Ben Crowder

Blog: #mormon-texts-project

34 posts :: archive

My First Mission

George Q. Cannon’s book My First Mission, an account of his mission to Hawaii, is now available in EPUB and Kindle editions.

I’ve also redesigned the covers for all the MTP books, for what it’s worth. (I’ve redesigned them several times now, but I think this time it’ll stick.)

In other MTP news, we’ve finished initial proofs of William Clayton’s Journal.

Status update

Not much has happened with the Mormon Texts Project in the last couple months, mostly because of my tendinitis. The tendinitis hasn’t gotten worse (thankfully), but it hasn’t gone away, either, so I’ll have to be careful going forward (writing scripts instead of doing things manually, etc.). I don’t think I’ll have to stop making ebooks, though.

Anyway, MTP is not dead. But we do have some minor changes happening.

We originally started out making plain text Project Gutenberg editions of these books. Then, in March 2011, we added EPUB, Kindle, and web editions to the lineup. (We’re still working on converting our backlog over, by the way. The EPUB of Life of Heber C. Kimball is done and I’m not too far from finishing up the Kindle edition.)

Starting today, however, we’re now focusing solely on EPUB, Kindle, and web. No more Project Gutenberg.

Why? Time, mainly. I don’t have unlimited free time, and the more formats we produce, the fewer books we make. I’d rather focus on EPUB/Kindle/web (which are all based on HTML/CSS) and get more books out there — besides, anyone is more than welcome to take the source files to our books, turn them into plain text (which is easy since we use Markdown as our base format), and submit them to Project Gutenberg. And I hope people do.

As far as specific books go, we’re getting close to completing the initial proofs for William Clayton’s Journal, Emmeline B. Wells’ Hephzibah, George Q. Cannon’s My First Mission, and Parley P. Pratt’s Voz de Amonestacion (the Spanish translation of A Voice of Warning). And I’m slowly finalizing Essentials in Church History, which is one big book (so it’s taking a while).

Tangentially to MTP, I’m also reformatting the Journal of Discourses EPUB/Kindle editions, because I’ve learned a lot about styling ebooks since I first released them. (The newly formatted versions of volumes 1–9 are already available, by the way.) And I’m finally going through the JD word by word, proofing against the original page images and fixing all the typos, which are legion (I got the text from Wikisource and apparently they didn’t check it very carefully). It will probably take a year or so to finish proofing, since there are around ten thousand pages to go through.

Oh, one last thing: I’ve added a section on the MTP page linking to other sources for free LDS books online. If you know of any that aren’t listed there, let me know.

Elias

Alrighty, after a much-too-long wait, we’ve got a new Mormon Texts Project release for y’all: Orson F. Whitney’s epic poem Elias: An Epic of the Ages. It’s on Project Gutenberg and available in EPUB and Kindle as well.

Formatting poetry ebooks takes a lot more work than prose. Especially when Whitney changes indentation styles almost every canto. Sigh. (Not to mention the psycho line numbering — see the book page for a rundown on the madness therein.) Regular expressions helped, but it was still a beast.

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way (phew), we’ll be getting back to a more frequent release schedule. I’m finalizing Essentials in Church History (which is über-long but fairly straightforward, formatting-wise) and working on the backlog for EPUB/Kindle conversions (about halfway done with Life of Heber C. Kimball, which is the longest of the books in the backlog), and we’re planning to have Hephzibah and My First Mission finished with proofing by the end of the month (with releases shortly thereafter).