LOL, I built a home-made WIZARD IN SPITE ebook

The Warlock, the Warlock's Heirs, and the Rogue Wizard.
tomhr
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LOL, I built a home-made WIZARD IN SPITE ebook

Postby tomhr » Sat May 13, 2017 9:11 pm

BACKGROUND

In 2012, I started as an indie novelist and indie publisher. In 2017, I have published close to twenty books—none of which you've ever heard of! (Marketing is a problem for the indie publisher.)

Anyway, as part of my work as an indie publisher, I've learned how to convert either text files or Word 2010 files to ebooks, in either MOBI/Kindle format or in EPUB format. I prefer EPUB format.

Being able to turn a text file into an ebook means that if I can convert a printed book into a text file through OCR (Optical Character Recognition), sooner or later, I'll wind up with the words of that printed book becoming an EPUB-format ebook. To do the OCR-ing, I use OmniPage Pro 12.0 under Windows 98, because I really like OP 12's user interface.

I did the whole printed-book-to-ebook conversion the hard way in 2013. I converted the copyright-1927 book The President's Daughter by Nan Britton into a MOBI-format ebook (which now is for sale on Amazon). When I say "the hard way," I mean that I tore each page out of the hardcover book, scanned it, OCR'd the image, then proofread the OCR. The whole shebang (tearing out the pages, OCR-ing the text, proofreading all the scanned text, and creating the ebook) took me about ninety hours.

The time-consuming process in all this was the proofreading. OmniPage made all sorts of nickel-and-dime mistakes, and I had to check, double-check, and triple-check the text. Even so, Amazon customers bought copies of The President's Daughter with scanning errors in them. *sigh* Eventually I figured out that I needed to run the "final" text through Microsoft Word, whose spell-check function flagged mis-recognitions.

THE GOOD STUFF

In 2012, I gathered up my seven favoritest paperback novels that were not for sale as ebooks, and I sent those seven books off to a company in California called 1dollarscan-dot-com. For each book, 1dollarscan sawed off the spine, scanned each page at 300 dots per inch, then assembled the page-images into a PDF, which I downloaded.

The Warlock in Spite of Himself was one of those seven books.

Using IMAGEMAGICK (an open-source graphics program that is powerful but not user-friendly), I was able to break apart each PDF into its page-images. Using OmniPage again, I repeated the process that I had developed with The President's Daughter. I OCR'd all or part of the seven books, except that I loaded a page-image as source for OCR-ing, instead of running my scanner.

The process was time-consuming and required my full attention, so I worked on converting the seven books only when I had nothing better to do. As a result, it took me five years to finally create three EPUB ebooks. These three EPUB books represent my favoritest among my seven favoritest not-ebook novels.

My three home-made EPUBS:

1) The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff—a young man with self-esteem issues and a robot companion discovers a recreated-medieval world in which magic works, witches are real, and some of the witches are buxom.

2) Emergence by David R. Palmer—An eleven-year-old girl and her pet macaw are goofing around in the family bomb shelter(!) when the Soviets nuke the USA. Weeks later, when radiation levels die down, girl and bird leave the bomb shelter and enter post-nuclear Wisconsin.

3) I, Martha Adams by Pauline Glen Winslow—the Soviets nuke USA military targets in a surprise attack; a gutless US president surrenders. The Soviet occupiers turn out to be evil, evil, evil. But one American woman thinks she knows a way to make the Soviets leave.

LOL, so now that I finally have converted The Warlock in Spite of Himself into an ebook, I discover that there is an ebook version of Warlock for sale! But I got my ebook cheaper, at only four or five bucks (if you disregard the hundred hours or so of work I put in).
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Ortho the Frank
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Re: LOL, I built a home-made WIZARD IN SPITE ebook

Postby Ortho the Frank » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:39 pm

Oh, man! What a shame! Spite has been available as an ebook since at least 2010, I believe, and badly-scanned digital bootlegs have been available on the internet even longer (if you knew where to look). Still, if you want to send us your version, I'm sure Chris would enjoy seeing what a labor of love it is. Thanks for the story, at least! BTW, what did you use for the cover art?
tomhr
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Re: LOL, I built a home-made WIZARD IN SPITE ebook

Postby tomhr » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:27 pm

Ortho the Frank wroteColonOh, man! What a shame! Spite has been available as an ebook since at least 2010, I believe, and badly-scanned digital bootlegs have been available on the internet even longer (if you knew where to look). Still, if you want to send us your version, I'm sure Chris would enjoy seeing what a labor of love it is. Thanks for the story, at least! BTW, what did you use for the cover art?


The paperback that I cannibalized was the 11th printing (1986) of the 1969 version. (So it has the politically incorrect scene in it of Tuan spanking the queen). That paperback cover, at 300 pixels per inch, became the cover of the EPUB ebook.

How do I email the EPUB to you guys?
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Ortho the Frank
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Re: LOL, I built a home-made WIZARD IN SPITE ebook

Postby Ortho the Frank » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:45 am

You can email to me. My email is edward at stasheff dot com.
And thanks for the tip about 1dollarscan-dot-com - it's cheaper than the service I've been using!
tomhr
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Re: LOL, I built a home-made WIZARD IN SPITE ebook

Postby tomhr » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:32 pm

Email sent.

About 1dollarscan: Their basic price is one dollar for a hundred book pages—this gets you a PDF of 300-ppi page-images. The basic-price PDF does not come with text-recognition. To get the text for each page included in the PDF, this costs two dollars per hundred pages. My point is, when I mailed off Warlock to 1dollarscan, I went cheapo, and I did way too much work once I downloaded the basic PDF for Warlock. I recommend the two-dollar-per-hundred option. If I had done that, and if I had known about Notepad++ the text editor, I could have done the paperback-to-EPUB conversion much quicker and much more hassle-free.

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