Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Aug 2014

SITE NEWS: FOA 2014 Kindle Version

One of the strongest requests since we went to a self-publication model for Football Outsiders Almanac was for us to produce a Kindle (.epub) version of the book for download. We've never been able to do it because of the way Kindle handles text. It simply isn't built to deal with tables, and our book has a ton of tables.

Well, the folks from Createspace decided to help us out this year and worked hard to make the Kindle version happen. It took a lot of extra time and we weren't even sure it was going to be possible, which is why we weren't advertising this when the book first came out a month ago. But you can now buy it here.

A couple of notes:

1) The way we handled tables for the Kindle version is that they are essentially in there as images. That means the text in the tables is really, really small. As far as I know, it can't be tweaked larger and smaller like the rest of the Kindle text. That's the trade-off for doing it in this format. Just be aware of that going in. (Update: Apparently, images within digital text can be clicked to get zoom options.)

2) If FOA 2014 seems expensive in Kindle version ($15.99), it's an attempt to balance out against the sales of our PDF version. Frankly, we make a much larger royalty off the PDF and if you don't care about the filetype you are reading on your tablet, we would rather have you buy that one.

3) We've set the Kindle version this year so that anyone who bought the physical book can download the Kindle version free. Unfortunately, it looks like this only works for people who bought their book through Amazon itself, not Createspace. Sorry about that. We don't have a way to automatically set things so that people who bought from Createspace (or who bought a PDF from us) can get a free Kindle version.

Kindle people, if you do grab this, let us know what you think of it. The plan next year will be to get the book done earlier, and everyone will know this option is available although it will likely come about two weeks later than the physical book.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Aug 2014

11 comments, Last at 08 Sep 2014, 10:19pm by v3456d

Comments

1
by drobviousso :: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 4:20pm

I'm a Kindle user, and this is very good news. I purchased the PDF already, but I'll be buying the kindle version next year. Having it on my kindle is worth the markup.

Assuming you've enabled Text-to-speech, which it looks like you did for this year.

2
by kamiyu206 :: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 8:11pm

Wow, this is great news. I already bought the physical copy of FOA 2014 via Amazon, so I'll grab it right now.

Hopefully, FOA 2015 will be under Kindle Matchbook service, too, if not for free. (A Good Walkthrough Spoiled was $1.99, and I bought both physical copy and Kindle version.)

Thank you for your effort.

3
by meblackstone :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:34am

How hard would it be for create space to help out with a non-DRM ePub file? Would your royalties be comparable to the pdf? My Surface and my wife's iCrap both handle those great.

I like the Kindle options, but (not to get into economics or politics), I do base my buying on encouraging competition.

This year I plan on doing the pdf for exactly that reason. I would do an ePub instead though.

4
by tigerden27 :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 11:17am

Great news! I purchased the paper copy through Amazon to begin with, so I got the Kindle version for free. This is my one must read football book/magazine. I'm so glad it's available on Kindle now. It's so weird to buy paper books, but this one is so good I still do every year.

It looks great on my Kindle paperwhite. The contrast on the charts is a bit low, but still very readable.

On the Kindle cloud reader (PC) the little footballs between different notes near the end of team breakdowns are huge. It looks like the footballs are little images so they are auto expanded to fill the entire width of the page. I can see how it should read, it was just a bit weird looking at it on my computer. (I wouldn't be surprised if this is an issue with the Cloud Reader and not your formatting.)

On my phone it looks great. Graphs are a bit small. :) It's a 2.5 inch width screen, so I can't expect too much.

I'd be interested to see how it looks on the Android Kindle devices. I've noticed small differences between the Android app and the Android Kindle version of the reader.

Really like the navigation you guys have implemented. The table of contents is actually usable. I don't read this book from front to back, so it's important for me to be able to skip from team to team.

Great work guys!

FYI, I'd pay for a generic mobi format. (Non-amazon readable format that Kindles can use.) I think there are tools that create mobi, epub and pdf in one go.

7
by Vincent Verhei :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 5:52pm

On the Kindle cloud reader (PC) the little footballs between different notes near the end of team breakdowns are huge. It looks like the footballs are little images so they are auto expanded to fill the entire width of the page. I can see how it should read, it was just a bit weird looking at it on my computer. (I wouldn't be surprised if this is an issue with the Cloud Reader and not your formatting.)

That's odd. The little footballs are characters in a font, so they should go up and down in size with the other characters. Maybe I'm doing something wrong with embedding the fonts. I'll look into it.

Either way, thanks for the feedback.

5
by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:27pm

Wow. Thanks for the insight there on how the file looks on different formats. I'll note all those things for next year.

One of the problems with a generic .mobi format is that Amazon itself did the work to make this file possible. They're not going to do the work to make a non-Amazon file possible, of course. Unfortunately, because of all the tables, it's not a simple as "use a tool that just makes electronic files all at once."

8
by snoopy369 :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 6:56pm

.mobi isn't by-definition DRMed; Tor, for example, sells .mobi on Kindle but does not have DRM applied. I'm sure they did that with a high level negotiation whatnot, but it should in theory be possible for anyone.

(Once it's non-DRM .mobi formatted, it can trivially be converted to other versions, albeit of course with some risk to the format, but your users can take that risk on themselves.)

10
by tigerden27 :: Mon, 08/25/2014 - 11:20am

Yeah, I'm sure you/Amazon had to do a lot of work to get this to look so good. I've never written a book, much less gotten it converted to e-book. So I don't know the process. I really appreciate the effort. The information is the greatest.

6
by Never Surrender :: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 1:04pm

Thank you for putting it in this format! Purchased. Looks good on both my Kindle and Android devices.

As a long-time FO fan, however, I have to voice my disappointment in seeing the Redskins rendered as the "Washington Controversies." It's unprofessional and not funny. I hope you reconsider that editorial decision for next year and go back to doing what you do best.

9
by zlionsfan :: Mon, 08/25/2014 - 9:50am

If it bothers you that much, get a PDF editor (Acrobat will work) and fix it yourself.