I was thinking of something along the same line, but with a slight variation.
What I would like to do is offer a series of booklets in one download. The user could then preview the first chapter in each booklet, but would have to pay separately to unlock each title. Or if the user so choose they could pay to unlock all of the titles at once (at a discounted rate).
Even if they do only purchase one title at first the other four titles persist, which increases the chances that they will be purchased at a future date.
The point is that they are more likely to commit to one download than a series of downloads. It is a "pay as you go" approach, but the important thing is that it is already on their hard drive and they have ready access to it.
The fact that if there are five books that there could be five passwords doesn't bother me because it makes it easier for them to purchase what they want with the least amount of effort.
Maybe someone has already figured out a way to do this and if they have I would appreciate knowing.
I'm not sure what you mean by "Typesets did not standardize until the 40s." and that they can't be OCRed. The OCR program I use is Omni Page and have not had any difficulty with books printed as far back as the 1800s.
As presented it sounds like the e-book is made up entirely of graphics; since it has not been OCRed. Does the book have to be delivered in electronic form? Have you considered POD (Print On Demand). From what I've seen if the run is less than 600 copies it is a strong alternative to out right publication.
What makes POD so attractive is that it doesn't matter if you print a few copies or a hundred because the price is about the same. Avoid those places you have seen on the internet that charge a set up fee and take a hefty percentage of the profits. I'm not saying that they are bad or anything like that. It is that you can do better if you check around locally and find out who is doing POD for local corporations. The local vendors in my area even offer ISBNs in case you plan to sell on Amazon. (I'd suggest you buy your own ISBNs, however.)
I hope someone answers your question about the command line batching because it seems that it is something that would be helpful to me too.
If you think that sales will reach above 600 copies it might be worth having the book retyped (high school kids today do well with typing and sure can use the money).
No offense taken. I started with version 3 or 4 have have just stuck with it. Which program would you suggest?
Maybe I don't fully understand Activ-ebook, but was wondering if you could accomplish what you want simply by copying all of the key codes generated by book #1 and pasting the key codes into book #2 and book #3. Wouldn't that then give all three books the same security code?
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