Crowdsource, Please

by wjw on May 15, 2011

Like every other midlist writer on the planet, I’m striving to get my out-of-print books and stories online so that (a) you can enjoy them, and (b) I can make a few bucks.

To this end, I embarked upon a Cunning Plan.  I discovered that my work had been pirated, and was available for free on BitTorrent sites located in the many outlaw server dens of former Marxist countries.  So I downloaded my own work from thence with the intention of saving the work of scanning my books— I figured I’d let the pirates do the work, and steal from them.   While this seemed karmically sound, there proved a couple problems.

First, the scans were truly dreadful and full of errors.   (Even if you’re desperate for my work, I can’t really recommend them.)  A lot of time has been spent copy-editing, both by me and by Kathy— which isn’t really so bad, because this would have to be d0ne anyway.

But second, apparently a few of my books were so obscure that they flew under the radar of even the pirates! You can’t imagine how astounded I was when I discovered this.

I could really use some decent scans of some of my books, and I figure some among you must have better scanners and OCR than the piece of crap that’s currently sitting on my shelf.

So I’m willing to trade.  Should any of you volunteer to provide scans of Days of Atonement, Angel Station, and Knight Moves, that lucky individual will get a signed, personalized copy of the WJW book of his or her choice (assuming I actually have a copy, of course). Plus, whatever book you scan will spend digital eternity with your name in it, along with my eternal thanks.  Sound good?

Crowdsourcing.  It’s so 21st Century!  You want to do this, right?

Let’s talk.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas May 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

It’s a great idea, but sometimes you should think also about the possibility to use a book scanning service to save yourself time. Some examples are http://www.kirtas.com or http://www.bookscanning.com .

Thomas

marius May 25, 2011 at 2:56 am

I would be willing to buy the paperback versions off Amazon and scan them for you free of charge.

However, even though I’m from a country where it would be hard for you to sue me, I’m not willing to publish them directly for other people to download. I’m fine with uploading them somewhere just for you (or mailing them to you).

If you’re interested, you have my email address in the comment.

I like to support authors that have original ideas and can get over the fact that their books are pirated.

PS. Read about this on Techdirt dot com

Ben Finney May 28, 2011 at 9:55 am

Sounds like a job for the Book Liberator or Ion Book Saver. Essentially: scanning devices specifically designed for scanning all pages of a bound book.

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