Putting print books online

I’m a fan of the Hesperian Foundation, which publishes community-based healthcare books like Where There Is No Doctor. In addition to giving their books away at no or low cost, they’ve historically distributed gratis copies of their books in PDF format, chapter by chapter (example).

They’ve now set up a new online reading interface (vaguely similar to Google Books), but it’s Flash-based, and can’t be indexed via search engines. Is this an improvement?

Which of these online reading interfaces for print books do you like best?

(Update: fixed link)

2 thoughts on “Putting print books online

  1. I’d probably give the nod to PDF, all-in-one, as that seems to have the most flexibility for viewing on different platforms. But as a big Cory Doctorow fan, I’d be glad to read the book in any format!

    Also, your last link should actually be HTML, all-in-one

  2. Also, I see that the National Academies Press has now made all of their books freely available as PDFs on their web site. From the press release:

    The National Academies—National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council—are committed to distributing their reports to as wide an audience as possible. Since 1994 we have offered “Read for Free” options for almost all our titles. In addition, we have been offering free downloads of most of our titles to everyone and of all titles to readers in the developing world. We are now going one step further. Effective June 2nd, PDFs of reports that are currently for sale on the National Academies Press (NAP) Website and PDFs associated with future reports* will be offered free of charge to all Web visitors.

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