Many of you will remember the post I published in November on why there is no e-book version of the Ages of Discord (AoD). In that post I wrote
I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about whether there is an e-book version of Ages of Discord (AoD); and if not, when there will be one. I am sorry to report that currently I have no plans to publish AoD on Kindle or another e-book platform. The reason is that AoD, unlike Ultrasociety, is not a popular book. There are tons of equations, data tables, and charts.
I lacked time to invest in doing a quality conversion from the PDF to Kindle, and I didn’t want to publish a half-baked product. So I decided to stick with paper version only. In any case, AoD is not a popular book, and doesn’t pretend to be one.
In fact, I was somewhat surprised by how well AoD has been selling—despite all the wonkish equations and data tables. I suppose I should thank Mr. Trump for it.
I was also surprised to get an e-mail several weeks ago from CreateSpace, the print-on-demand arm of Amazon.com, which offered a free Kindle conversion of AoD. I replied that
I am interested. However, you should be aware that my book has a lot of graphics, tables, and mathematical equations. I have fairly exacting standards for typesetting, and so I am unwilling to publish the book on Kindle if these elements don’t display well enough. If you think you can produce a quality Kindle version, then I will be happy to publish it.
They said they were up to it, and in due course sent me the file with the conversion. There were a few problems that I pointed out, but they fixed them to my satisfaction.
So in a few days, a Kindle version of Ages of Discord should become available on Amazon. In my opinion, the paper version is still superior, but I understand that there are reasons why some readers will prefer an e-book. In fact, for books that I use recurrently, my preference is to have both a paper and e-book versions. The e-book comes very handy when I am away from office. It’s good for keyword searching. AoD, of course, has an index, but nothing really substitutes for being able to specify your own keyword when trying to remember just where was that sentence you are trying to locate months (or years) after reading the book.
I realize that CreateSpace didn’t do this free conversion out of goodness of their hearts; they are a business out to make money. I nevertheless thank them, because without them reaching out to me, there would be no AoD e-book.
A final note for those who use e-readers other than Kindle: there will be no DRM (digital rights management) protection (I oppose DRM). You can buy the Kindle version and convert it to epub, or whatever, using a program such as Calibre (and consider supporting Calibre if you do).