Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 889. Friday, 3 December 1993.
From: Peter Scott <
Date: Thursday, 02 Dec 1993 18:49:40 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Disk-Based Shakespeare Books
I am forwarding a message which was forwarded to me. I have no connection
with the publisher. -ps
MAHAFFEY, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A., 1993 DEC 2 (NB) -- Covered Bridge
Classics, a division of John A. McCormick, Inc., is offering the first
of a series of new computer-based books, created and written by Beth
The initial hypertext "DiskBook" in the English 101 series is: "A
Midsummer Night's Dream - Annotated," by Beth Goldie, Copyright 1993,
John A. McCormick, Inc., $4.95. A DiskBook is created and read on a
computer and can't be printed on paper because of its unique way of
presenting information known as "hypertext."
"A Midsummer Night's Dream - Annotated" contains the complete original
text of the play, along with definitions of unusual words and phrases as
taken from the Oxford English Dictionary and other sources. Character
names are highlighted when they first appear in the play so readers can
quickly see an explanation of just who the player is and what his or her
relation is to other characters.
Just what is so special about these books? While traditional print books
can only provide additional information about words or paragraphs
through the clumsy use of footnotes, a hypertext book lets readers
highlight any significant word or sentence and, if desired, obtain
further information about that portion of the text.
Each book in the English 101 series also contains a guide to the life of
the author and notes concerning the plays.
The English 101 series is expected to eventually include all of those
classic plays, novels, and poems which are read by high school and
college students, beginning with 12 major Shakespeare plays. Future
DiskBooks will include original mysteries, science fiction, computer
tutorials, novels, and more college- and high school-oriented course
aids, including introductory books on astronomy, physics, chemistry, and
DiskBooks are supplied on 3.5-inch floppy diskettes which are the
present industry standard. The books can be read on any MS-DOS based
(IBM, Tandy, etc.) computer, including the laptop and notebook computers
so popular with students.
A number of other companies are attempting to enter this same market,
but the publisher believes that DiskBooks are unique because of their
low price and the ability to access the information without the need of
a hard disk drive or a computer fast enough to support Windows.
Because these books concentrate on just the text of literary works,
which were originally published without any illustrations of any sort,
they can be kept small enough to fit on one high- density floppy
diskette. DiskBooks are priced so low (some comparable books on diskette
cost as much as $30) that students can easily justify their purchase for
just one course and then erase the program and text to gain a blank $2
high-density floppy diskette.
DiskBooks differ from traditional publications such as Monarch Notes
because they include the entire text of the original document along with
special comments and other annotations. Covered Bridge Classics was
formed to provide low-cost publishing services in all fields. Because of
the low cost of digital publishing, the company can publish books which
traditional publishing companies either can't afford to produce because
of a limited market, or won't publish because of their controversial
Covered Bridge Classics is actively seeking authors who wish to take
advantage of this new publishing technology.
DiskBooks can be ordered directly from the publisher, John A. McCormick,
Inc., RR #1 No. 99, Mahaffey, PA 15757, or through an electronic
bulletin board, at 814-277-6337, seven days each week from 8 p.m. East
Coast time to 6 a.m. at 814-277-6337. The electronic bulletin board
system also includes sample DiskBooks which can be downloaded and run.
John McCormick is also the Washington bureau chief for Newsbytes.