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General Rules for VIAS eBooks

  • All eBooks on the VIAS Web site have to be put under the Creative Commons or the GNU License. We prefer the Creative Commons License, since this gives you more control over the fate of your book.
    Hint: once you have made the decision for a specific license, you cannot change this in the future (in fact, you can, but this would imply a lot of version chaos)

  • We accept eBooks only in the following languages: English, German, and Spanish (this restriction is because we want to control the quality of the ebooks - sorry our staff does not speak any other language fluently enough)

  • All HTML versions of the VIAS eBooks display ads at the top and the end of each page. This advertising is to cover part of the hosting and the production costs of your book. You have to sign a formal contract that you agree with this policy and you are not going to receive any royalty payments.

  • The eBook will be extended by an editorial page, which provides the possibility to include links to your home page (if you prefer). Thus you can draw traffic to your own pages and you can offer additional service around your book.

  • Generally, there are two ways of creating ebooks from your texts. Which way to go depends on the frequency of future updates and changes:
    (1) One-time conversion with rare or no updates: you give us your text and we prepare the text for publication. Depending on the format and the technical quality of your text there is no or little work to do for you after you submit the final version.
    (2) On-going project: we help you to get started by creating a first release of the ebook, publish this version and pass on the respective eBook database to you. From that moment on, you are responsible for future changes. Whenever a new version is ready for publication, you can send us the database package which we use to generate the published eBook. Of course, we provide you with the Coimbra system for free, so that you can maintain your book using our full-blown eBook editing system.

Production Process

The production of the eBook is solely done by means of Coimbra. We import your manuscript to the Coimbra database and create a first version of the eBook. After that, changes to the text can only be made in the database system. Following are the steps from the initial manuscript to the final ebook:
  1. You send us your manuscript. Afer approving your book, we'll create a Coimbra database, split the text into pages of suitable size and import these pages into the database.
  2. Creation of the table of contents: the table of contents is created along the lines you give us
  3. Editing the figures (if necessary): sometimes figures have to be adjusted to the overall style of the ebook, accounts have to be made for transparency, etc.
  4. Creating the index keywords: In order to provide easy access to the contents of a book, each page has to be assigned to keywords reflecting the contents of this page
  5. Creating "See also" and embedded links. This allows you to create links to related contents.
  6. Creating the layout of the book. The layout and navigation structure is roughly the same for all VIAS books in order to make it easier for our readers to use the books once they have become familiar with the navigation structure.
  7. Publishing the eBook: we provide up to three versions of the book (depending on your preferences): the online version, a HTMLHelp version for download, and a PDF version for download. The HTMLHelp and PDF versions are optional. In general we recommend to publish the HTMLHelp version, but not the PDF version (PDF is nice to print but awkward for navigating and reading on the screen). Please keep in mind that providing a PDF version means increasing the world-wide waste of paper (a study of Xerox showed that the majority of printed pages are thrown away after 2 days, 30% of all printed pages are used only for a few hours).

Success of Your eBook

We provide a special (password protected) Web page for each eBook which shows you the access counts for each month. Thus you see how well your book is doing. In general, we are not performing any specific marketing for a particular book. It is left up to you to increase the popularity of your book. Here is a short list of ideas how to increase the popularity of an ebook:
  • If you are blogging, write about your book and provide links to it.
  • Ask webmasters of other, related sites to add a link to your book
  • Browse the news groups and contribute to the discussions which are related to your book (mentioning your book, of course).
  • Add a link to your book to your email signature
  • Ask Wikipedians to add your book to the external links of specific topics which are related to your book.
  • Insert links to your book in some social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us
  • Use a commercial advertising system to drive traffic to your book (however, this can be quite expensive, so be careful and set a daily limit of advertising costs).