Kin Platt Message Board

Chris Platt posts on 2/15/2011 1:16:21 AM Dan, thanks so much for your generous -- and frankly embarrassing offer. I really appreciate it, and it would be so cool to have the book reborn as a result of a grassroots effort like that. Let's see what other visitors to this message board have to say about it and go from there. And Thank You, Jakapan. YES, we have looked into print on demand options, but have yet to find one that will actually take apart an olde, yellowing copy of an out-of-print book, and somehow scan it into a text file,and manipulate the text of 300-plus pages of Sinbad, and then desktop-publish it into a new book, except at a prohibitive cost. But we're still looking. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
Jakapan posts on 2/15/2011 12:03:01 AM Chris, for getting your dad's titles in print again, have you looked into the publish-on-demand options online?
Dan posts on 2/7/2011 6:37:45 PM Chris, I just finished reading "Sinbad and Me" for the first time in about 35 years. Your father was truly a gifted writer. The descriptions about the love between a boy and his dog were touching. The discussions about the relationship between fathers and sons made me want to be a better father to my small children. The book is thoroughly entertaining. Maybe we can take up a collection from those who have made posts to pay a competent typist to type up the manuscript from an original copy. I'd be willing to contribute something.

Chris Platt posts on 2/7/2011 11:43:10 AM Yes, I actually do know the difference between speech-recognition software and audiobooks when I'm awake enough to think about it. However, as you point out, most of the available SR software is still flawed, and -- given that Sinbad was my father's longest book -- that's a heckuva job to read it in and, as you say, then have to proofread it. Oh, well, maybe a better SR software package will come along. Thanks.
Gray posts on 2/7/2011 5:08:28 AM I'm not an audiobook fan, I like to read my books. But any release is better than none! Actually, when you read a text into the computer via speech recognition, what you get is basically formatted text. It's NOT an audio file AT ALL. What happens is that the software translates your voice to text. Windows 7 speech recognition pretty much lets you input text via voice into various programs. If I were to read a book in, I'd probably go with inputting the text into an HTML editor, as once you have formatted HTML, it's easy to make an epub file. I've only played with the speech recognition a little, because I occasionally get some tendinitis that makes typing harder. But you'll start paragraphs by saying "New paragraph", that sort of thing. And you have to say all the punctuation as well. I'm not that great at it, so sometimes I end up proofing text after by typing anyway! But I could see it as possible, if tedious, to get a book into text form this way if the book was too fragile to scan.
Chris Platt posts on 2/7/2011 12:21:56 AM Hi Gray, Interesting, the idea of reading it aloud. Sounds alot like an audiobook to me, and that's something else we're looking at. Apparently there's a maker of APPS for iPhones and such, who is putting audiobooks on an APP -- and selling them in the iBookstore, etc., so someone can listen to books on a smartphone. We may go with them, but I'd want to be the reader. We're looking into this even now. Wish I had some spare copies of Sinbad to lend or send out, all I have are a bunch of Blue Man books -- Kin Platt's first book -- which we reprinted pretty faithfully (and in very small numbers) back in 2005.
Gray posts on 2/5/2011 10:48:52 PM Yeah, scanning, running OCR and proofreading are tedious at best, I'm sure! I've noticed that publishers often don't do a great job on the proofreading on older books they are bringing out in ebook form. I keep catching tons of errors and it kind of drives me nuts, since ebooks for my reader aren't always cheap! I'm in the same boat as Melanie though, my old paperback is brittle and starting to fall apart. I've actually been contemplating the idea of reading the text into the computer via speech recognition, just to preserve the story for re-reading until I die. But I think that would take a long time to do!
Chris Platt posts on 2/5/2011 10:03:47 PM Hi Melanie, Thanks for joining the never-ending discussion. We are trying like mad to find a publisher to bring back Sinbad & Me -- not to mention so many other Kin Platt classics. The problem is that everyone wants the manuscript in electronic form, and all the books were done on a typewriter before the dawn of the computer era. We don't even have the original typewritten manuscripts in most cases, so a publisher would have to -- literally! -- take apart a copy of the book(s) and scan each page individually. Not to many (well, none so far) are interested in doing that.
Melanie posts on 2/5/2011 8:31:11 PM I'm reading our battered copy of Sinbad and Me to 2 of my 7 children this evening. It was my copy when I was a child and has no front or back cover. It can't hold on much longer. The kids told me we needed a new copy. I looked online, and the cheapest book I found was $75.00. Help, a book this great has GOT to be reprinted.
Dan posts on 2/2/2011 5:39:48 PM Chris, After four or five years of trying to find a copy of Sinbad and Me for a reasonable price, I finally purchased one last week for just over $20. We had a battered edition with the Charles Geer cover in our bookcase back in the early 70's. I'm reading it again and enjoying it very much. I would buy a new copy if it were self published.
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