There has been rapid movement on the Twitter book club front, since our posting of a few days ago. Twitter moves very fast and wossy has announced his first few titles. As luck would have it the first pick, The Men Who Stare at Goats, was in short supply in the bookshops and at Amazon — a film is coming out later in the year, new printings must be in hand. There were ebook and audio book editions available but not many print copies in the warehouse.

At any rate Picador (PanMacmillan) who publish the book in the UK realised the advantages of having a digital edition of the book available to the wossy book club. They also saw that the streaming solution that Exact Editions provides is an excellent way of amplifying the immediate impact of the Tweeting that is going on as we speak, the streaming solution can be opened up for a publicity phase, much more feasibly than a download ebook solution. So they asked us to put up a sample, and to offer subscritpions to the digital edition when the full sampling spree comes to an end. The sample is here.

There is the added bonus that bloggers can use the ExactEditions clipper tool (works much better with FireFox) to post small tweet relevant quotations (limited to at most 10% of page). Which is why the crop marks matter, its on the basis of crop marks, or preferably with trim boxes set, that Exact Editions know the boundaries of a page in the PDF files that publishers send us. Unless the publisher requests greater openness the clipping is restricted to 10% of the page which is close to a traditional understanding of reasonable copying for purposes of quotation, appreciation etc (ie ‘fair dealing’).

When it came to putting up the book in a test account, I noticed that there was quite a bit of discussion in the office about whether the PDF file had crop marks or not. Somehow this struck me as very funny as I had this image of the goat nibbling its own crop marks. So I was delighted to find that there really are goat crop marks in the page layout of the title, at least at the bottom of the page: there are ornamental goats at the corners. On the recto page the goat has keeled over and on the verso page the goat is the right way up. Here is an ex-goat, or what Monty Python would call a no-longer-goat: