How can I join or support Libertary’s efforts?
Book Manager and Book Advocate roles:
- Book Manager: You can help us get readers by being a Book Manager. This is a role for people who help promote and market Libertary books. Some of our books are published in printed form by Libertary Editions. Book managers who work on these books receive a royalty for each book sold, much like an agent would in the traditional book business – except that Libertary Book Manger royalty percentages are higher. Book Managers can work from home and on your own time. It’s a key role in the Libertary plan for a new approach to publishing books. If you’re interested Learn more here
- Book Advocate: We also have books from other publishers here on Libertary and we need people to help spread the word about these books and about Libertary. We call this role the Book Advocate. This is someone who connects books to Internet communities where the books are of special interest. Book advocates might try to find blogs and websites interested in linking to the book,and promote books through existing social networks. Posting reviews and comments can also help expose books to the world. If you’d like to try the Book Advocate role for a book from a publisher other than Libertary, please contact us at [email protected] If the author is available you may get to work directly with her or him. Another benefit of being a Book Advocate: if you take this position on, and we’ll be happy to give you credit for any increase in readers that you can get for the book, which can help establish your ability to promote and market online.
- Interns: Libertary may have internships for students. Learn more here.
Authors: If you’re an author with a book that’s already published, Libertary provides you a great opportunity to find more readers and increase your book’s exposure. We work with books that are currently in print and also books that have gone out of print. If you’d like your book to be considered, please contact us by email at [email protected] Learn more here.
Publishers: If you’re a publisher Libertary can help your books find new readers and help support book sales. Several other publishers are already working with us to connect books to readers in new ways Learn more here.
Creative Teams (writers with unpublished works, editors, and designers) Libertary offers a new approach called “Team Publishing”. It offers creative freedom and fair compensation. Learn more here.
Readers: If you’re a reader, you can help by telling other people about Libertary, and if you recommend one of our books to someone who prefers a printed version, please suggest they buy it though our site. Remember, they can come here and browse to their hearts’ content before buying! Also, of course, you can support our site and our authors by donating. Our books are free to read, but authors and Libertary need your support, so contribute by donating and by spreading the word.
How do I read a book on Libertary?
Books are divided into sections or chapters for convenient reading. A Table of Contents appears to the left of the book’s text. Readers navigate as they choose by clicking on entries in the Table of Contents, which opens the selection in the reading area of the book page. As readers scroll through text, Libertary shows page numbers that match, as closely as possible, the print edition of the book.
When the print book has footnotes, we usually include them in the text. When the print book has endnotes, we put the endnotes for each chapter at the bottom of that chapter and hyperlink them to the text. Readers can check a reference by clicking on the note within the text and return to the appropriate section in the text by clicking on the endnote’s number.
Some pages are short in the Libertary edition because there isn’t much text on that page in the print edition. (We don’t put in blank space as would appear in a printed book.)
You can change the type size. Just use your browser’s zoom function. (In Firefox and Internet Explorer, this is under the “View” menu called Zoom or Text Size; in Chrome it’s under the tool icon.) Changing the type size affects how each book flows on the screen. So the pages won’t always end with a whole line of text. Don’t be concerned—it’s just because different browsers cause differences in how text flows. Remember, Libertary page numbers are designed to match the printed book.
How can I easily scroll through a book as I’m reading?
Here’s a good way to read. Open the chapter you want to read by clicking on it in the Table of Contents. Now place your curser at the bottom of the scroll bar on the right-hand side of the screen. When you finish reading what you can see on the screen, click on the scroll bar. The browser window will move down just far enough so you can continue reading what’s next.
Of course if your mouse has a scroll wheel, another way to read is to simply use the wheel to scroll through the chapter.
If you have a Windows computer, here’s another very easy way to read. Just hit the “page down” key. The browser window will move down just far enough so you can continue reading what’s next. (If you have a Mac, you might have to hold down the Apple key while you hit “page down.”)
Libertary shows page numbers in our books, but the “page down” key doesn’t recognize the page numbers. (The scroll bar click doesn’t either.) Here’s why. When you’re reading in a browser, the amount of text you can see depends on how big your screen is, what browser you’re using, and so forth. “Page down” usually means the next block of text that fits, not the next page number. Also remember, Libertary lets you change the size of the text is in your browser. So if you jumped from one page number to the next, sometimes it would be too much and sometimes too little for convenient reading in your browser.
Libertary actually has page numbers for a different reason. The page numbers on Libertary are usually the same as in the printed book. We put them in so that readers of our online books can talk about the same page numbers as people reading the printed books.
Also, some people like to read by moving the slider gradually down the scroll bar instead of page-downing. This can work well if you’re good at moving the slider on the scroll bar, but it’s easy to slide down too far. In that case, if you’ve noticed what page you’re on, you can use the page numbers to find your way back to where you were reading.
By the way, we’re working on a feature that will allow Libertary users who are logged on to keep track of what page they were on when they last stopped reading. Coming soon!
How can I create an index on the fly in a Libertary Book?
In Libertary books, indexing is based on search terms that you choose. Underneath the list of chapters (on the left hand side of the page), you can enter search terms. The search runs against the contents of the book you’re viewing, and produces a list the pages that have all of the words you entered. You’ll see the list of pages in the reading area; it’s like an index, but you also get to see context of the search term hits. Click on “read more” to go to that page in the book. Then, you can easily navigate to the full chapter and continue reading, using the link at the bottom of the reading page. Or you can use the back button on your browser to return to the search results list.
If the book is free, why should I pay anything for it?
Anyone can read books for free on Libertary and anyone can add comments to the site. We don’t think people should be required to pay to read a book. But that does not mean we’re doing this for nothing. Authors of books and the people running Libertary need money, and we think you should pay something if you believe you’re getting something valuable from the experience.
So, we have a button on the left-hand side of the page where you can pay whatever amount you choose for the Libertary book you’re reading. The success of our venture depends on some people paying. Please do.
Why buy a printed copy through the link on Libertary?
Libertary is about putting books online for free, but we think there is also an important role for printed books. For some people, it’s more convenient or enjoyable to read a printed copy. Some people just like owning printed books. If you decide you want to buy a printed copy, and you buy one through Libertary, it doesn’t cost you more. But we usually get an affiliate fee, or we may be selling the book through our online store—either way, it helps us stay in business.
If you talk to people about a book on Libertary and they’re interested in printed copies, it would be great if you’d recommend the Libertary page to them. They can come here and sample the book to make sure they want it and easily buy the book through the link on the book’s web page.
How does libertary support itself and its authors?
Libertary generate revenues for authors and publishers as well as its owners. We have several approaches, including:
- Providing links to booksellers for those readers who want a physical copy. Affiliate fees for books sold this way are comparable to author royalties on a per-sale basis.
- Libertary carries advertising, such as Google adsense, and we expect a significant click-through rate to generate additional revenue from those who read the book on line.
- Readers are asked to support the site and authors by paying an amount they choose. Although these payments are not mandatory, many readers recognize the value of what they are receiving at Libertary and will be willing to pay a fair price for it.
Libertary Editions: Libertary also publishes printed books which you can buy online or at bookstores, and which you can read online here. Sales of printed Libertary Editions are a key source of our revenue and a new opportunity for writers, editors and designers. Learn mre here.
Doesn’t this violate author-publisher agreements?
Libertary hosts books only when we have permission from the owner of electronic rights. We do not urge authors to violate their agreements with their publishers. And standard publishing agreements do sometimes create a hurdle. A standard agreement gives the publisher rights to online distribution of books and prohibits the publisher from giving the book away. So authors who wish to place their books on Libertary might need to obtain their publisher’s approval (unless the author has retained online distribution rights).
Free? Well, what about authors getting paid and publishers making a fair profit?
Authors can get paid from having books on Libertary. That’s why we encourage people to pay voluntarily, even though the books are free. In fact, authors getting paid is one of the big reasons for Libertary.
But let’s say, authors are going to get paid only by selling printed books. Well, there are several reports concluding that making books available to download for free actually increases printed book sales. Eric Flint, a science fiction writer who made several of his books available for free download, has been a pioneer in this area. Flint has documented increases in sales after he put his books online for free reading. (See http://www.baen.com/library/palaver6.htm.)
More recently, O’Reilly Books and Random House have jointly commissioned a study of the effects of free downloads on book sales. The study indicated that both promotional free downloads by publishers and unauthorized file sharing through such services as piratebay tended to increase sales, although not without exceptions. (See http://www.slideshare.net/booknetcanada/bnctechforumbrianolearyfree.)
So evidence shows, when books are freely available on line, sales of printed books go up. We want both authors and publishers to be fairly compensated for their work. That’s why we have links on our book pages to make it easy to buy a printed copy for those people who want to own one. Besides, books sell only if people are reading them. Every publisher knows that. We think, the easier it is to read books, the better authors and publishers will do. And we’re setting about to prove it. Please help us by reading the books we have online, by supporting our authors with your contributions, and by buying books through the links on our site.
Ken Shear, Publisher
Alice Porter, Managing Editor