Digital scholar book launch
For those of you who found something better to do yesterday afternoon (I can't imagine what that could be), here the webcast of my book launch can be found here.
The event seemed to go ok, although I fear I was a bit rambling, and didn't really do the elevator pitch thing for the book. John Naughton said some very kind words, and then we had a good discussion with the audience and wider twitter participants.
And below is my Prezi, which I still don't think I've got the hang of – I just don't think I'm a visual kinda guy.
But who won the #digitalscholar is twitter contest? Hmmm?
Ah, good point Giulia – I gave it to @simonrae for “A digital scholar is…’ someone who’s seen the bit at the end of the tunnel”
I gather the book has a CC license; on Bloomsbury’s site it can be read online but is displayed in such a way that nobody will read it that way. It makes me suspect some level of hypocrisy on the publisher’s part. I CC the book, taking the higher moral ground, but I provide it in ways that will make it impossible to read other than actually by it.
Am I getting paranoid on this?
If not, care to provide a simple, one file .pdf for it, or better still an .epub?
I have to say, this kind of criticism really annoys me! People complaining that it’s not the right type of open, or their preferred format. A couple of points: i) HTML is actually quite a useful format, particularly as the book is broken down into chunks. Quite often you don’t want a whole book, but rather just a chapter, and I’ve found myself linking to specific chapters, so it’s been very useful. ii) It’s the licence that’s important, not the format. Because it’s CC-NC you can take it and make whatever format you like as long as it’s not for money. This is very brave for a publisher. So, to answer your question, you can find PDF versions at LibraryPirate, in my post here: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2011/11/a-simple-open-vs-closed-tale.html and Steven Verjans has created an epub version here: http://stievie.blogspot.com/2011/09/digital-scholar-which-way-to-go.html
We should applaud publishers who are trying to embrace this, not try and find ways of lambasting them.
I’m not lambasting them, really. And this is indeed very brave of them. But if it’s not a business problem on their part, then it’s a technical issue: they’re not doing, in my view, a good (enough) job of pushing the book out there in useful formats, i.e. limiting the CC edition to chunks of HTML rather than doing that + .pdf and .epub.
S. Verjans shouldn’t have had to create and publish his own .epub version: isn’t that what publishers are for?