Monday, August 20, 2012

Old South Books

Over on a certain e-retailer, I've been noticing a veritable flood of paperback reprints of old public domain Civil War unit histories, memoirs, and diaries self-published through a popular POD outfit.  Apparently, they are being put together by this guy, who styles his effort Old South Books.   I wonder how profitable a venture this is, as I am guessing, given that he's put out 350+ titles since May, that all or nearly all of these titles are available as free .pdf files on various sites.


  1. Actually, it's not very profitable at all, because I try to keep the price down far enough to where you don't have to pay some outrageous price if you'd rather have a hardcopy than a pdf. When you add up the time that I've spent on every single title and the little bit of markup I add I'm actually losing money, if time is money. It's turned into a full-time hobby. The cool thing is being able to make these titles available to people who would rather have a hardcopy of these books at a descent price rather than paying outrageous prices along with cool artwork. The couple of people that I personally know that have bought some of these titles from really appreciate being able to get the hardcopy and enjoy the cover art as well

    I enjoy doing the artwork for the covers and cleaning up the pages where there may have had rips, stamps, writing and what not. It's a lot of work and I get sleepy late at night, but it's fun. Not too long ago I actually had a civil war reenactor friend tell me that I was performing a service by keeping the price down and by putting so much time into it.

    I do hope that a lot of people visit and buy books, but if nobody buys anything I hope they at least enjoy looking at the pictures of the book covers, but keep coming back to the blog, because I'm always doing more titles.

    Also, thanks for the traffic to my blog. There was a big spike in visitors today from your blog.

    Take care.

    1. Well, I would second the notion that you are doing a valuable service. It's also nice to hear that you do some cleanup of the text. There are many books out there on the market (at very high prices) that are poor quality scans of library books, with illegible pages and others marred by things like underlining and marginalia.

    2. Yeah, I can't stand buying a reprint and the text being screwed up or library stamps on the pages. If a title has text that is too bad I'll either not do it all or try to find another scan that I can use to replace pages or text.

      Again, thanks for the post about the Old South book blog.

  2. I've purchased several titles from Old South Books. Even though the books are public domain, I feel it is a valuable service, since one can read only so many books on a computer screen before if starts to hurt the eyes. S. Campbell does a nice job with the cover art- subdued, classy, but interesting. I have close to a hundred public domain books saved on my PC in PDF format. I quit trying to read them long ago due to the eye strain. I will gladly buy more in the future. Also, no one ever gives compliments for your PC file sizes, but a nice real life library is a different story.


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