Okanagan historian turns to electronic publishing

Okanagan historian Doug Cox has chosen to publish his latest history as an e-book.

My shelves are groaning with books piled two-deep. One of my new year’s resolutions is to sort through them all, pitch the tired ones and get the rest back into circulation for others to read.

Already I get most books from the library, for the simple reason that they don’t stick around to clutter my house. I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t time to go one step further and check out books on my e-reader.

If local historian Doug Cox (who you wouldn’t expect to be on the latest technological curve) can do it, then so can I. In fact, Cox is publishing his latest history book — Okanagan, Similkameen, Tulameen — as an e-book.

“I’m not really into technology,” he admits. “When I grew up the phone was attached to the wall with a hand crank next to it.”

But he recognizes the benefits of e-publishing.

“There’s really no down side to it,” he said. Switching on his iPad, Cox flips through the e-book pages of Okanagan, Similkameen, Tulameen. With this format, he is able to incorporate more colour photos. The cost of printing colour photos in traditional publishing is prohibitive.

“Now I can put in hundreds,” he said, while zooming in on a photo until all the faces are clearly visible.

The price for the customer is much better too. Traditionally, to cover printing and shipping costs, Cox charged approximately $35 per book.  “Now for the price of one book, you could buy all five of my previous books in an e-book format.”

Some readers may be unwilling to adjust to the paperless format. And in Cox’s case, may miss browsing through his history books while visiting the local farmer’s market.

“I still have one foot in traditional publishing for those,” Cox said.

“E-book usage at the Penticton Library is pretty limited, although growing in our city,” says Karen Kellerman, public services librarian. “The demand will continue to rise, but how quickly is difficult to know.”

But Cox is confident that the quality of e-books is going to win over readers.

“With time, it’s only going to become a better and better way to publish history,” said Cox. He foresees being able to incorporate voice recordings into the format. “As you know, history is best when told by those who lived it.”

One of the reasons I haven’t read more e-books is that my e-reader, the Kindle, is one of the few that isn’t supported by the B.C. library e-reader system. I also haven’t really liked the fact that my first edition Kindle isn’t touch screen. Now that I have an iPad2, reading e-books promises to be a better experience.

But I still worry about keeping clutter out of my house. With each technological advancement, my shelves pile up with more wires, adapters, battery chargers and out-of-date e-readers.

Visit the Penticton Library home page at www.library.penticton.bc.ca to find out how to access Library-to-Go, the provincial collection of available e-books. Cox’s books are available for purchase on his site: www.okanaganhistory.com.

Heather Allen is a writer and reader who lives in Penticton.




Just Posted

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Rollover closes road

No serious injuries reported in a rollover off South Main in Penticton

Raven story shines light at Children’s Showcase

Season opener of the Children’s Showcase in Penticton

Student leadership conference hits home

Nearly 500 Grade 5 students taking part in leadership conference in Penticton

Penticton dancers headed to Germany for world championship

Penticton dancers representing Canada at World Dance Championships

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Have you heard about Black Press scholarships?

Up to 37 scholarships are awarded each year to students throughout British Columbia

Most Read