Author Bruce Spizer says his newly revised digital version of “The Beatles Records on Vee-Jay,” long available in its original hardcover form except for high prices on the secondary market, wasn't something he originally planned to do, the author told Beatles Examiner.
“It's something I really knew nothing about,” he said in a phone interview. “I'm old school. I like the hard copy book, the feel of the pages and all of that good stuff. The economics just weren't there for reprinting the Vee-Jay book. A couple of people had suggested, 'Why don't you do a digital book, then? The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I decided it was decided it was time for me to move into the brave new world of digital technology and see how it worked out. And I was very pleased with the result.”
He said the digital book has several improvements over the hardcover version.
“I'll always prefer to have a nice hard copy book, but the convenience of the digital book is quite remarkable and some of the features, such as the internal links where you can go from pages back and forth and check out images. (And I) love where you can expand the size of images to see the detail. Much better on documents and record labels and things like that.
“And I put in a few external links where I put in matters that I felt really weren't of general interest in the book but that many readers might be interested in learning more about. And with all those features, I really enjoyed doing it.”
In addition to the added digital features, the format of the book itself was changed to make it easier to navigate.
“One of the things that bothered me about the original edition of the book was that it had a lot of great stories, but sometimes it would be bogged minutiae detail pertaining to record labels and the like. And so the way I worked was that for each chapter that has record label and trail off minutiae, that was moved all the way to the back of the chapter. Prior to someone getting to that detail, there's a green line in text below that enables one to skip to the next chapter so that they don't have to read it if they don't want to.”
The book also has new material in it.
“The Vee-Jay book was done 15 years ago. You've got a situation where a lot of new things have come out, so because of my reputation, collectors will often contact me and say, 'Hey do you know about this?' or 'Have you seen this document?' I've kept those items over the years and discovered additional documents for Vee-Jay that I think enhance the book.
“For example, the section that I did on the Gold Record Awards given to the Beatles by Vee-Jay ran two pages in the hardcover book and in the digital it's nine pages with several new images.”
Spizer says he wants to make digital editions of his other books as well.
“What I'm planning on doing is converting all the books that have sold out to ebooks. Presently, that would be both of the Capitol Records books and the Apple book. Once the books sell out in hardcover, then we'll have the ebooks ready to go.”
And he said when revisions are made in the future, those who buy the digital version through his website will get the revisions.
“What we plan on doing is that if somebody buys the digital book directly from our website that when the book is revised we will send them a link to where they can download the link free of charge. ”
People who order the book from the website also get some freebies to go with it.
“They get a signature card which I sign, a collector's card which shows the images of the album sleeves and picture sleeves. And most of all, we include a bookmark.”
Spizer says he recommends using Goodreader, which is available through the Apple App store, for use with the book on the iPad. The paid version costs $4.99.
The digital book is avialable through Spizer's website.
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