J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Going Back to April 19, 1775

In April I mentioned that Sinclair Street Publishing had brought out an electronic edition of Douglas P. Sabin’s April 19, 1775: A Historiographical Study, originally written for the National Park Service, in the Kindle format. I wondered aloud whether Sabin’s follow-up report “The British Skull Controversy” was included.

Publisher Greg Williams recently contacted me with more good news:
I’ve updated the Kindle edition to include “The British Skull Controversy” as an appendix. If you’ve already purchased the Kindle edition, Amazon customer service should be able to update your copy at no charge (eventually, these updates are supposed to happen automatically, but I don't think Amazon has implemented that feature yet). Simply contact Amazon at 1-866-216-1072 (you may also be able to email them through their online contact form).

If you’re not a Kindle owner, the updated ebook is also available on Apple’s iBookstore and Barnes and Noble’s Nook store.

In addition, a print version is now available at CreateSpace.com, and at Amazon.com. Please note “The British Skull Controversy” is not included in the print version.
This is a fine example of how digital technology is changing the way books can be published, and publishers can operate. What would printer Benjamin Franklin and bookseller Henry Knox think?


RFuller said...

"What would printer Benjamin Franklin and bookseller Henry Knox think?"

Being the clever auto-didacts they were, they would have found a way to make a buck off them, and used them to their revolutionary advantage.

And if they had them, the British would have had them, too. The British would have used their own to their own advantage as well. Indeed, they probably would have employed info via Kindle or the like just as badly as they used newspapers and propaganda in this period...)

The information stays the same, but the conveyance changes. Unlike what Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is not the message.

Anonymous said...

Amazon/kindle support arranged to have my ebook copy of Sabin's work updated today after I e-mailed them. Thank you.

I knew some of the story, but did not know the extent of the controversy, in particular the grave sites in Lincoln and the marking at the North Bridge.

Jim Padian

Charles Bahne said...

Is this, or will it be, available in person at the retail outlets at Minute Man National Park, which are operated by a company called Eastern National? It seems like a logical place to sell the book. Eastern National is a nonprofit organization, and the profits it does make are funneled back to the National Park.

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks for the confirmation that the updates work fine, Jim Padian.

I understand that Eastern National usually makes its buying choices based on National Park visitor center recommendations of quality, and what publishers can regularly supply. This indeed looks like a good candidate for the M.M.N.H.P. shops, Charlie Bahne.

I think you’re right, Roger Fuller, that thinking entrepreneurially like Franklin and Knox would be the best way to thrive in the rapidly changing businesses of book publishing and selling. New technology like this is changing some of the fundamentals of the field.

RFuller said...

Also, if anybody wants a CD copy of this work, no charge (for now), please go to http://www.nps.gov/mima/contacts.htm , and then to "email us" . Leave your contact info and what you'd like, and we'll mail it to you.