I seem to be getting that question a lot lately. Why, in a world full of easily accessible PDF file converters and generally instant gratification, are we taking so long getting that eBook version of the Malleus Maleficarum ready?
Well, the answer to that is fairly simple. The same people who took a year to transcribe the Malleus to minimize inaccuracies rather than rely on much faster OCR software are the same people who are painstakingly putting together an eBook version of the Malleus Maleficarum. Basically, I looked around at the eBook versions of the Malleus that exist out there, and found them lacking. Most of the existing eBook versions of the Malleus are little more than conversions of our PDF files (which people have been pilfering with abandon for years). In short, what is most readily available is a converted PDF file, not a bona fide eBook.
This will not do.
Rather than add to the pile, what I’ve been doing is converting the existing master files that I still have on hand (from my aborted effort to put together a print version of the Malleus) to eBook format, doing all the conversions and coding by hand so that there are not nasty surprises. This has turned out to be rather involved, since there are a hell of a lot of links and other information that must be preserved.
In the end, what we’re going to wind up with is a definitive eBook version of the Malleus Maleficarum that has a very useful substructure of links that will make the notes embedded in each chapter more interactive. In short, if you’re reading a chapter and you come up to a Note link, you can activate that link to find out what the note on that particular subject is. With over 250 notes embedded in the text, you can imagine that it’s taking some time to code all this.
I expect to finish the coding by the end of this week. The first version is going to be made available for the Amazon Kindle, and is going to be sold through Amazon.com for $1. Hopefully a handful of the people who have been willing to pay for the pilfered versions of our PDF files will be willing to pay for an officially approved eBook version (that is actually useful and more than a little interactive). Honestly, I could use some help keeping this Malleus Maleficarum web site online.
Other formats will follow. I’m hoping it will be a fairly simple process to convert the Kindle edition over to eBook format for Apple iPad and the Nook. We’ll have to experiment with that a bit starting next week. In the meantime, you can expect a fully interactive version of the Malleus Maleficarum for the Amazon Kindle to be completed by the end of this week. I imagine it will be uploaded to the Kindle store sometime in the following week, as soon as we’re certain that the links substructure is sound.
I’m excited to finally bring a fully interactive eBook version of the Malleus Maleficarum to the public. Honestly, I’m rather surprised that no one else has done it. Although, really, after realizing how much work it’s been to convert all this text and ensure that it’s properly formatted and all the links work the way they’re supposed to, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Anyway, it’ll be ready soon. Walk in light and peace.
~ Wicasta Lovelace