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Monday, May 23, 2011

Controversial "Banned" Florida History Book Brought Back As an eBook

The "banned" book is nothing new.  Books have stirred a great deal of controversy over the years, and in the print world . . . if no one would sell it . . . it went "out of print".  Such was the story of one Florida history book by Florida author Jack Owen entitled "Palm Beach Scandals - An Intimate Guide".  As a international journalist, Palm Beach investigative reporter, and local  newspaper editor; Jack worked with an area historian to research some of the "naughtier history" of "The Island", prominent people, and topics not discussed beyond society's "inner circles".  As Jack mentions in the synopsis,

It's a romp through rumours and records which circulated in newsprint and cocktail conversation - to this day. The rich little island was making headlines long before its latest villian - Bernie Madoff - plunged so many into financial depression.

When Jack released the print version in 1993, launched in New York on "The Joan Rivers Show" to acclaim - the book was not met with "enthusiastic local fans".  Some "socially correct" outlets refused to sell the book and it was soon "gone" into the publishing graveyard  known as "out of print" shortly after.  As Jack states, used copies have circulated for more than 10 years ranging from $1.00 to $159.  But, thanks to ebook publishing, "Palm Beach Scandals - An Intimate Guide" is back and available to all to read at a very reasonable price too.

The question becomes whether the book was written to be damaging to others?  I spoke with Jack the other day and the answer is, "no".  He merely wrote the book to share some those things that often get overlooked in Florida's history.  "Some of the best stories never get into print. As far as the "Old Guard" is concerned, Birth, Marriage and Death, is the only time one's name should appear in print," he said.

Not only is the content intriguing, as I told Jack . . . what a great example of the possibilities for authors today with ebook publishing.  Bringing the book back in print would have been very costly and probably met with the same barriers as over a decade ago.  Today, an author can bring the title back with a simple upload and make it available to all in a matter of hours.
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