Printing the AAC texts, Request For Comments

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by sbombs, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. sbombs

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    So, I have it in my plan to begin using one of the AAC texts as the official text in one of my courses. I've been planning how to do this and discussing and so forth with my colleagues and there have been a couple objections to overcome. Overall, I am glad to have had my colleagues' objections because in order to compromise, it has forced me to adapt in such a way which I feel will benefit more students than my original position (all-electronic, no hard copy). I think what I am considering has the potential to benefit not just my own students, but possibly your students, and many other students, some of whom may never have even heard of AAC. Possibly, we may be able to set a good example for the use of texts such as the AAC texts.

    I won't rehash all of the arguments here, but I'll just summarize my goals and constraints.

    1. I plan to use one of the AAC texts as my official course text.
    2. I've decided that a hard copy must be made available to the students. I won't require a hard copy, but I will require each student have a suitable copy of the text in lecture, ie a tablet device (which contains the e-text) in the absence of the hard copy.
    3. I want to make that as inexpensive as possible. Although cost is not a driving factor (I wouldn't choose AAC merely to save money) I feel that keeping the cost as low as possible is a very good thing.
    4. I wish to avoid financial conflicts of interest where I can. (I'd like to avoid any conflict, but unfortunately it may be unavoidable).
    5. I don't want to / can't afford to / shouldn't have to shoulder the entire burden of cost.
    The plan:
    There is a company that makes a machine which allows one to send it a text, such as a pdf, and it will print and bind that. One of them is called the Espresso Book Machine. It costs ~$100k. (I don't have $100k).
    But that's ok. Harvard University Bookstore owns one of these machines "Paige M. Gutenborg" and operates it with terms that are quite reasonable. In fact, there are a few of these machines floating around, but I like the terms at HUB.
    In summary:

    • For a reasonable cost, I ( or anyone ) can upload an AAC text to the HUB (Harvard University Bookstore) ~$70.00 - $150.00 per text, depending upon options.
    • Students can order books, and have them shipped from HUB. ~20.00 - $30.00 per book (including S/H).
    I'd really like to form a non-profit [something], that manages the printing of these, and is self-supporting. In the shorter term (in absence of the non-profit), I think I will front the set-up fees, and recover them from book sales.

    My Questions for You:

    • Is there anyone interested in a venture such as this?
    • Are you already having the texts printed?
      • If so, what is your experience?
      • Can I or my students order them?
    • Would you purchase hard copies of AAC books?
    • Would you consider sharing the set-up costs?

    • Is there anyone who objects to my plan?
      • Why?
    • Does my plan conflict with the DSL Design Science License?
    • Does it otherwise conflict with the authors' intents?
    If I can get the non-profit idea going I'd also consider purchasing a block of ISBN numbers for the books, and thus get them included in more traditional venues. This would have to be supported by donations/fees.

    Questions? Comments? Advice?

    To read more about Harvard Book Store's machine go here:

    Note, I have no affiliation with HUB or Espresso Book Machine.
  2. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
    sbombs likes this.
  3. sbombs

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Hi Bertus, thanks for the link. I was aware of the pdf versions. I use them in my courses. However as I noted in my post, I need printed versions as well. I'm unaware of anyone currently offering a printed version (in the US).
  4. sbombs

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 26, 2010
  5. sbombs

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Well, that was pretty underwhelming. I thought that there might be at least a passing interest in having a hard copy. Perhaps I was mistaken.
  6. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    The PDFs can easily be bound. They can be also be printed double sided, as this is an option for Adobe. Yours is not the first query as such.

    You probably already know the book is incomplete. Some of us are working on that (hence my title). I would use a decent 3 ring bonded binder and a printed PDF, why hard copy in a professional manner something that is not quite ready for prime time (although some volumes are definitely ready).
  7. jrap


    Jun 25, 2006
  8. sbombs

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    I do know that the book is incomplete. One of the reasons I chose the Harvard Bookstore's POD machine is that they would allow the book's source document to be stored on the machine indefinitely, and also to update it as time goes on.

    I have very strongly considered having them printed and punched for a three ring binder. Maybe I should consider it again. Although, I like to think that it would be a positive contribution to the project to have them made available to a wider audience, and that it would be better for one to do this work, rather than many.

    As far as the book not being ready. I feel that it is at least as good as or better than the text I currently use. I've been looking through other texts for a new one, and can't find any that I feel are so much better than the AAC book. In the areas that are incomplete, Supplemental stuff is widely available. Including Kuphaldt's Socratic Electronics project, the MIT OCW stuff, and countless others. There is no lack of information available; the problem is sorting through it all.

    Also, the HUB POD service thing allows for the source to be stored on their machine, and for it to be updated as time goes by. I think that it would be reasonable to have a first printing to work out the kinks. Then publish errata as pdfs (it won't be a burden to print errata), or even a printed booklet. As the final chapters are added (or additional chapters), or enough errata are accumulated, another edition can be "printed".

    Thanks for those links jrap. I've checked into them, and for my purposes, I like the HUB terms better. But since you mention it, I'll go and have another look. One thing, they do give free ISBN numbers. FYI The HUB POD service is also available to anyone.