Saturday, August 11, 2012

Publishing a Kindle book

Over Thanksgiving 2010, we went to Kansas to visit my family. While there, we went to an auction for an estate. I think it was my grandmother's cousin. There were several boxes of books, and we bought one. They were old novels, in hardback library editions. Swiss Family Robinson was in there, plus a couple of Horatio Alger books, and other, lesser-known things. One was a sort of memoir of childhood in Maine, A Great Year of Our Lives At The Old Squire's Farm, by C. A Stephens. Searching online, we found that most of the books were available from Project Gutenberg, but this particular one was not. Even a couple of other titles in his "Old Squire" series were available, but not this one.
We decided it would be nice if it were available, so I have been taking pictures of the pages, OCR'ing them, and then editing them into shape. I have finished 12 out of the 27 chapters so far. Assuming I get it done this year, I will dub it the "Centennial Edition", since the original publication date was 1912.
Since we have a Kindle, I will be publishing it in Kindle form on Amazon. Almost surely it will be free for a few weeks, to get some people to download it and write reviews that might make someone want to pay 99 cents for it, although I'm not sure I'll change it from free.
I'm not doing it for money; having people pay would just make me feel like there was some value in what I'd done. My primary interest is in being a little part of the vast community of people preserving these old works and making them available to new readers.