is a permanent record of what they have bought.

The costly and time hungry part of the process is taking a book (for which there is no PDF file), scanning and OCRing it and then assembling the PDF. Running the shop is easy.


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