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One reason why books aren't traded as often as music or video files is that the average American only reads one book a year, so there are fewer people willing to trade, let alone steal, a book (except this one, of course). A second reason involves the amount of work needed to convert a printed book into a digital file, unless you're able to steal the digital file. (See the "Cracking an E-Book's Copy Protection" section later in the chapter.)
Believe it or not, most books that appear as bookwarez are meticulously scanned in by hand, one or two pages at a time. It's a boring,
After saving the scanned pages as graphic files, the bookwarez maker can either convert them to text using optical character recognition (OCR) software (like OmniPage), or save the graphic files as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file. If they convert the files into text, they can run the file through a spellchecker to correct most of the scanning problems, and then post the resulting e-book to the Internet.
The alt.binaries.e-book FAQ (http://ebook.23ae.com) offers plenty of information about creating e-books, including tips for scanning a book (see Figure 11-1), naming files, and posting them to newsgroups and IRC channels.
Figure 11-1: Most books are scanned in by hand, page by page.
Each newsgroup has its own rules and
[NEW] A new e-book
[REPOST] An e-book that had been previously posted but has been posted again due to popular demand
[TECHNICAL] An e-book that contains technical information, such as computer manuals
[SCRIPT] A film or play displayed in script format
FICTION] A novelor short story e-book
[NONFICTION] A nonfiction e-book
For example, you might name a file like this: [REPOST] Orwell_George__Animal_Farm(v1.0(htm).zip.
To provide e-books that people can view on practically any type of computer, e-book newsgroups prefer that people supply e-books in
Newly posted books often show errors, such as hyphens in the middle of a word in the middle of a line. Some downloaders will actually proofread e-books, correct any errors, and repost the book as a new version. A book title ending in v1.0 usually means the book is newly scanned and
Instead of scanning a book page by page, some people just take the much simpler route of copying books from book services, such as Safari Books Online (http://www.safaribooksonline.com) and Books24x7 (http://www.books24x7.com), which offer subscribers access to hundreds of technical books that they can browse, copy, and save. Because these services have taken the trouble of digitizing popular technical books already, subscribers can simply save the digitized books they want and "share" those book files through newsgroups or file sharing networks.
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