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PDF Digital Book — “Halfway between a book and a website”

So wrote Kevin Kelly in today’s installment of “Cool Tools,” his superb weekly internet email publication that you can get absolutely free just by signing up.

Full disclosure: I have never met Kevin Kelly. I have never spoken to Kevin Kelly. I have never seen a photo of nor heard a spoken word recording of/by Kevin Kelly. I have, however, contributed items to “Cool Tools”; in doing so, I have exchanged emails with him. I have never given nor received money or any form of compensation to/from Kevin Kelly.

Now where was I? Oh, yeah, PDF books.

Kelly’s published his most recent book in PDF format: for $3.50 you get a full-color, indexed, hot-linked, instant digital download version of “Cool Tools” — the book.

Full disclosure: I bought it, and it was an excellent experience in on-demand publishing.

Fast, cheap, and under control.

What we’re all about here — well, at least two out of three.

Among Kelly’s many bona fides: he’s one of the founding, “single-digit-employee-number” members of the Whole Earth Catalog’s original crew; he’s the founding editor of Wired magazine.

That ought to be enough for you. But I digress yet again.

Here’s what Kelly wrote in his newsletter:

    Old Book, Cheap Experimental Format

    Cool Tools Digital Download

    For $3.50 you can get a full-color, indexed, hot-linked, instant digital download version of my 140-page “Cool Tools” book.

    Halfway between a book and a website, PDF digital books are pioneering a third way.

    With this “Cool Tools” PDF you get several things the printed version does not have (but the web does): an index, clickable active hyperlinks in the text and glorious full-color.

    At the same time the PDF version retains the easy-to-browse design and rapid navigation of a book, which the web does not have.

    And it is a lot cheaper than a book, immediate in its delivery, and smaller to store.

    I find myself reading a lot of PDFs and growing comfortable in the habits.

    The form is still experimental.

    Kinks may be found.

    If you do try this digital edition of “Cool Tools,” I’d love to hear your feedback.

    — KK

    “Cool Tools”

    2003.1 PDF version, 24 mb

    $3.50

    Available via PayPal

Oh, yeah, in case you want to read the book but just can’t deal with a digital download: the “Old Media” bound paper version is $17 at Amazon.

[via Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools]

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