The return of Stephen Bender - off LP topic

Some of you may remember Stephen Bender from a couple of years ago. Well
he's back on the scene and just finished writing a book he wants to sell
on the internet.

Does anyone know of some freeware program he might be able to use to do
that? See message below.



Not entirely off-topic, as Stephen sounds as if he’s exploring some
innovative ways of publishing his work, which benefits all of us, readers
and writers.

There are probably several ways to do this. Portable Document Format (PDF)
files can be easily created with Adobe’s own Acrobat product, or by using a
Macintosh computer (which has the ability to write PDF files integrated into
the operating system), or by using free software suites such as OpenOffice,
which also support this file format, or by using other PDF-creator tools
(some of which are free, but paying a small fee and registering them gives
you the ability to remove the vendor’s logo from each page created with the
program). Some forward-thinking authors, however, are permitting readers to
download their work for free from their own websites or blogs in PDF, plain
text or html format or even audiobooks of the authors reading the work.
Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman have released some of their
books in this fashion under the Creative Commons license, an innovative form
of “copyleft” that addresses the complicated issue of copyright law under
new technologies. All three are also harsh critics of “Digital Rights
Management” techniques which attempt to prevent end users from making copies
of protected works, but more often simply prevent the customer from backing
up data files he/she already owns or moving files from one storage medium to
another (such as from your computer to your iPod or PDA).

The Creative Commons website at HYPERLINK
" also offers several
tools to assist visitors in doing many online publishing activities on their
own, and I’d strongly recommend spending time exploring their site. Also
check out the blogs of the above-mentioned authors at HYPERLINK
" for examples of how
they market their work on the web.

A PayPal button and link can be easily slapped on any webpage you wish to
create, if you have a PayPal account. You can also use a payment processing
service, like Click-and-Pledge to accept credit card payments over the web.
Both services charge a transaction fee, but are relatively easy to manage
for small business operations.

Marketing the book on the internet, rather than with a regular publisher,
offers some interesting challenges. Late last year, RadioHead offered their
album “In Rainbows” as a free download for a limited time on their website,
with visitors given an option of paying whatever they felt the material was
worth, absolutely nothing if the listener hated it, up to any amount the
listener wished to pay if they felt it warranted such. This “honor
system” of marketing earned them over $3 million, all of which went directly
to the band, as they had allowed their record label contract to expire,
freeing them to cut out the middle man and explore a dramatically changing
business strategy.

This has since been followed in recent weeks by Trent Reznor of the band
Nine Inch Nails, who is offering the first nine tracks of his newest work,
Ghosts I-IV, as a free download, or the entire two-hour work for $5, or a
2-CD set for $10, and even a deluxe edition on a Blu-Ray high definition DVD
for $75. Like RadioHead, Reznor is no longer beholden to a record label or
the RIAA’s ridiculous restrictions on recorded media, so he’s trying this
method out. It has only been available for about three weeks and I heard on
a podcast that he’s already collected over $1.6 million through the site

Terry Floyd