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About RetroRead

There's nothing retro about ebook readers, but there is a goldmine for book lovers in the retro world of public domain of works published before 1923.

RetroRead was born of a 2AM bolt out of bed vision. Having ventured into my first love, book publishing, by launching the ebook venture BLTC Press, I was intrigued by pursuing an effort "at scale".

BLTC Press has presented over fifty classic, eclectic and esoteric public domain words, carefully formatted and re-presented for the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader. Published works have included Goethe's Theory of Colours, The Diplomatic Background of the War, Alices' Adventures in Wonderland, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, and more. Inspired more than anything by a desire to further the creation of a rich ebook ecosystem, RetroRead allows Kindle users to bridge the gap between the wealth of public domain epub-format ebooks available through Google's site, and the wonderfully integrated, and yet painfully siloed, distribution channel for Amazon's amazing Kindle reader.

Google has been able to make the wealth of their ebook repository available for the Sony Reader as well as the Barnes and Noble Nook, yet "somehow or other" the library of hundreds of thousands of titles is still all but unavailable to the market-leading Kindle audience.

RetroRead changes that, making it possible to directly forward a Google epub, and convert it on the fly en route to your Kindle device. No wires, just the way you expect it!

At BLTC Press, we've looked askance at some of the poor-quality cut and paste operators trying to flog public domain Project Gutenberg retreads. For ebooks to really take hold, they must be published with the same care and quality, at least in formatting, as we expect of any printed book we purchase in the bookshop. The fact that the author is no longer living or the rights holder is scarecly an excuse for disrepecting them.

The case of Google's mass scanning and conversion efforts, hyped and lauded in press anouncements, is somewhat different. Regarding quality, its deficits are entirely excusable, and the result is most laudable as far as it goes. What hasn't really been talked about much in real detail, however, is that when you get over the magnitude of hundreds of thousands of titles (including a great many of the apparently hopelessly obscure), there remains the sometimes frustrating fact that Google's conversion efforts are automated, and yield results ranging from the pretty darn impressive to the horrendously fnord-ridden and virtually unreadable. With each book that you download and convert, "Your mileage may vary". As RetroRead expands, we will develop feedback mechanisms whereby users can report on their findings, with a chance to comment on the quality of a given edition in terms of its physical readability -- as well as on its literary merits!

Tomorrow we may read that Google and Amazon have struck a deal making the books available through the Kindle store. I'm personally not holding my breath; and meanwhile, we have RetroRead, so please enjoy!



David Eyes
Publisher BLTC Press


RetroRead™ is a TradeMark of BLTC Press

Conversion technology powered by calibre


BLTC Press Titles

available for Kindle at

The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner