From the Beginning of Paperless Bookstm To Their Future
Book Publishing in the 21st Century contains a paradox. It's a book that talks
about the future but which takes place in the past. So, it will be of as much interest to
anyone interested in the history of "paperless" book publishing as it is to anyone who's
interested in its future.
On April 1, 1991, J. Neil Schulman began teaching a
class for The New School in New York which ended in June,
1991. The title of the class was "Book Publishing in the
21st Century." The class was part of a Masters program in
Media Studies, and students ranged from a vice president
with the largest book publisher on the east coast, to TV and
radio news executives, to a computer company sales executive
going for an MBA. All of the students lived in the
New York area.
J. Neil Schulman was living in Hollywood at the time he taught
the course, and never left Los Angeles for its duration.
What solves this mystery is that the class was
taught via a computer conferencing program which Connected
Education, Inc., of New York City ran under contract to
The New School. Schulman sat at his computer and dialed
up a computer in New Jersey via modem, and so did the
students. The "classroom" was a computer messaging system.
Schulman left messages for the students; they left messages
Book Publishing in the 21st Century is the record of J. Neil
Schulman's course material -- the messages he left for the
As founder and first president of SoftServ Publishing, the first company to
offer paperless bookstm by major authors via download by
modem--even before he started Pulpless.Comtm--
Schulman's witty though comprehensive approach
asks what the impact of computer communications will be
on the print publishing industry. He includes as part of
the course his original business plan for SoftServ, and
additional articles of his related to the course topics.
The new Pulpless.Comtm edition contains a brand-new foreword by J. Neil Schulman and an entire second volume with almost five megabytes (when decompressed) of additional material!
In this second volume, pulled together for the very first time, is the complete
documentation of SoftServ Publishing, including all the public discussion topics
drawn from the SoftServ RoundTable on GEnie, the SoftServ Publishing Toolkit
used by its affiliated publishers and authors, and transcripts of Real Time conferences.
In this massive collection, you'll find discussions with such authors as Robert
Anton Wilson, L. Neil Smith, and Jon Rappoport, and article-length messages by
Victor Koman. You'll see the topic where Keith Kirts (author of the "Hawk" trilogy)
was writing a novel online, posting a new chapter every day.
If you want to know whether the book you buy in the twenty-
first century will be bound and printed -- or as text which
you read from a pocket-size electronic screen -- this
paperless book will tell you ... and it will show you how the first serious
attempt to do it fared.