On Aug 5, 2006, at 10:45 AM, Steven R. wrote:

>
> CSS can be used to format pretty much anything (within reason) in a  
> 'custom' manner.
>
> What would stop an author from writing a book, publishing it online  
> with watermarks and a EULA (or equivalent) holding purchasers  
> responsible for the watermarked editions of the book, and then  
> selecting a format for the book (font size, style, etc.) that could  
> be used to generate a CSS file through which the book would be  
> printed to .pdf (for example) and downloaded by the purchaser?
>
> Is there a reason an author would not use such a system, were it  
> available? Is the retail channel so powerful, it makes such a  
> scheme unworkable to content creators?
>
> There are 'civilian' versions of such, but I was thinking of 'real'  
> books designed for a mass audience.


We've experimented with most of the XML -> PDF direct generation  
systems, and with going via HTML. Our experience is that float  
placement is still a major issue, which is why we don't do it.

Our online-only books (the Fridays) are formatted wildly differently  
(landscape, not portrait, larger fonts, big side margin etc), but  
they come from the same markup used to created the printed books. We  
have the capability to produce the different formats--we just don't  
get have the solid technologies.


Dave