Friday, December 23, 2011

A Publishing Milestone

Most people are comfortable with buying physical gifts for friends, such as books, DVDs, or phones. Most people, however, would not be comfortable digital goods for friends or family. These things seem very ephemeral, and of course, there's always the possibility of buying the wrong format, or buying them something that they can't possibly read on their latest gizmo.

Well, it seems like ebook readers have finally gotten to the point where people are buying electronic books as gifts. Today, someone bought a copy of Independent Cycle Touring as a gift for a friend. And yes, the PDF was designed to be compatible with an iPad. How did I do this without actually owning one? It turns out that iPads have a bug in their PDF readers that require me to turn on compatibility with Acrobat 4.0. I have no idea why that is, but the book is now about 400KB bigger as a result.

It's not obvious from any of my books' web-sites how to do purchase a book as a gift, but it is actually straightforward. Just attach a note to your order when you buy one for a friend noting that it's a gift and is meant to be sent to a specific e-mail address instead of to you. Since a human being handles every order at books.piaw.net, your wishes will be followed. This is one of the advantages of an indie store---it doesn't take any coding to make a special case.

Happy Holidays!
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