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Our Goals

The technology of information dissemination has made possible a paradigm shift in how books are published. Our goals are to help make this technology available for the first time...

Books have been published in the same way since Guttenberg invented movable type. The process is for a publisher to select a book from an author, set it in type, print it in at least some modest volume and then to offer it for sale in the marketplace. Expensive, time consuming, difficult to distribute. But, easy to read, you can carry it to bed, on airplanes or where ever.

The advent of computers and the net makes possible a whole new form of electronically distributed print on demand publishing. We plan to take books and to make them available for down line loading or to offer it in (more or less) traditional printed form. No longer is it necessary to print large volumes, we (or you) can "print" books on demand.

We have free books, and plan to have books for which we will have to charge.

Free books are those which the author or other person has chosen to provide free. That is, they may be not copyrighted, or the copyright may have expired. Or alternatively, the books may be copyrighted but the author or publisher may be offering the book free for some other reason. Copyright expired books usually means that the author has been dead for more than 50 years, or that the book was published by a Governmental agency. You may download these books and use them as you will. The law allows for the distribution of older books without restriction. Shakespeare, the classics, Government publications can be had without restriction. So can the memoirs of the Civil War generals, the plays of Aristophanes -- Oh, if we only had one single copy of some of the plays that were in the Great Library of Alexandria.

When an author goes to the trouble and effort of writing a book, he deserves some consideration. If you have written a book, you'd like some payment for your efforts -- and it would be fair that you receive it.

Copyrighted books are offered to you under the same general conditions as you would buy a regular printed book. You may copy the book to your computer, you may read it, you may loan the computer with the book or a diskette with the book to someone, you may print out a copy.

But, it is illegal to make multiple copies, this includes viewing more than one copy at a time or printing multiple copies for use by more than one person at a time.

These copyright restictions apply to books that are offered free or are sold. There is a new trend in publishing where sample chapters or sometimes the entire book is offered on line at no charge but the copyright remains active and the publisher may take any measures he wishes to protect his property.

If you have written a book and you would like us to publish it, check out what we do. Go to: Publish My Book

How We Operate

We have our own books that we keep on our server, and links to books that are physically stored on other servers. As of yet, there are no standards for the transmission of books. Our books are supplied in various formats and are sometimes compressed to minimize the time it will take to transmit them. We would appreciate your comments as to the format in which you would like to receive books. Use our Feedback Form to express your opinions. We may share your opinions, without giving out your name to people putting books up on the web.

When you request a book, we send it to you.

Books that are in HTML format are sent directly to your browser and can be displayed, saved, printed or whatever.

Books in other formats such as text files or word processing files are sent using ftp. Virtually all browsers have the ability to receive ftp files. When the file is sent, the browser will recognize that it is in the ftp format and will allow you to name the disk where the file should be stored.

After you have your book, move to the directory were you stored the book and either open it using your word processor or if it is sent in compressed format, execute the file we have sent you. Typically you can do this by clicking on "My Computer" and going to the disk you specified earlier. When you get to the file we sent, click on the file name. It will be expanded and will be changed to normal Windows document of some type. You can then load this file into Microsoft Word or other word processor and view or print it.

Some books have been prepared by other organizations and are in other formats such as ASCII files, HTML or the formats produced by other word processing packages. If these books are on our server, we have usually compressed these files but after expanding them you will not have a word document. Microsoft Word or other word processing packages should be able to process the file. We give the file format in the individual description (sometimes we even ofer multiple formats) when we describe the book. HTML files are not compressed and may be viewed by your browser as they come to you. Then you can print them or read them on the screen.

E-Mail Notices

As another free service, we prepare an e-mail letter (when we get around to it) listing new books that we have added as well as those selected from press releases sent to us by the paper publishers. We send this letter to those who request it by giving us their e-mail address using the response block at the top of this form.

Getting the e-mail messages is free. And if we send you more than you want, it is also easy to get off of our Mailing List. Simply use the link at the top of this page.

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© Books-On-Line, May 6, 1999; Last Revised May 6, 1999