Finally, a READABLE version of the Mueller Report!

Like many people I did a mental calculation when the Mueller Report was released: I’d like to have a paper copy, but how much will this cost me in printer ink?

The answer, of course: “a lot.” Given that I’ve been doing self-publishing for a while, the next logical thought was: why don’t I just submit a file of the report for publication and order myself an author copy…that is bound to cost less! And that turned out to be quite true. Here’s the cover of the resulting book:

Before starting in on the project, I looked at the versions already up for sale. The best sellers are the Washington Post and Alan Dershowitz-intro versions----but both of them are small format (about 6" by 9" or so). The font in these was clearly quite tiny, because the original PDFs are standard business-size 8.5" by 11".

So next I looked at some self-published versions that were listed as being 8.5" by 11"…and the common theme in the comments was ‘the text is just a little picture in the middle of the page with giant margins, what’s up with that, it makes the font so tiny!’

Once I started trying to format the PDF, I realized one of the reasons the other self-publishers had shrunk the pages even though their books were 8.5" by 11": the original PDFs had headers that were nearly at the top of the pages, with a margin MUCH smaller than Kindle Direct Publishing permits. So the people just shrunk the content until the margins were acceptable.

I solved that problem a different way, leaving the font on the pages the same size as in the originals. (Took a lot of work.)

Then on submission, I found that the redactions apparently included all sorts of invisible marks that caused KDP to reject the file. Again, others solved that problem by shrinking each page until the invisible stuff was no longer being flagged…but I worked out a different solution. Again, a lot of work!

The result is an extremely clear and readable version of the Report. I added some related content that help illuminate the story:

**The letter from William Barr released 24 March 2019 as an attempt to characterize the Report.
**The three documents relating to Michael Flynn with redactions removed, as made public 16 May 2019.
**Robert Mueller’s 29 May 2019 speech at the Department of Justice.
**A brief timeline of crucial events.

I sincerely believe the result is one of the most useful versions on the market. You can look at some of the pages in the Look Inside feature:

Is there any way you can tell Amazon to include some other pages in the preview? It would be good to see a full page of the actual text, to see how large the print actually is. It would help show the work.

If you can’t do so with the “Look Inside” feature, could you add an extra image for the book that shows the text in this manner? I know I’ve seen items with at least 5 images.

It would seem a good way to showcase the word you did. Simply having the table of contents and the covers doesn’t do this.

Excellent questions–they happen to match ones I’ve been asking for a while!

***More “Look Inside”—you DO get to see substantially-more pages if you’re signed in. Obviously they do it this way because they want people to sign in (which makes them more likely to order something on the site, even if not the item in question). In the case of this book, the entire selling point is that the pages are more readable than in other versions. Even when signed in, due to the TOC being long-ish, you don’t get to see a lot. (As I mentioned up there in the OP, the only way I knew other 8.5 x 11" versions had shrunk the text to avoid the margins problems, was from the comments.)

***Posting pics of pages: I’ve been asking about this for YEARS, and the answer is always that pics can be posted only by buyers----not by the seller. And it’s really, really annoying. (Previous times I’ve asked have been about showing illustrations, but the same principle applies here—they won’t let me. If someone buys the book, slaps it on a copier, scans and uploads the pic to Amazon—they’ll post it …eventually.)

The bottom line of all this is that Amazon doesn’t really put itself out to help self-publishers, and in some cases, seems to be actively working against self-publishers. That makes business sense if we are competing with something they sell themselves, of course.

Anyway: I do appreciate your response. If you try the ‘sign in’ thing, at least, you should be able to see more pages.

The thing is, I am signed in. But I’m only seeing it get through about half the table of contents before it says “Pages 7-470 are not included in this book preview.”

So it seems you get 6 pages for your size of book. I wondered if you could shift it to a different part of the book, or even leave out one of the other pages and have a better page available.

Is the back at least the same size text as inside?

No, they don’t let the author have any input on which pages are shown in Look Inside. (Well, not self-publishers, anyway. I suppose they might let best-seller authors…or maybe not.)

I just tried “Surprise Me” while signed in (on Firefox), thinking that might be the key to seeing something else…nope, and not only did it not let me see anything beyond the covers and TOC, but when I tried to close “Look Inside” it sent me to the password page!

What the heck are they up to, over there?

Moving on:

This is very smart (and I hadn’t thought of it)! Yes, all the text is as large or larger than the back-cover text, with one exception: the numbers of the footnotes.

The footnote text is very close in size to the text on the back-cover; the regular text is larger (not hugely, but a bit) than the text on the back-cover; and the footnote numbers are quite readable, but a bit smaller than the back-cover text.

I’m going to mention this as a comparison elsewhere, if you don’t mind (on my other message boards, etc.)—it’s probably the best way to explain the situation.

The one other thing that occurs to me is that Amazon does sometimes increase the number of pages shown in Look Inside. So it’s possible that those other pages may become visible as the days go by…though if they do this, they do it on their own mysterious schedule.

More of a GQ question, but are declassified documents like this basically open material to the public and anyone can publish it? I’m guessing it’s like the Bible being uncopyrighted?

Old bibles are uncopyrighted because they’re old. Newer translations of the Bible can be and usually are copyrighted, though sometimes the copyright holders are generous in their licensing terms.

This is uncopyrighted because there’s a law that works of the federal government (i.e., works of federal government employees in their capacity as such) are uncopyrightable.