Tomes of Delphi: Algorithms and Data Structures is available as ebook

I learned today that my book Tomes of Delphi: Algorithms and Data Structures is available as an ebook for both the Nook and for iOS devices like the iPad. It is not available on the Kindle.

The thing is, I didn’t put it there and it was a complete surprise to me. In fact, it was a result of a “feature” of my account with Lulu: they automatically converted it from the PDF they use to print a physical book to the EPUB format. From that point it’s easy to create a Nook (here) and an iBookstore (here) DRMed version. They also have it for sale on the Lulu site (here) for the Adobe Digital Editions reader (ADE), again with DRM (Digital Rights Management). Actually, I remember an email from them way back in April last year saying they were going to do this, but hadn’t heard anything since and assumed that it was dropped. So, yes, it was a surprise when I investigated why I was suddenly earning more royalties than I had for a while and saw the reason.

Now although I’ve managed to sell a few without me marketing it in any shape or form whatsoever (I’ve already sold more ebooks in six weeks this year than I did physical books in 2011), I’m a little reticent about recommending it. You see the ebook is “machine-converted”, and not manually typeset in any shape or form. Here’s a list of issues that I’ve noticed so far:

Other than that, it’s not too bad. They even gave me an ISBN for the ebook (I never bothered with the reprint of the physical book), but, then again, it’s required for listing at ebook retailers.

So, here’s the plan. Most of the text in the HTML files is essentially good to go – all I have to really do is re-indent the code and to properly tag the headings with h1, h2, h3, etc. That’s pretty easy; tedious but easy. The messier bit will be the CSS: there’s quite a bit to fiddle with in there (and, heck, I’ve only just finished rejigging the CSS for this blog – I’m becoming a CSS wizard) to get the look I want. I shall probably dispense with the index – the built-in search on the device will work much better. I shall also have to go buy a Nook to see what the EPUB file looks like on a real device. I plan on doing this work this coming weekend, so I should be able to republish it early next week.

And then once it’s typeset in a form I’m happy with, I’ll publish it on Amazon for the Kindle.

Album cover for En Attendant CousteauNow playing:
Jarre, Jean Michel - En Attendant Cousteau
(from En Attendant Cousteau)

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2 Responses

#1 Davy Landman said...
16-Feb-12 3:21 AM

What is the source of the book? Perhaps you could more easily compile a HTML from that file than this automated PDF -> HTML translation?

julian m bucknall avatar
#2 julian m bucknall said...
16-Feb-12 8:29 AM

Davy: It's several Word documents (one per chapter). Having played around with the HTML output of Word before I think I'll stick with my original plan... Besides which, search and replace will work pretty well in this situation.

Cheers, Julian

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