The Apple Tablet

I believe it is mandatory for a blog to post about this.

So, interesting question. Books for it.

What\’s the possibility of taking Project Gutenburg texts , encoding them correctly, then selling them on the Tablet? Doing what Wordsworth Publishing did with paperbacks a decade or more ago?

Is this already being done? Or is there a possible little market there?

For example, I\’ve still got a licence on the Crown Copyright of the King James Bible and Book of Common Prayer somewhere around…..

5 thoughts on “The Apple Tablet”

  1. But yes. Plenty of public domain stuff on Google Books which has already been OCRed but can only be downloaded as PDF.

    Other markets: doing for sheet music what Wordsworth did for books – republishing public domain stuff. Dover already do this but they’re the only one so still quite pricey.

    OCRing the sheetmusic first and setting it more neatly, perhaps.

    Sheet music is expensive partly because of the publishers’ tendency not to use ISBNs. They use ISMNs or nothing, which are about the same level of uselessness. Not using ISBNs cuts them off from most of the market: Amazon etc. I only know of three online sheet music shops with as good a range of music as Amazon has of books. One of them scans the first few pages of a book so that you can see that it’s what you want (like Amazon, but more important for sheet music than text books.)

    Probably the next big thing after ebooks is esheetmusic. In which case it would still be useful as PDF without OCR, though OCR has advantages.

    Plenty can be downloaded from

  2. There is already a popular app called Stanza which does just this on the iPhone which will obviously end up doing the same on the tablet thing. They also have deals with several publishers to sell copyright books using their app.

  3. I suspect that the market will dry up quite rapidly unless you can supply something extra. Anyone with a bit of knowledge can knock together computer code to do what you propose, and someone will eventually do it free of charge. Wordsworth made their money because you needed an actual, physical book: now that information has been virtually (ha!) dislocated from the physical medium, the cost is practically nil and competition will drive it down. The very existence of Gutenberg shows that it will happen.

  4. Copyfraud is quite a scam, Charles Eicher wrote about it for us here:

    in a nutshell:

    “Committing copyfraud is astonishingly easy and costs nothing. I can borrow a public domain book from any library and scan it, or I could download the text from Project Gutenberg. I reformat it as a PDF, mark it with a copyright date, register it as a new book with an ISBN, then submit it to for sale. I may not even need to print and bind any books, I can offer it through Amazon’s Booksurge print-on-demand service, or as an ebook on Kindle. Once the book is listed for sale, I can submit it to Google Books for inclusion in its index. I could easily publish thousands of books; most would never sell, but with zero up-front cost, any sale is pure profit.”

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