I recently heard a story on NPR about the practice of taking content out of various databases and packaging it as books. At the fiction wikia there are many copyleft stories which you can read for free. I noticed that someone apparently packaged a bunch of stories from the fiction wikia as a book. On the list are:
Cellular Civilization, Cold Case, DNA double helix, Exodemic Universe, Moon Hammer, Nails, The search for Kalid, The Start of Eternity, West Wing Wiki, X-Seven, Three laws, Manmahtiti Bebobinmahtiti, Aliens of Amphipolis, Go to Hell, Twitterification, Twittism, Vira MacTerren, When Chaos and Moon Reyes are all works of fiction that I have created or collaborated on at the fiction wikia.
Apparently the book is called “Volume of Praise”.
As shown below, you can purchase “Volume of Praise” from online book sellers. $17.99 seemed like a stiff price for copyleft content that can be had for free on the internet….until I saw “Novelas – Exodemic Universe (book Guide)” for $42.00 (see below).
Also found online: Novelas – User-Jwschmidt
Novelas – Featured $82.50
Just to be clear, I had nothing to do with any of the “products” mentioned above…besides collaboratively writing the “Exodemic” stories. I enjoy collaboratively writing stories and I make my fiction available to the world as copyleft resources that others are free to modify and improve. I don’t even object to other people re-packaging a story that I wrote and trying to sell it, but these apparently robo-publishing products seem lame How lame? Lame in three legs:
1) Multiple versions. Sometimes there are multiple versions of stories…and that simple concept is beyond the programming of the robo-publishers. The “nook book” only has a short (1,400 words) version of the Man Bin story not the longer (3,300 words) version. If you want a free download of the story you can go here and get a PDF version (that even has the cover art). The “nook book” even includes the text of the link from the short version to the longer version, but there is no actual hypertext link.
2) Links and images. Yes, I like to embed images and hypertext links in my stories. It makes little sense take a web page and just strip out the links and the images and flatten the text into a lame plain text “e book”.
3) Play or Purchase? Most importantly, the stories that I have collaborated on at the fiction wikia are
works in progress play in progress. I look upon the process of creating a story as a love affair that I don’t want to end. For me, the fun and play of story creation is what is most important, not a “product” to be rushed to completion before a deadline and sold.
Related reading: Books LLC