Download Free Books – by Toni

I’m a little ADD (or is it ADHD?) when it comes to the internet.  Tonight for example, I was listening to a web video about how to make money blogging here and when the narrator and content creator, Yaro Starak, came to the part about giving away content in the form of ebooks, it reminded me of Randy’s play, recently published here.  So while the video was running, I pulled up my copy of Yaro’s ebook (you can sign up for one from Yaro’s webpage, it really is free, over 50 pages of great informaton) to see how he had it formatted.  To see if this was something we might want to do with Randy’s play.  It’s a little handier than people having to run back through the blog posts to find, then copy, then open a word document, then paste, then compose an email for a donation, etc.  So, anyway, while the video is playing (and I’m listening in my headphones) and I have Yaro’s ebook open, I open Randy’s blog (checking the comments and the day’s stats first) and I copy the post with the play, then open a word document, paste and then wonder what to do next.

When I remember, that a while back I downloaded PDF Creator. Which, once downloaded and installed, works this way: I send a word document to print (via the dropdown, not the short-cut) and then select PDF Creator as the printer.  This converts the word document (or Open Office document or whatever else you use to create content) into a PDF.  So then I wonder what next?

Of course, the video is still running and so I check back in (I’ve been listening, and he got to a really exciting part, so I stay for a while…. did I mention that the movie Michael Clayton is playing in the background too?) and compare it to his ebook version, which I still have open, noting that while he’s covering the same material, the specific content of the video and the ebook are actually quite different, making them good complements to each other.

So then I go back to the PDF I’ve created and click on the file button and notice it says “Digital Editions”!!  That sounds like publishing doesn’t it?  So I click on it.  Which takes me to Adobe’s Digital Editions webpage.  (By the way, you might want to check all of these links now, so you can get a taste of my evening) After a little reading I realize this is a “bookshelf” for all of my downloaded ebooks.  Well, I’ve got about 30 now, and it’s a free program like Adobe Reader so I downloaded it.  While downloading, it prompts for an Adobe ID.  Hmmm… don’t think I have one.

Turns out that once you click on “obtain Adobe ID”, you’re simply signing into their site, which sets up an account (building their mailing list, so they can send you information about other products – hey I think they’ve watched Yaro’s videos too! Oh by now I’m on to the second video that he provides a link to after the first one) and you use the email address and password you created there as your new Adobe ID.  Of course that led me to cruising around the Adobe site (well I DO have an account now, might as well see what they have, or rather I now have).

In the meantime, I’ve completed the Adobe Digital Editions download, checked back in with Yaro, closed Yaro’s ebook (computer is starting to run a little slow by now).  Lo and behold, Adobe has a whole stock room full of books and reports to download for free!!  It was like finding a secret door at the Borders Bookstore!  Now, mind you, some of the books are teasers from publishers like Random House, and only give you limited access to the book (a few chapters, table of contents, prologue, epilogue etc) but there are whole books there including many classics which are now in the public domain and lots and lots of technical books. Which made me want to share this all with you, since I know you love books too! and especially this book about the publishing industry.  The virtual one, as in desktop publishing, focusing on – guess who – Adobe.  But fascinating nonetheless…

Well, the movie’s over, the videos are done running, I’m finished sharing, and I have to go clear my cookies and check my rss feeds to see what’s hopping in the blogosphere.  Shoot, I still don’t know if I can upload the ebooks I already have to Adobe Digital Editions… I’ll save that for tomorrow.

— Toni

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