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  1. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/14/2009 9:17pm


     Style: Bowie

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    The challenges of a repub project

    I'm starting a new repub project, having finished up the last. This one will be George Bothner's Scientific Wrestling.

    People sometimes ask me how easy it is. Well, sometimes it's easier than others. Some text scans cleanly and converts perfectly, other times the text isn't clear and OCR's very poorly, requiring a lot of hand re-editing. Often internal pics require retouching, and occasional repair. Frequently they're not "square" and need to be pulled and twisted out of their pseudo-rhomboid state into something more like a rectangle.

    When I'm lucky I get a nice original cover to work with. When I don't have a cover, I have a stock supply of "blank" cloth covers scanned in which I add appropriate text to. Sometimes I have the original cover and it needs a bit of retouching.

    Bothner's, however, is the worst I've ever had to work with. Original cover but with large portions of it damaged, scratched, and eve just plain missing due to the library conservation efforts (and many thanks to them for conserving it in the fist place!). One of the challenges is to not make it TOO perfect but retain an "aged" look while repairing the damage.

    Here's what I mean. Original and re-touched, repaired:





    This represents several lunch hours of work.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  2. tim_stl is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 10:33am


     Style: fma

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    excellent job. your hard work on these projects is appreciated.


    tim
  3. BaronVonDingDong is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 1:11pm


     Style: Jerry-Bashing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi Kirk,

    All your republishing work is fantastic, and thank you very much for all that you do. I was wondering if you've ever thought of editing the texts in a more intrusive fashion than simply reproducing them? By this I mean making cuts, ellipses, adding footnotes, a contextual introduction, etc, and possibly compiling an anthology of the best bits in various arts - boxing, wrestling, swordplay, etc?

    This wouldn't replace republishing, as I recognize the archival importance of this work for preserving and disseminating texts unaltered. It would be a supplement and potentially something you could get a publishing contract for.

    Great work on the cover, btw - it looks really crisp and characterful.

    All best.
  4. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 6:56pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by BaronVonDingDong View Post
    Hi Kirk,

    All your republishing work is fantastic, and thank you very much for all that you do. I was wondering if you've ever thought of editing the texts in a more intrusive fashion than simply reproducing them? By this I mean making cuts, ellipses, adding footnotes, a contextual introduction, etc, and possibly compiling an anthology of the best bits in various arts - boxing, wrestling, swordplay, etc?
    I sort of do that personally, but in a disjointed, scrambled about way. For instance, I keep txt files of lists. one example is a list of WMA skin/body toughening applications. Though not common in modern literature, it shows up from time to time in antique manuals. So I've got a list of which author says what about how to do it and with what stuff.

    The problem with doing it as a sort of "one off" book is that I'm always discovering new information that would be a good fit. Since (self) publishing my book, I've found a dozen or more sources and bit-n-pieces that I would like to add. I'm seriously considering making a Second Edition and trotting it out to Black Belt Magazine Press or Paladin. I made a list. ;)

    But your idea is kinda interesting. Maybe a blog or something? I wonder if Stickgrappler would be interested in participating?

    Or you. You do blogs? <evil grin>

    This wouldn't replace republishing, as I recognize the archival importance of this work for preserving and disseminating texts unaltered. It would be a supplement and potentially something you could get a publishing contract for.
    Treeware books, for me anyhow, give a visceral, emotional, reaction. I love holding books and reading them "the old way." I love sitting on benches, reading in bed, on the couch, etc. I love seeing the treeware versions of the antiques. They're out of print and if you can borrow a copy or even just get a photo-copy, often you're doing quite well. A lot of them are hanging out in private collections where the owners (nice folks, all) and their friends get to enjoy them but, well, would YOU loan out your century-plus-old, very fragile, antique? But, thanks to Lulu, Inter-Library Loan, some lucky purchases from antique book dealers, and some VERY generous (and trusting) friends of mine, now, for under $10 a pop, anyone can own a genuine tree-ware copy of (up to 20 now and counting!) these fantastic classics (or just grab the PDF for free). I can't begin to tell you how much of a jolt I get from that feeling. It's great.

    My only true regret is that I don't want to screw other folks just trying make a living by horning in on this sort of stuff. Paladin, for instance, has a "Combat Classics" line with at least two or three of the same titles that I've independently acquired and republished. In every case, I've acquired the books and begun the process only to find out, some time after my acquisition that Paladin has just repubbed the same book. I feel bad because I don't want to hose Paladin. At the same time, it's Public Domain and all.

    There is one semi-exception though to my facsimile propensities. As a long-term goal, I want to acquire, have translated, and repub Bonofont's unique Cane manual. It's in Spanish but it's such a unique and clever manual... Of course, I'd facsimile the Spanish version. It *IS* me we're talking about here. ;)

    Great work on the cover, btw - it looks really crisp and characterful.
    Hey thanks. Glad you like the work. Like I said, I wouldn't keep doing it if I didn't enjoy the end-product and the response. Maybe it's just ego gratification, but I guess my repub stuff falls into the Bazaar side of reward/motivation. <shrug>

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  5. BaronVonDingDong is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/16/2009 8:24am


     Style: Jerry-Bashing

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You echo my own sentiments about books exactly. I live in a house full of them and some of my happiest moments have been spent in some of the great rare book rooms of the world. I first cut my archival teeth in what was euphemistically called the "student's room" of the old British Library before it moved to Euston, reading a sixteenth-century letter that accused the playwright Christopher Marlowe of being a heretic and a homosexual who apparently claimed that Jesus was no better than a conjurer and that the existence of Native Americans proved that the world was older than six thousand years. Fantastic stuff.

    Since then, I've always made sure that my projects involve archival material, not only for the joy of it, but because there's just so much of it that hasn't been touched since first publication. There's whole lifetimes and careers-worth of material hanging around that isn't even properly cataloged. Pure bliss.

    My original thought was that with your expertise you'd be in a perfect position to publish some kind of anthology or selection of writings for the more general reader. There are many ways this could be sliced and diced, and many potential avenues for marketing it, from the soberly historical to the cheesy "self-defense for chaps" type of stuff that we see a lot of these days. I think it's fair to say that in their totality, a lot of these manuals appeal to specialists only, whereas I think there could be a (relatively) wide readership for excerpted bits. I'd certainly buy it.

    Of course, one of the problems of anthologizing is when and where to stop - but then, there's always room for volume 2, and 3, and 4....

    Just think out loud, but once again, thank you for all your work.

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