16 Jul 2012
Hey folks. I know many people are anxiously awaiting the print and Kindle versions of Football Outsiders Almanac 2012. I wanted to give you all an update on where those stand. One of them is in a lot better shape than the other.
We're having some sort of weird technical issue with Createspace regarding "transparency" in the PDF we submitted for the print version of FOA 2012, and that is holding up the print availability. We're trying to get to the bottom of this ASAP, and hopefully the print book will be on sale by the end of the week.
The Kindle version, on the other hand, is in quite a bit of trouble. We thought we were going to be able to pull this off, but it's looking very doubtful.
In order to create a Kindle version of the book, we have to transfer the file from one application to another four different times, and then do a ton of text editing on top of that to make it look reasonable. The biggest problem is that it has to go to .epub format before it goes to Kindle format, but the .epub editor we have is astonishingly non-user friendly, requiring us to re-format anything that gets moved around. If someone out there knows a really good .epub editor that doesn't automatically turn any moved text into a style that matches the location it was moved to, we would love to hear about it.
To show you all the problem we're having, here are three different downloads of the Dallas chapter. One is the conventional sample in PDF format. One is in .mobi format, for Kindle. One is in .epub format, which doesn't work on Kindle but does work on other e-readers, apparently.
The problem is that this is the best we can do, and this took two hours. To do just the team chapters -- not the college stuff, not the player comments, which both have tons of tables -- would thus take us 60 or so hours of work.
We would love to have those of you with e-readers download these files and tell us what you think of them in the comments. But we're stuck right now with the general feeling that if this is the best we can do, and it might take more than another 100 hours of work including player comments and college chapters, it simply isn't worth it. We would need to raise the price of the Kindle version, probably so it was higher than the actual printed version.
As much as we want to play with other things, the PDF format might be the best format for reading FOA 2012 on a Kindle or iPad. The fact is, Kindles are not designed for books that have lots and lots of tables in them. Creating a Kindle version of FOA is turning out to be something like creating an audiobook version of FOA. Sure, you might all like to get in the car and listen to my dulcet ex-radio jock tones as I narrate Mike Tanier's colossal takedown of Jeff Ireland in the Miami chapter, but when we get to the tables it would all sound like gobbledygook.
But we know how much people want special non-PDF versions of the book for Kindle and other e-readers, so we're happy to take suggestions. We're not fully giving up yet.
33 comments, Last at 26 Aug 2012, 11:46pm by Jason Powers