Saturday, June 30, 2018

Elevating hard science to a pedestal of worship as the only way or even a primary way to arrive at facts & truth (knowledge) about all or most of life, is not a balanced and good approach

I think people should not hold the view that hard science is the only or even primary source of truth, knowledge and experience in life. There are other sources of truth, knowledge and experience too which may not be as easily certifiable as true as hard scientific knowledge but may have a lot of truth in them. Literature and history and the arts in general which are not hard science fields, are examples of sources of a lot of truth, knowledge and experience which enrich life, IMHO. Literature does have fiction category some of which is based on imagination and not facts but which may still be reflective of some real life experiences & events. Some fiction literature though may be purely flights of imagination like some science-fiction.

As an aside, one of the most important survival teachings about a truth of life, which has served me well in my adult life, came from English literature and not hard science. That is the old English proverb, "A fool and his money are soon parted" :-) [originated in 16th century England, https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-fool-and-his-money-are-soon-parted.html]. I have endeavoured pretty hard not to become this kind of fool and have so far avoided the experience of my hard-earned money getting parted from me, and which hard-earned money has formed the basis of my happy retired-from-commercial-work and simple, single, spiritual aspirant life for the past nearly 16 years! I should add that all my hard-earned money has come from my practice of software development (an applied hard science - technology - field) during my software industry commercial work days (March 1984 to August 2002).

IMHO, there is a danger in worship of hard science as a cure-all like there is a danger in worship of religious icons and religious philosophy/scripture alone as a cure-all without need for reason and hard science.

Like we have religious fanatics one can have hard science fanatics too. Fanaticism which exaggerates the power of a particular field of knowledge and experience e.g. religion, hard science, philosophy etc., IMHO, is bad.

Self-correction is a mechanism that is used not only by hard science but by various other fields including history. Indian history field, I am given to understand by various public articles on the matter, has moved away from Euro-centric history written before Indian independence to more authentic Indian history under Indian history scholars of repute applying the rigorous standards of academic history to the field of Indian history.

Jurisprudence is a vital field as many knotty disputes go to courts of the land for justice and resolution. Jurisprudence has its own standards for arriving at what courts view as the plausible truth (which would not be scientific fact). Self-correction mechanism is provided there too, when new evidence is presented which challenges the earlier conclusions of the court.

And then we have the vital field of journalism and its way of arriving at the truth.

My view is that ways of unearthing the truth in fields like jurisprudence and journalism matter even if they are not as solid as the way hard science uses to arrive at scientific truth. Hard science like Physics (which I graduated in) is extraordinarily solid in its methodologies to arrive at the truth in the material measurable world.

But life is such a complex web of material measurable things and, as of now at least, far more difficult to measure, if not impossible to measure properly, aspects like the important (from impact on life point of view) emotions and instincts of love, peace, joy, hunger, survival (instinct), anger, jealousy, hatred etc. that I think elevating hard science to a pedestal of worship as the only way or even a primary way, to arrive at facts & truth (knowledge) about all or most of life, is not a balanced and good approach.

Friday, June 29, 2018

My challenge to Madhusudan Naidu to come to Prasanthi Nilayam and prove his so called communicator claim by showing us miracles that Sathya Sai has demonstrated

Here's the longer and more descriptive title that I have used in the corresponding Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2195270094022889, "My challenge to Madhusudan Rao Naidu to come to Prasanthi Nilayam and prove his so called communicator claim by showing us the miracles that physical form Sathya Sai has demonstrated in Prasanthi Nilayam in the past".

Rather unwillingly I got caught up in a conversation regarding Madhusudan Rao Naidu with a Muddenahalli group supporter who is a Facebook friend of mine, on her public Facebook post. I was challenged to go to Muddenahalli. The specific words of the challenge were ".. I challenge you to go to Muddenhalli with an open heart and pray to Baba to settle the matter for you, by letting you see him." And this was made in the context of me asking her whether she had seen the so called subtle body of Muddenahalli.

I responded (slightly edited): Sathya Sai has said on multiple occasions and in public that he never speaks through mediums (or communicators). I prefer to follow public teachings and instructions of Sathya Sai on this matter. As you have used words like shame, I felt it appropriate to share my view that it is a shame that many Sathya Sai devotees choose to ignore his public teachings and instructions with respect to mediums (or communicators) and follow Madhusudan.

Regarding your challenge for me to visit Muddenahalli: Well, how is me going to Muddenahalli change the reality of Sathya Sai public teachings and instructions that he never speaks through mediums (and communicators)? At the most Madhu may demonstrate some siddhis (psychic powers) that he may have acquired of reading my mind and memories. That will only prove that he has acquired some siddhis.

Besides I have the view that Madhusudan and Narasimhamurthy have betrayed our beloved and revered Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So I prefer to stay away from the places inhabited by these two persons.

I think the bottom line is that you seem to go by the fruits (ends) and not bother much about the means. For me, the means are more important in terms of adherence to Sathya & Dharma and teachings and instructions of Sathya Sai as far as I can (though I do slip up from time to time; I am not perfect), than the fruits (ends) measured by number of free educational institutions and free medical service institutions.

However, I respect your spiritual choice to accept the claim of Madhusudan Naidu. I usually avoid commenting about my views on Madhusudan Naidu on Facebook posts of known Muddenahalli group supporters like yours, as we already know each others' views and such discussions tend to increase friction. My comment on this post was about Rabindranath Tagore's great quotation which unfortunately got dragged into this Muddenahalli matter discussion.

So let me take a break from this discussion. I wish you all the best in your spiritual journey. And I prefer not to further comment about Muddenahalli or Madhusudan on your posts. Thanks and Jai Sairam!
-----

But the above comment did not settle the convo and I got told, "If you did dare to go to MDH, and by Baba's grace, you were able to have His darshan, then you would probably have to admit that either He is infact there or you are hallucinating." and that I generally was scared to go to MDH.

I then felt obliged to continue the conversation instead of my plan to take a break from that conversation. I wrote (slightly edited):

Ha! Ha! dear sister --name-snipped--! I fear the anger of my beloved and revered Gurudev Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, if I go against his public teachings and instructions on this very important matter dealing with mediums (and communicators). I have faced physical form Bhagavan's fury in 2010 which happened to wipe out any doubts I had about him being Shiva-Shakti Swarupa Kali Yuga Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I find whatever I have read and heard about Madhusudan's claims to be so called communicator of Sathya Sai who can see some so called subtle body of Sathya Sai, to be quite a joke, in comparison to what I have directly experienced of physical form Bhagavan as late as 2010 (when he was giving darshan in a wheelchair and most people had difficulty in following what words he was saying).

Why should I waste my time to have so called 'darshan' of this cheap imitator of Sathya Sai when I have experienced the love, wisdom and ***utterly awesome*** paranormal power of Sathya Sai physical form as late as 2010!!!

If Sathya Sai truly was the power behind Madhusudan, Sathya Sai so called subtle body would come to his divine abode of Prasanthi Nilayam and show such miracles through Madhusudan that even I would have to accept Madhusudan's claim.

So dear sister --name-snipped--, can you please pass on my challenge to Madhusudan Rao Naidu to come to Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam and prove his claim to be the "chosen communicator" by performing miracles of the sort that some of us have experienced with physical form Sathya Sai??? Is that not a fair challenge, sister? After all, it is Madhusudan Naidu who is claiming to be the communicator of Sathya Sai. So the burden of proof for the claim lies on him.

Is Madhusudan Rao Naidu so powerless that he cannot accept my above challenge? If so, how can he be the "chosen communicator" of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He then has to be viewed as only a pale imitator of Sathya Sai who can rule his ashram in Muddenahalli but dares not try his stunt in Prasanthi Nilayam. Is it not?

My apologies to you dear sister --name-snipped--, if my words are a little strong. What to do? Such is life for us due to this terrible confusion and misguidance brought about by Madhusudan Naidu and Narasimhamurthy by misusing the HOLY NAME of our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

That is why I wanted to avoid further discussion. But then you are challenging me. So I have to respond with a more just challenge, in my considered opinion.
-----

Miscellaneous posts & comments on Facebook in June 2018

When author of post or comment is not mentioned, it should be assumed that it is me (Ravi S. Iyer).

Given below are comments I made (slightly edited) on the following post around 28th June 2018:
https://www.facebook.com/yaani.drucker/posts/10156456774170477:

[In the context of the post having the following: '"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." Radbindranath Tagore', I wrote:]
I loved the Rabindranath Tagore quote --name-snipped--. I did not know of that quote. Thanks a ton for sharing that quote.
---
...
Oh! No problem about that. I view Madhu as misguided and deluded with the false communicator belief. But him quoting Rabindranath Tagore and my own beloved and revered Gurudev Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is fine (so long as he does NOT plagiarize them as his own quotes). I have no issues about appreciating such quotes even if it came via Madhu.

I have publicly stated that I view Madhu as a spiritual leader in his own right and also stated my view that he should give his darshan, interviews and discourses in his ****OWN NAME**** (or assumed name of say, Madhu Sai Baba like names assumed by Bala Sai Baba of Kurnool or Sanjay Sai Baba of Nepal) instead of misguiding thousands of Sathya Sai devotees worldwide by making the false claim that he is stating Sathya Sai's words and is communicating with some so-called subtle body of Sathya Sai (false claim) which is primarily seen and heard ONLY by him!

BTW sister --name-snipped--, I am curious to know if you have ****seen**** this so-called subtle body.
---
...

Thanks dear sister --name-snipped-- for honestly stating that you have not seen the so called subtle body. I am grateful to you for your honesty. May Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba keep showering His blessings on you for your honesty and truthfulness (adherence to vital value of Sathya).

I did not state that Madhu has plagiarized.

About the good friend of yours whose experience you mentioned, I prefer not to comment as I do not know her.

Regarding the astonishing level of free educational institutions and free medical service (including super-speciality kind of hospitals for pediatric cardio care), I freely accept that Muddenahalli group has done jaw-dropping work there. And I have publicly appreciated them for this service to society work that they have done and continue to do, even though I have rubbed some Parthi supporters the wrong way by my public appreciation for Muddenahalli group's service to society work. I have had to unfriend and even block a few person(s) who were so upset with my public appreciation of MDH group work that they wrote nasty comments against me.

You write, "If this is the work of a fraud, I say let there be more frauds like him on the planet." You are certainly entitled to your view. But I vehemently disagree as I consider the spiritual truths that Sathya Sai taught as far more vital to protect and disseminate among interested people and am strongly against Madhusudan Rao Naidu propagating his views as that of Sathya Sai's views. As I said earlier, my view is that Madhusudan should give darshan, interviews and speeches ('discourses') in his own name instead of misguiding people that he is speaking the words of Sathya Sai and acting on instructions of Sathya Sai.

I prefer not comment on USA president Trump as I have chosen to largely stay publicly neutral in political party related matters whether it is the USA or India or any other country in the world. However I do publicly share and comment on certain government actions and views of countries like USA and India on social media, where I view it as a country's actions and views rather than a particular political party or particular political leader's actions and views.

I would just like to say this in the context of the deeply divided political discourse in the USA that I think it will be good for the USA if the heated temperature cools down. This sort of strong language and actions being used makes me fearful of things taking a nastier turn in USA politics, which would be bad for USA in general and for democratic discourse in the USA. It was a matter of great good fortune that USA Congressman Steve Scalise survived the attack on him a year ago, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Congressional_baseball_shooting. As a lover, a beneficiary and an open supporter of democracy, I pray to God that USA democracy does not get into any nasty violent zones and that the debates remain verbal debates with some level of civility.

...
Sathya Sai has said on multiple occasions and in public that he never speaks through mediums (or communicators). I prefer to follow public teachings and instructions of Sathya Sai on this matter. As you have used words like shame, I felt it appropriate to share my view that it is a shame that many Sathya Sai devotees choose to ignore his public teachings and instructions with respect to mediums (or communicators) and follow Madhusudan.

Regarding your challenge for me to visit Muddenahalli: Well, how is me going to Muddenahalli change the reality of Sathya Sai public teachings and instructions that he never speaks through mediums (and communicators)? At the most Madhu may demonstrate some siddhis (psychic powers) that he may have acquired of reading my mind and memories. That will only prove that he has acquired some siddhis.

Besides I have the view that Madhusudan and Narasimhamurthy have betrayed our beloved and revered Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. So I prefer to stay away from the places inhabited by these two persons.

I think the bottom line is that you seem to go by the fruits (ends) and not bother much about the means. For me, the means are more important in terms of adherence to Sathya & Dharma and teachings and instructions of Sathya Sai as far as I can (though I do slip up from time to time; I am not perfect), than the fruits (ends) measured by number of free educational institutions and free medical service institutions.

However, I respect your spiritual choice to accept the claim of Madhusudan Naidu. I usually avoid commenting about my views on Madhusudan Naidu on Facebook posts of known Muddenahalli group supporters like yours, as we already know each others' views and such discussions tend to increase friction. My comment on this post was about Rabindranath Tagore's great quotation which unfortunately got dragged into this Muddenahalli matter discussion.

So let me take a break from this discussion. I wish you all the best in your spiritual journey. And I prefer not to further comment about Muddenahalli or Madhusudan on your posts. Thanks and Jai Sairam!
...

Ha! Ha! dear sister --name-snipped--! I fear the anger of my beloved and revered Gurudev Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, if I go against his public teachings and instructions on this very important matter dealing with mediums (and communicators). I have faced physical form Bhagavan's fury in 2010 which happened to wipe out any doubts I had about him being Shiva-Shakti Swarupa Kali Yuga Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I find whatever I have read and heard about Madhusudan's claims to be so called communicator of Sathya Sai who can see some so called subtle body of Sathya Sai, to be quite a joke, in comparison to what I have directly experienced of physical form Bhagavan as late as 2010 (when he was giving darshan in a wheelchair and most people had difficulty in following what words he was saying).

Why should I waste my time to have so called 'darshan' of this cheap imitator of Sathya Sai when I have experienced the love, wisdom and ***utterly awesome*** paranormal power of Sathya Sai physical form as late as 2010!!!

If Sathya Sai truly was the power behind Madhusudan, Sathya Sai so called subtle body would come to his divine abode of Prasanthi Nilayam and show such miracles through Madhusudan that even I would have to accept Madhusudan's claim.

So dear sister --name-snipped--, can you please pass on my challenge to Madhusudan Rao Naidu to come to Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam and prove his claim to be the "chosen communicator" by performing miracles of the sort that some of us have experienced with physical form Sathya Sai??? Is that not a fair challenge, sister? After all, it is Madhusudan Naidu who is claiming to be the communicator of Sathya Sai. So the burden of proof for the claim lies on him.

Is Madhusudan Rao Naidu so powerless that he cannot accept my above challenge? If so, how can he be the "chosen communicator" of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He then has to be viewed as only a pale imitator of Sathya Sai who can rule his ashram in Muddenahalli but dares not try his stunt in Prasanthi Nilayam. Is it not?

My apologies to you dear sister --name-snipped--, if my words are a little strong. What to do? Such is life for us due to this terrible confusion and misguidance brought about by Madhusudan Naidu and Narasimhamurthy by misusing the HOLY NAME of our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

That is why I wanted to avoid further discussion. But then you are challenging me. So I have to respond with a more just challenge, in my considered opinion.
...

Noted your response sister --name-snipped--. I would like to take a break from our conversation here and so do not want to further comment on the topic here. Once again, I wish you all the best in your spiritual journey. And my apologies if my strong words caused you any discomfort. Thanks. Jai Sai Ram!
-----

From https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2193458520870713 (slightly edited) dated 27th June 2018

Nearly 20 mins, Very nice Hindi classical devotional song (Hindustani classical, I think) with nice vocal and instrumental performances. Performed in Netherlands in July 2013. Kaushiki Chakrabarty - A devotional bhajan in raga Bhairavi with Soumik Datta and Vijay Ghate, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FuW2ZcgOmA

Tum aa jaana bhagavan - You (please) come O Lord!
----

From https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2193396507543581 dated 27th June 2018

Around 10 mins. Fantastic to see young white girl singing ISKCON kirtan in Mayapur in 2018. I was so happy to see this young white girl sing the bhajan with devotional fervour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW0HaePT4bE
----

From https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2193169430899622 (slightly edited) dated 27th June 2018

Great bhajan song by the one & only Lata Mangeshkar filmed in the oldie Hindi movie, Johny Mera Naam. The movie was released in 1970 when I was around 8 years old and perhaps that's the reason I missed seeing the movie. But in my Hindi movie watching days I used to hear a lot about this movie. Maybe I will make some time to watch the movie in the coming days.

The video is somewhat blurred. A young Hema Malini sings & dances as Meera. There are English subtitles for most of the song so people who don't know Hindi too can view it. The audio is also not perfect - I have heard much clearer audio of this great bhajan. But its manageable.

What a great singer Lata Mangeshkar has been over decades. She puts in great Bhakti into this song! Maharashtra is the land of saints and Lata being a daughter of that holy land pours Bhakti (devotion) into this famous song.

Around 7 mins, Old Hindi Movie Bhajan 'Govind Bolo Hari Gopal Bolo' with English translations.wmv, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPU_s8CYkYw
----

From https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2180661555483743 (slightly edited) dated 17th June 2018

Swami (Sathya Sai) uses the words "Guru Drohi" and "Daiva Drohi" in the shared video snippet below. The word "Drohi" has been translated in the accompanying English translation as traitor, which is an appropriate translation. But I would like to add that the literal English translation of the word "Drohi" is somebody who harms.

So "Guru Drohi" would literally translate to somebody who harms/harmed his/her Guru. And "Daiva Drohi" would literally translate to somebody who harms/harmed God/Divine being.

Judas caused harm to his spiritual master (Guru) and his God - Jesus Christ. So it is appropriate to refer to him as Guru Drohi and Daiva Drohi.

Muddenahalli group leaders like Narasimhamurthy and Madhusudan Rao Naidu should carefully listen to such words of our revered and beloved spiritual master and Avatar (divine being), Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and stop doing and promoting their blasphemous act of imitating Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and claiming (FALSE CLAIM) to be a communicator of his.

Shared video below is slightly less than 2 minutes.

[Shared video link: https://www.facebook.com/jeffsai.koh.1/videos/145864009572972/]
-----------------------------------

https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/2177170512499514 dated 14th June 2018

Around 4 mins 30 secs; Awesome tabla performance by this small child.

Concern is whether the child is losing out on a regular childhood due to this, as this seems to be an earning for the child & its family and/or friends. But I really don't know about how child prodigies like this child have to be managed, especially if the child's parents are poor.

What is undoubted is the child's precocious talent.
[Shared video link: https://www.facebook.com/280270282028893/videos/1652856444770263/]
----

My comments on https://www.facebook.com/notes/vr-ganti/madhu-is-feared-and-not-respected-by-most-of-mhalli-staff-and-supporters/10212508739858164/ around 8th June 2018

Vr Ganti sir, if what you have said about Madhu being feared rather than being loved, is true then Muddenahalli group is getting deep into the typical cult territory. Which then raises serious concerns about well-being of our Sathya Sai fraternity brothers & sisters who have got trapped in Muddenahalli group. I think people who have lost faith in Madhusudan Naidu claims should disassociate from Muddenahalli group and associate again with Prasanthi Nilayam (PN)/Puttaparthi. In PN they may be given the cold shoulder but nobody will stop them from having darshan of Bhagavan Mahasamadhi and feeling the divine vibrations of Sai Kulwant Hall where Bhagavan gave Darshan for decades. That will help them overcome any cold shoulder issues.

You wrote, "What is most disgusting in this game is that the young children are being forced to believe that Madhu is Divine and is more like Sai Baba which is very bad." That is the worst and saddest thing about Muddenahali group. If teachers in Muddenahalli group institutions do not have faith in Madhusudan's claims then they should NOT associate with any effort to make students believe in Madhusudan's FALSE claims. They should also be prepared to resign from their jobs if they are forced to tell students to believe in Madhusudan's FALSE claims.
...

Oh! Livelihood is a very valid point. Hmm. I don't know how to handle that issue.
...

Prestige issue has to be handled by swallowing one's ego. That was what we have seen happening with so many people (including me) with physical form Bhagavan. PN is famous for bursting ego balloons of anybody & everybody.
-----

On a non-public FB post I wrote:
Well, I hope you do not hold the view that science is the only source of knowledge and experience in life. There are other sources of knowledge and experience too which may not be as easily certifiable as true as scientific knowledge but may have a lot of truth in them. Literature and history and the arts in general are examples of sources of knowledge and experience which enrich life but cannot be viewed as hard science, IMHO.
...
IMHO, there is a danger in worship of science as a cure-all like there is a danger in worship of religious icons as a cure-all without need for reason and science.

Like we have religious fanatics one can have science fanatics too. Fanaticism which exaggerates the power of a particular field of knowledge and experience e.g. religion, science, philosophy etc., IMHO, is bad.

Self-correction is a mechanism that is used by various fields including history. Indian history field, I am told, has moved away from Euro-centric history written before Indian independence to more authentic Indian history under Indian history scholars of repute applying the rigorous standards of academic history to the field of Indian history.

Jurisprudence is a vital field as many knotty disputes go to courts of the land for justice and resolution. Jurisprudence has its own standards for arriving at what courts view as the plausible truth (which would not be scientific fact). Self-correction mechanism is provided there too, when new evidence is presented which challenges the earlier conclusions of the court.

And then we have the vital field of journalism and its way of arriving at the truth.

My view is that ways of unearthing the truth in fields like jurisprudence and journalism matter even if they are not as solid as the way science uses to arrive at scientific truth. Hard science like Physics (which I graduated in) is extraordinarily solid in its methodologies to arrive at the truth in the material measurable world.

But life is such a complex web of material measurable things and, as of now at least, far more difficult to measure, if not impossible to measure properly, aspects like the vital emotions and instincts of love, peace, joy, hunger, survival (instinct), anger, jealousy, hatred etc. that I think elevating hard science to a pedestal of worship as a primary way to arrive at facts & truth about all or most of life, is not a balanced view.
----

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Most dangerous ideological corruption threat to spiritual movements after demise of founder is from narcissists backed by big money

The most dangerous ideological corruption threat to spiritual movements after the demise of its founder is from narcissists backed by big money.

I make the above statement based on my direct experience of the Sathya Sai movement after the bodily passing away of its founder, my beloved and revered Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in April 2011. This movement was badly impacted and now in June 2018, continues to still be badly impacted by a big split caused by some former leaders of the Sathya Sai movement who now endorse the weird and false claims of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, a so called communicator of a so called subtle body of Sathya Sai (FALSE CLAIM) based in Muddenahalli.

Very unfortunately, this Muddenahalli group is backed by big money which is allowing them to widely propagate their false belief and promote their so called communicator Madhusudan Rao Naidu who, in my considered view, is only a cheap imitator of Sathya Sai.

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." - Rabindranath Tagore

Learned of this awesome quote of Rabindranath Tagore about faith from a Facebook post of somebody

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/101391-faith-is-the-bird-that-feels-the-light-and-sings

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." - Rabindranath Tagore.

This man was truly a genius. His Gitanjali collection of poems, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gitanjali, mesmerized me when I first read it (English translation) in my youth (I think I was in college then - late 70s and early 80s).

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quick summary and list of detailed posts on conversion of my free iami1 wordpress blog into regular book with at cost print (including paperback version with ISBN) and free electronic (ebook) versions

Last updated on 29th June 2018

Over the past three months or so (from beginning April 2018) I have spent most of my work time on converting my free iami1.wordpress.com blog into a book with at cost (no royalty to author) print and free electronic (ebook) versions. This was my first such effort to produce a proper published and sold paperback book and free ebook put up on some well known free ebook websites like Open Library and Project Gutenberg. This post has a quick summary of the process followed by a list of detailed posts related to the process.

Quick summary (QS) of conversion of free iami1.wordpress.com blog into not-for-profit (at cost) paperback Print-On-Demand book with ISBN, less expensive spiral-binding book without ISBN and free ebook PDF (ISBN applied)

QS1) Decided to use Print-On-Demand self-publishing support company to print proper (decent quality paperback) book copy. Eventually I settled on Pothi.com self-publishing support company.

QS2) Prepared NOT-FOR-PROFIT and FREE-REUSE sections of initial pages of book.

QS3) Intimated those who had contributed to posts which I planned to include in the blog book about my plan and asked if they are fine with it or have objections.

QS4) Read the fine print for sharing Wikipedia and Wiki quotes extracts in printed book which will be sold at some price (at cost but not free) and ensured that relevant posts printed in the book meet requirements of Wikipedia and Wiki quotes for such sharing, to the best of my knowledge. Also put out a public post on the matter capturing my analysis and views.

QS5) Went through a few rounds of cover front page, cover spine and cover back page pictures creation, including a full cover picture which has all the three in one picture. Learned about need for empty (coloured typically) border area around front page and back page picture & text content. Also noted that as book is a small one, the spine can be left as blank/border colour. Used Paint and Paint 3D tools to create the pictures. Finally as I got to submitting the cover page picture at Pothi.com self-publishing support company, I saw that I had to meet their specifications in terms of pixel size of picture and DPI (dots per inch). To change DPI I had to use the free gimp software.

QS6) Tried out stapled (binding) book option with a local Puttaparthi printer which did not turn out to be satisfactory. I dropped stapled (binding) book option later on.

QS7) Explored printing A5 book on A4 sheets using local Puttaparthi printer as well as Delhi online printing services. [One side of A4 sized page holds roughly two A5 sized page contents. After printing A5 page contents on A4 sheets in such a way, the A4 sheets have to be cut at the right place to form twice the number of A5 sheets.] Found that Softcover binding quality of online printing services is not great (and local Puttaparthi printers were typically not providing SoftCover binding option at all). But saw that spiral binding quality is decent. Settled on using both a local Puttaparthi printer and 1 Delhi online printer (printonweb.in) for printing spiral bound copies at somewhat reasonable price. Also noted that Delhi online printer introduces some compression of the A5 pages printed and so to offset that compression, a 108% zoomed PDF file seems to be the right cure. I also did face some printing quality issues in some orders with Delhi online printer but later orders gave decent printing quality spiral-bound books.

QS8) Was able to get A5 size book published on Pothi.com quite easily without having to pay anything at all to Pothi.com! I pay only when I order copies from them which is Rs. 159 per copy + shipping charge. This was very pleasant to experience though their website clearly explains that a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kind of approach can be used to publish the book for free. Further, the only extra thing I had to do on the book package (inner content + cover pictures) used for printing on laser printer in QS7 above, was to convert/massage the cover picture to meet Pothi.com specifications in terms of single full cover (back + spine + front) picture of specified size in pixels and specified DPI (DotsPerInch).

QS9) Was able to publish associated ebook on archive.org, openlibrary.org, free-ebooks.net as well as pothi.com quite easily. Later Project Gutenberg too accepted the ebook a few days after submission. One issue I faced as I made the ebook submission to various free ebook sites was that the title of iami1.wordpress.com blogbook was not suitable. The title needed to better reflect the topics covered by the blogbook. This led to some rounds of titles, eventually settling down on title of "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" with sub-title of "iami1.wordpress.com blog book". Actually I faced this issue for QS8 (publishing paperback on Pothi.com) as well but had taken a quick decision of using title of "The Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" (for first version published on Pothi.com), without thinking too much on the matter.

QS10) Put up menu links and pages for (Free) Download Blogbook (ebook) and for getting Printed Blogbook as either paperback copy via order on Pothi.com or less expensive spiral-bound book using laser printer and spiral-binding service shops to print inner content pdf and cover pages pics downloaded from the webpage.

QS11) Applied for ISBN for paperback version at isbn.gov.in. Did a fair amount of reading up on FAQ and parts of the user manual on this website, along with other sources of info. on ISBN. Got a decent idea of role and responsibility of author and self-publisher with respect to using ISBN. I also had to make the front cover page and front inner content pages (Title-Verso pages) of the book more in line with regular books so as to be more acceptable to isbn.gov.in. Had some issues with respect to title length and permitted characters in title field in ISBN web application form.

QS12) Prepared book promotion mail draft which I used to inform some persons about my free ebook and associated paperback book. Also offered to send some people a complimentary print copy(ies) of the paperback book. Used less expensive spiral-bound book copies as complimentary copies to distribute to some friends and junior colleagues. But provided paperback copies from Pothi.com to some seniors in Puttaparthi as well as my relatives and friends outside Puttaparthi. I found the Pothi.com online order page to be a convenient way of ordering books to be (printed and) delivered via courier/Indian govt. Speed Post to friends and relatives outside Puttaparthi (but within India). Saw that this first 'proper' printed public book authored and self-published by me (different from private technical (software) documents and manuals authored by me for private companies), and which was on an important topic of spirituality and God & science, was a good gift to give to my friends and relatives, many of whom I re-connected with after a gap of many years. As one friend remarked, the book was like a visiting card! Many of the people to whom I gifted the book (paperback or spiral-bound book), with sometimes me offering it to them saying that it was a token of my gratitude and love for them for all the good times I had with them, were quite pleased to receive it from me. That was a nice feeling! Don't know how many will read it though :-) and its fine with me if they are not so interested in the topics the book covers and so don't read it. I explicitly told some friends and relatives to read the book ONLY if they found it to be interesting.

QS13) Came to know that my self-publishing support company would need me to raise the selling price of my book on their website if I opted for selling the book via amazon.in and flipkart (extended online distribution). Opted to sell at lowest price on Pothi.com (Rs. 159 for the 123 page A5 size book with colour cover pages) without any royalty to me, and NOT sell at its partner channels of amazon.in and flipkart. Also noted the senstive issue of printing price on the book. So chose NOT to print price on the book.

QS14) Realized that it is safe for me NOT to print Pothi.com name anywhere on the book. So only had a short message on back cover stating, "For at cost printed book and free e-book visit iami1.wordpress.com". The iami1.wordpress.com Printed Blogbook page points the reader to the Pothi.com paperback sale page. So the book reader gets directed to Pothi.com indirectly via iami1.wordpress.com blog.

QS15) Was pleasantly surprised to be allotted an ISBN for the paperback version (after around 20 days of my first application to them). Finally there was only one outstanding issue in the ISBN application which was that the title name in the ISBN application (and so database) did not permit the ? character whereas the actual book title printed on the book has one ? character. Felt that this was a minor inconsitency that I could live with. Noted that the allotted ISBN showed up only in isbn.gov.in query webpage but NOT in standard global isbn search websites.

QS16) Applied for an ISBN for the ebook too.

QS17) Encountered a surprising and unpleasant coloured dots splashing on front and back cover page of printed paperback book copies for an order of 3 copies that I had made. Informed Pothi.com about the problem. Decided to use black title instead of purple title (it was purple coloured dots that got splashed around) and also had to make the ISBN barcode image size larger.

That finishes this quick summary of this process of converting my free blog into printed paper books including paperback book with ISBN, and also free ebook.
--------------------------------------------------------------

List of detailed posts (DP) capturing conversion of my free iami1.wordpress.com blog into not-for-profit (at cost) paperback Print-On-Demand book with ISBN, less expensive spiral-binding book without ISBN and free ebook PDF (ISBN applied)

DP1) Planning to print self-published not-for-profit-for-author book from iami1.wordpress.com blog; Any suggestions welcome on NOT-FOR-PROFIT and FREE REUSE sections and anything else, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/planning-to-print-self-published-not.html, 5th April 2018

DP2) Planning to share significant amount of text extracts from wikipedia and wikiquotes in 2 articles of proposed printed book under (additional) CC-BY-SA license; Any suggestions welcome, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/planning-to-share-significant-amount-of.html, 6th April 2018

DP3) Latest version of my iami1 wordpress blogbook available for free download and reuse (of my content); Next step is 'laser printer' printed & bound A5 size book, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/latest-version-of-my-iami1-wordpress.html, 13th April 2018

DP4) iami1 blogbook colour front cover pic, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/iami1-blogbook-colour-front-cover-pic.html, 14th April 2018

DP5) iami1 blog book colour back (cover) page pic, spine pic and full cover pic, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/iami1-blog-book-colour-back-cover-page.html, 15th April 2018

DP6) Sample/trial print of iami1 blogbook shows issues related to stapled book, page margins, cover pic and font size, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/first-print-of-iami1-blogbook-shows.html, 18th April 2018

DP7) Modified Cover Front and Back pics for iami1 blogbook; Size calculations for these pics, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/modified-cover-front-and-back-pics-for.html, 20th April 2018

DP8) iami1 printed blogbook when sold at some (above-zero) price: My analysis of copyright issues with usage of Wikipedia content in it, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/iami1-printed-blogbook-sold-at-some-non.html, 22nd April 2018

DP9) Hopefully stable E-Book version and document for paper book version of iami1 blog book released today; Facing challenges in printing few (20) copies of book, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/hopefully-stable-e-book-version-and.html, 24th April 2018

DP10) iami1 blog book published with title 'The Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science' at Pothi.com; Printed copy (in India only) can be ordered online, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/iami1-blog-book-published-with-title.html, 27th April 2018

DP11) Noted Free E-book Websites/Web pages having iami1 blog book (The Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation), http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/noted-free-e-book-websitesweb-pages.html, 29th April 2018

DP12) Added a Printed Blogbook menu link and related 'Printed Blogbook via Online Bookshop; Less Expensive Options' page to iami1 blog, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/added-printed-blogbook-menu-link-and.html, 29th April 2018

DP13) Got one staple bound and one spiral bound iami1 blogbook copy from local Puttaparthi shops, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/got-one-staple-bound-and-one-spiral.html, 30th April 2018

DP14) Suggested re-order quantity and printer for Spiral binding and Soft Cover binding iami1 blogbook for bookshop(s); More info. about related courier charges, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/some-info-about-courier-charges-for.html, 30th April 2018

DP15) Got two separate Soft Cover binding iami1 blog book copies from Mumbai based big printer and Delhi online printer, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/got-two-separate-soft-cover-binding.html, 6th May 2018

DP16) The good quality printed book copy that I got yesterday (5th May 2018) evening seems to be my Pothi.com order!, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-good-quality-book-that-i-got.html, 6th May 2018

DP17) Received Delhi online printer's 12 spiral bound copies and 1 Soft Cover bound copy of iami1 blogbook; Spiral bound copies don't have specified cover front and back pages!, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/received-delhi-online-printers-12.html, 12th May 2018

DP18) National Library of Australia has listed my free ebook: Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation iami1.wordpress.com blog book, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/national-library-of-austalia-has-listed.html, 13th May 2018

DP19) Received first somewhat-largish order delivery of 9 well printed & bound copies of iami1.wordpress.com blog book from Pothi.com, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/received-first-largish-order-of-9.html, 14th May 2018

DP20) How I was, and continue to be, obliged to make my iami1 wordpress blog book front pages content to be somewhat more in line with regular books, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/how-i-was-and-continue-to-be-obliged-to.html, 15th May 2018

DP21) Conveying why my Existential reality; Vedanta; God & Science conversation iami1 blog book may be of some interest to open-minded (hard science) scientists and social science researchers, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/conveying-why-my-existential-reality.html, 15th May 2018

DP22) Disappointing quality of latest delivery of 12 spiral bound copies of iami1 blogbook from Delhi online printer, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/disappointing-quality-of-latest.html, 27th May 2018

DP23) Have applied for an ISBN for printed iami1 blog book, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/have-applied-for-isbn-for-printed-iami1.html, 1st June 2018

DP24) Sent isbn.gov.in mail on: Clarifications and questions about my ISBN application 5413|ISBN|2018|A made on 31st May 2018, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/sent-isbngovin-mail-on-clarifications.html, 1st June 2018

DP25) For self-published author like me who is not interested in earning royalty nor in promotion of book for large sales, is it worth the bother to get ISBN for POD book versions?, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/for-self-published-author-like-me-who.html, 7th June 2018

DP26) How I tried and failed to arrive at a list price (printed price) for my Print-On-Demand iami1 blog book with low sales potential, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/how-i-arrived-at-list-price-printed.html, 11th June 2018

DP27) Good quality of printing and binding in latest delivery of 12 spiral bound copies of iami1 blogbook from Delhi online printer, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/good-quality-of-printing-and-binding-in.html, 14th June 2018

DP28) Zooming/Enlarging text content of PDF file without editing using Foxit PDF Reader, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/zoomingenlarging-text-content-of-pdf.html, 15th June 2018

DP29) Have released a new version of iami1 blog book (Who am I? I am I – Ultimate Existential Reality Answer ...) with more formal book cover page and Title-Verso pages but without ISBN, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/have-released-new-version-of-iami1-blog.html, 18th June 2018

DP30) Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality answer ... paperback book allotted ISBN; Have applied for e-book ISBN, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/who-am-i-i-am-i-ultimate-existential.html, 19th June 2018

DP31) Updated Paperback book files of iami1 blog book with ISBN and submitted to Pothi.com, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/updated-paperback-book-files-of-iami1.html, 20th June 2018

DP32) Improved upon patchwork in back cover page for ISBN inclusion in iami1 blog book, and resubmitted it to Pothi.com, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/improved-upon-patchwork-in-back-cover.html, 21st June 2018

DP33) Searching for ISBN 978-93-5311-521-0 allotted to my book 'Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer...' works on isbn.gov.in but not on well known ISBN search sites, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/searching-for-isbn-978-93-5311-521-0.html, 22nd June 2018

DP34) 108% Zoomed pdf file of iami1 blog book printed at decent size by Delhi online printer, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/108-zoomed-pdf-file-of-iami1-blog-book.html, 25th June 2018

DP35) Updated paperback copies of iami1 blogbook have problem of unwanted colour dots/patches in front and back cover pages (pictures), http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/updated-paperback-copies-of-iami1.html, 25th June 2018

DP36) Update on attempts to resolve iami1 blogbook cover page picture colour dots splashing issue, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/update-on-attempts-to-resolve-iami1.html, 26th June 2018

Note that there is another post having a more narrow list of posts related to this topic. That is: List of my first and successful ISBN application related posts, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/list-of-my-first-and-successful-isbn.html, 23rd June 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Update on attempts to resolve iami1 blogbook cover page picture colour dots splashing issue

Last updated on 27th June 2018

I have prepared an alternate version of the cover page (full page with back + spine + front) which uses black coloured title instead of dark red/purple coloured title. I have also used a large ISBN barcode image to make it more easily readable, (and re-positioned the text to the left of it). That cover page pic is shown below.

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]



I have asked Pothi.com if they think that this cover will be easier for the printing of the cover page without colour dots being splashed around on other parts of the cover page, and that if so, I would be happy to go with this cover page. In fact, I like the black title as against the dark red/purple title.

And if Matte printed cover is easier to print without colour dots being splashed around elsewhere on the cover page, as compared to glossy (which is my current selection), then I am willing to try out Matte printed cover (instead of glossy).
=======================================================

Update on 27th June 2018

Pothi.com informed me that they are investigating why the dots appeared in the printed paperback book copies mentioned in an earlier post (http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/updated-paperback-copies-of-iami1.html). They were OK with me updating the full cover picture and so I updated it on Pothi.com with the above full cover picture (black title and larger ISBN barcode image). I also chose Matte lamination instead of Glossy lamination. The submission is currently under review. After it passes the review I intend to place an order of 1 copy and see if that printed copy comes out OK.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Updated paperback copies of iami1 blogbook have problem of unwanted colour dots/patches in front and back cover pages (pictures)

Last updated on 2nd July 2018

Today I got delivery of 3 paperback copies of my updated book, Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation, https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ravi-s-iyer-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science.

Unfortunately the colour cover print for both front and back of book are not satisfactory. I have attached below pics of the front and back cover with problem areas marked. It seems that the dark red/purple colour from the title of "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" seems to have got spread around some other parts of the front page and back page pictures. [BTW please ignore the flash part of front cover pic towards the left-bottom area; that's introduced by the camera. The purple dots which are pointed out by arrows are NOT introduced by the camera. That's how the front and back cover page look.]

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]





This is how the cover page picture as submitted to Pothi.com is:



There has been minor adjustment of the cover page picture by Pothi.com which has not introduced any purple dots/patches as seen in the printed paperback copy cover pages. [I am not sharing Pothi.com's adjusted cover page picture as I think that may need permission from Pothi.com.]

Readers can clearly see that the cover page picture that I submitted to Pothi.com (and also the adjusted picture used by Pothi.com for cover page printing) does NOT have the purple dots/patches that have spread around the front page cover and back page cover in the attached pics of the one of the copies of the 3 books delivered to me. All the 3 copies have the same problem.

The question for me now is how do we fix this problem for future? These 3 copies are a little embarrassing for me to hand over to others.

I have sought advise from Pothi.com on how to fix the problem. I would be glad to co-operate with Pothi.com to solve the problem. I am prepared to change the title colour from dark red/purple to black if that would help.

Another issue is that the printed ISBN barcode image is somewhat small. So I have prepared a full cover page picture with book title in black (not dark red/purple) colour and larger ISBN barcode image which is given below.


-----

2nd July 2018 update: I received an email today from Pothi.com that the dots problem was due to a one off printing error and that these dots will not come in future prints.

108% Zoomed pdf file of iami1 blog book printed at decent size by Delhi online printer

Today I received a set of 5 iami1 blog books that I had ordered from the Delhi online printer printonweb.in. To overcome the problem of compressed size in his printouts of the blog book (see http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/good-quality-of-printing-and-binding-in.html), I sent a 108% zoomed pdf file of iami1 blog book (see http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/zoomingenlarging-text-content-of-pdf.html) to them.

Given below is first a pic of comparison of previous printed book from Delhi online printer without zoom and then the current printed book, with both of these books being compared against Paperback copy of iami1 blogbook which uses large fonts and is very easily readable.

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]


Above pic: Book on right of pic is Delhi online printer delivered WITHOUT-ZOOM blogbook



Above pic: Book on right of pic is Delhi online printer delivered WITH-108%-ZOOM blogbook

Looking at the top, bottom, right and left margins of the right hand side book in both the pics tells us that the second pic has lesser margins and so bigger text area than the first pic.

Essentially, the 108% zoom pdf does get compressed at printout time by the Delhi online printer but as it is zoomed content to start with, the compression degree is lesser in the final output. So sending the Delhi online printer 108% zoomed A5 size PDF files seems to be a good way of negating their compression of A5 pages in their output.

The pic below shows a Puttaparthi local printer not zoomed (normal size) iami1 blogbook print copy (white spiral binding cord) kept next to and on the left of 108% zoom iami1 blogbook print copy from Delhi online printer (black spiral binding cord).


The left margin for the book on the left is less while the right margin is more. But the text content size seems similar.

Note that A5 size iami1 blog book is printed on laser printers on A4 size pages with each side of A4 size page having two A5 size pages printed on it. These A4 size pages are then cut to make them two A5 size or close to A5 size pages. I think the procedure used by the Puttaparthi local printer to print the A5 book on A4 pages is somewhat different from the Delhi online printer, with the latter using an additional degree of compression of the A5 size text content before printing.

To conclude, the Puttaparthi local printer is able to handle printing of normal size (no zoom) iami1 blogbook of A5 size but the Delhi online printer needs a 108% zoomed pdf file (A5 size) to ensure that text content size does not become compressed and so more difficult to read.






Sunday, June 24, 2018

Catholic priest and ex Vatican diplomat found guilty of possessing child pornography; DW documentary on battle against about child pornography in 2017

Sensitive post; Readers who don't like reading such sensitive stuff may please skip reading this post.

Tragic! Ex Vatican diplomat found guilty of possessing child pornography, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vatican-pornography-trial/ex-vatican-diplomat-found-guilty-of-possessing-child-pornography-idUSKBN1JJ0G1

But good to see that the Vatican took action and jailed the concerned Catholic priest.

Hypocrisy is the issue here - sexual hypocrisy in particular. If he could not keep away from sexual stuff he should have given up his Catholic priesthood, become a layman and then engaged in sexual activities that are legal, and surely kept far away from anything related to sexual activities about children/minors (below 18).

But then perhaps he was unwilling to give up the money & comforts that came from his position as a Catholic priest, and work for a living like any other layman/laywoman. If so, that is really tragic for a person engaged in a spiritual quest as a supposedly celibate Catholic priest.

I wonder whether he has publicly shared his side of the story.
------

The battle against child pornography DW Documentary relating events in 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_TUfQZmKZY, around half an hour. The documentary seems to be from the famous German media house, Deutsche Welle, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Welle.

As an Asian (I am an Indian living in India), I found it very disturbing and distressing to see in this documentary that poor slum children in a Manila, Philippines slum (in 2017) became victims of cyber child pornography with seemingly significant part of the "customers" coming from the Western world. I thank the documentary makers and the German government authorities for their efforts in tackling the "demand" side (in Germany partly, it seems) of the child pornography problem which, partly at least, ends up hurting poor children in Asia.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

List of my first and successful ISBN application related posts

Given below is a list of my first and successful ISBN application related posts:

1) How I was, and continue to be, obliged to make my iami1 wordpress blog book front pages content to be somewhat more in line with regular books, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/05/how-i-was-and-continue-to-be-obliged-to.html, 15th May 2018

2) Have applied for an ISBN for printed iami1 blog book, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/have-applied-for-isbn-for-printed-iami1.html, 1st June 2018

3) Sent isbn.gov.in mail on: Clarifications and questions about my ISBN application 5413|ISBN|2018|A made on 31st May 2018, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/sent-isbngovin-mail-on-clarifications.html, 1st June 2018

4) For self-published author like me who is not interested in earning royalty nor in promotion of book for large sales, is it worth the bother to get ISBN for POD book versions?, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/for-self-published-author-like-me-who.html, 7th June 2018

5) Have released a new version of iami1 blog book (Who am I? I am I – Ultimate Existential Reality Answer ...) with more formal book cover page and Title-Verso pages but without ISBN, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/have-released-new-version-of-iami1-blog.html, 18th June 2018

6) Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality answer ... paperback book allotted ISBN; Have applied for e-book ISBN, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/who-am-i-i-am-i-ultimate-existential.html, 19th June 2018

7) Updated Paperback book files of iami1 blog book with ISBN and submitted to Pothi.com, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/updated-paperback-book-files-of-iami1.html, 20th June 2018

8) Improved upon patchwork in back cover page for ISBN inclusion in iami1 blog book, and resubmitted it to Pothi.com, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/improved-upon-patchwork-in-back-cover.html, 21st June 2018

9) Searching for ISBN 978-93-5311-521-0 allotted to my book 'Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer...' works on isbn.gov.in but not on well known ISBN search sites, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.com/2018/06/searching-for-isbn-978-93-5311-521-0.html, 22nd June 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

Searching for ISBN 978-93-5311-521-0 allotted to my book 'Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer...' works on isbn.gov.in but not on well known ISBN search sites

isbn.gov.in (India's govt. owned ISBN agency website) has a search feature among its "Recently Published Books". Clicking on that link in its home page leads one to: http://isbn.gov.in/Recently_Published_Books.aspx. Note that one does not have to be a registered user (logged in user) to use this search facility on isbn.gov.in.

This page has a search facility. The pic below shows the results obtained on this page on searching by ISBN number allotted to my paperback type/format book "Who am I. I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation": ISBN 978-93-5311-521-0. [Actual printed title has ? instead of first . and so is "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation"]

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]



However ISBN search sites like https://isbnsearch.org, http://www.lookupbyisbn.com, https://www.abebooks.com/books/search-number-code-10-13-digit/ISBN.shtml and https://www.amazon.in/b?ie=UTF8&node=1317801031 do not give successful results for search by ISBN number: 978-93-5311-521-0. So the number seems to not have been added to their databases as yet (and perhaps may not get added in future too).

But Google search for ISBN 978-93-5311-521-0 gives my blog posts that mention this ISBN number as the top results (and, in future, may list this blog post too in its (Google Search) top results).

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Improved upon patchwork in back cover page for ISBN inclusion in iami1 blog book, and resubmitted it to Pothi.com

Got a message today morning from Pothi.com that earlier submission made yesterday had got accepted. Here's the book page link with yesterday submission files: Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation, https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ravi-s-iyer-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science.

Uploaded files today (21st June) to Pothi.com with the following changes:

1) The blue color hyperlink of email in Verso page (page 2 of inner contents pdf) has been changed to normal text. This version upload to Pothi.com did NOT give the converted to grayscale message. I also checked in the preview that the email id is shown as black (NOT grey).

2) Improved upon patchwork done on book back cover page to include ISBN. Extended the pastel background colour into the Author description part and then rewrote Author description ensuring that it did not overwrite ISBN. That pic has been given below:

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]


The new upload has status (Revision under Review) on Pothi.com

In the associated email I wrote to Pothi.com, I wrote, "Sorry about the extra review round work for you folks. I am a newbie in this book publishing area and as I am going the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) free route, I am tripping up here and there, but learning a lot about book publishing in the process. Hopefully that will help me have an easier pathway for future books that I intend to self-publish using Pothi.com's support."
======================================

Update on 21st June 2018 around 3.00 PM

I had submitted the update around 11 AM today. I received a mail from Pothi.com at 2.22 PM that the book is out of review and published on Pothi.com! They also wrote that as the book is not in online distribution I can make multiple changes and that they have no problem in reviewing the changes. That was nice of them.

I wrote back to them (slightly edited):
Great! Appreciate your co-operation on these matters.

Saw that the latest submission of the book has indeed got published on Pothi.com. Ordered 3 copies a few minutes ago. It will be great to see a printed copy of the book with ISBN barcode image at the back! It was a really pleasant surprise for me that I, an individual Indian citizen and author, was allotted an ISBN (without any charge though I would have been willing to pay reasonable charge to RRNA) and have been able to convert that into a barcode image and put it on the back cover page! So I am really looking forward to see my printed book copy with ISBN barcode image at the back. I think ISBN barcode image puts a stamp of authenticity or official recognition on the book and would make it more easy for govt. funded libraries to consider adding it to their library.

Thank you.
-----

Here's the Pothi.com book page link: Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation, https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ravi-s-iyer-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Updated Paperback book files of iami1 blog book with ISBN and submitted to Pothi.com

Today (20th June 2018), I made the following changes made to iami1 blog book (Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer ...) version/dated 20th June 2018, for Paperback type:

1) ISBN 978-93-5311-521-0 has been specified in Verso page.

2) Used 200% Code scale in https://www.free-barcode-generator.net/isbn/ with all other parameters having default values to generate barcode image.

3) Book back cover page picture was modified to include ISBN barcode image. That necessitated increasing pastel background colour into the bottom of the back page picture overwriting few last words of previous back cover page text. Added the "For at cost printed book and free e-book visit iami1.wordpress.com" in black colour to left of ISBN barcode image.

4) Specified ISBN in Pothi.com book details page.

The book is now shown with status as Revision under Review in Pothi.com.

Given below are pics of the updated full cover page and the Verso page:

[To open pic in higher resolution, right-click on pic followed by open in new tab/window. In new tab/window you may have to click on pic to zoom in.]



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality answer ... paperback book allotted ISBN; Have applied for e-book ISBN

Last updated on 20th June 2018

Today (19th June 2018) when I checked the status of my ISBN application on isbn.gov.in, I was pleasantly surprised to see that an ISBN number: 978-93-5311-521-0 had been allotted to Papeback (Print-On-Demand) book type of my book, "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" (iami1 blogbook).

The issue of title in ISBN not having ? character (it is replaced by .), remains. So the title in the ISBN appl. is "Who am I. I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" whereas the actual book title is "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation".

isbn.gov.in did not respond to my email to them dated June 13th 2018, about whether this minor discrepancy (due to isbn.gov.in web page not allowing ? character in title field) is OK with them.

The question for me was to decide whether I should go ahead and use the allotted ISBN number for the paperback (POD) book (and so modify the back cover page as well as the Title-Verso page of inner contents pdf) even though there is this minor discrepancy.

Some additional info. that helped me decide is given below:

This book, https://www.amazon.com/Who-Am-If-How-Many/dp/0385531184, has a cover page title of "Who am I? And If So, How Many?". The author is Richard David Precht. And the book type is Paperback.

The ISBN-13 is listed as: 978-0385531184

Clicking on the book cover image opens up a preview window where one can read the Title-Verso pages.

The Title page has the same title, "Who am I? And If So, How Many?"

The Verso page refers to the title as "Who am I?-And If So, How Many?"

The book (an English translation of an original German langauge book) is published in the USA by Spiegel & Grau which is an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. The publication year seems to be 2011, and the edition is "First U.S. Edition".

Looking up the above ISBN in https://isbnsearch.org gives the title as "Who Am I?: And If So, How Many?"

Using https://www.abebooks.com/books/search-number-code-10-13-digit/ISBN.shtml for ISBN search for the same ISBN number gives the title as the same "Who Am I?: And If So, How Many?"

Now this shows a minor inconsistency of additional : (colon) character in ISBN title as compared to book cover page title as well as book Title page title.

Given that this minor discrepancy related to punctuation character appears in a book published in 2011 by a famous USA publisher, Random House Publishing, I think that the minor discrepancy between my ISBN application (and so database) book title and actual cover page and Title page book title, should be fine. ISBN title is "Who am I. I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" whereas the actual book title (front cover page and Title page) is "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation". The discrepancy is only of one character - a period . character in ISBN book title whereas actual book title has ? character. And this discrepancy was forced on me due to isbn.gov.in not allowing ? character in the title field of their webpage form for ISBN application.

So I am all set to go ahead with using this ISBN number for my paperback type book. I have sought the view of Pothi.com before I go ahead and make the changes to the book.

To generate the ISBN bar code which is to be put on the back cover page, I intend to use (have used) https://www.free-barcode-generator.net/isbn/. I have attached the generated barcode below. I need to find out whether this barcode is OK? And whether the size of the barcode pic - 0.85 inch x 0.67 inch - is fine for pasting onto bottom right part of cover backpage?



To check that the barcode alone gets recognized correctly as an ISBN number, I created another pic with only the barcode without any ISBN number text above and below the barcode. That pic is given below.



Then I used this free online barcode reader application: https://online-barcode-reader.inliteresearch.com/ to read the above barcode only pic and arrive at the ISBN number. It did that successfully giving the correct ISBN number of: 9789353115210.

Pothi.com already has the 17th June 2018 updated release for the paperback book (that got accepted today evening). Here's the link: https://pothi.com/pothi/book/ravi-s-iyer-ultimate-existential-reality-answer-vedanta-god-and-science.
-----

Today evening I also applied for an ISBN at isbn.gov.in for the e-book corresponding to the paperback book. It would have been better if I had specified need for an ISBN for paperback and for e-book in my first application itself. But I was new to the ISBN application process then and so wanted to first concentrate only on ISBN for paperback book.
==================================================

20th June 2018 Update

Pothi.com was OK with the ISBN minor title discrepancy issue (. character instead of ? in one place only). About the barcode image: Pothi.com informed me that as long as it is legible on the (back) cover page, it would not be a problem.

I plan to work on update of the files to incorporate ISBN and then submit the updated files to Pothi.com for the paperback (Print-On-Demand) version of the book.
-----

An Indian correspondent (IC) who is a self-publishing author wrote (and was OK with public sharing):
An achievement! Most self-publishing authors give up on getting an ISBN.
----

I (Ravi) responded (slighly edited):
Oh! I was not aware that most/many self-publishing authors give up on getting an ISBN. It did seem a Himalayan task for me too, especially with the Title length and ? character in title issue I had with the web application form. But I persevered and it worked out eventually without too much of a hassle though it did take close to 3 weeks (from 31st May application date to 19th June ISBN allotment) to first get approved as an author (as I had registered with them for the first time) and then get approval for the ISBN application. I think I should put up a post explaining the ISBN application process at isbn.gov.in, from the perspective of an applicant like me which is a different perspective from that of the user manual provided by isbn.gov.in for the application process, for the benefit of self-publishing authors who don't know how to go about it and feel intimidated by the process (like I felt intimidated when I started with the process).
----

IC wrote:
You have now been through all the steps in self-publishing a book. I wonder if you would consider posting a sort of condensed 'manual' (in many parts) of each of the decision points in the process: choosing whether and how to self-publish (completely self done, using a printer-publisher, using Amazon etc.), what different publisher-printers offer, how to get copyright, how to get an ISBN etc. It would be of great help to others embarking on the same path.
----

Ravi wrote (slightly edited):
I had planned to put up an index post after I finish the process of including ISBN in the POD version book as well as e-book (I have just applied for e-book ISBN and so it may be two weeks before I get the ebook ISBN). This index post would list all the posts that I have put up capturing the process I went through to convert my free blog to a proper blogbook with ISBN, both Print-On-Demand (priced at cost) version as well as e-book version (free), that were self-published using support services of Pothi.com (free service for the option that I chose), with the e-book getting put up at noted free e-book sites of archive.org, Open Library (openlibrary.org), Project Gutenberg (self.gutenberg.org) and free-ebooks.net. [The e-book is also available at Pothi.com.]The Open Library book entry found its way, without any effort from my part, into the trove section of the National Library of Australia!

Note that ISBN is available for free for Indian citizens with PAN card (Indian Income Tax Payer card) and Aadhar card (a photo identification and address proof card in India with a unique number assigned to each Indian citizen).

Based on your input, I will consider adding summaries to the index post, where appropriate. I don't want to spend too much time on these summaries. But I will try to quickly and tersely capture main points.

Free ebook(s) put up on leading free ebook sites mentioned earlier, seems to be a very powerful way of making one's views, findings, thoughts & ideas easily available on the Internet! It also adds to book name and author name recognition in Google search (and other search engines too, I guess).

Some Google search results info. from tests I did just now:

Google search (in incognito window to remove/reduce search result bias for my google id) for:
Ultimate existential reality answer
gives my book as the top 3 results (pothi.com and free-ebooks.net). Note that this search string was part of the earlier title in pothi.com POD book

Google search (in incognito window to remove/reduce search result bias for my google id) for:
Who am I? I am I - Ultimate existential reality answer
gives my book as all the first ten results (archive.org, pothi.com, self.gutenberg.org, trove.nla.gov.au, iami1.wordpress.com, free-ebooks.net, ravisiyer.blogspot.com). Note that this search string is (and has been) part of the title in archive.org, gutenberg.org and openlibrary.org (trove.nla.gov.au picked it up from openlibrary.org)

Google search (in incognito window to remove/reduce search result bias for my google id) for:
Ravi S. Iyer book author
gives this book as some of the top results (with some results pointing to other posts on my blogs)
----

Monday, June 18, 2018

Have released a new version of iami1 blog book (Who am I? I am I – Ultimate Existential Reality Answer ...) with more formal book cover page and Title-Verso pages but without ISBN

Last updated on 22nd June 2018

After my ISBN application 5413|ISBN|2018|A for the Paperback version of iami1 blog book, was approved on 12th June 2018 (after I uploaded a clearer picture of my PAN card in response to a clarification sought status message), (on the same day itself, if I recall correctly), the application status on isbn.gov.in and an email from isbn.gov.in informed me that (1) ISBN was reserved, and the application status prompted me to fill Title Details related to it.

I filled that up in the evening/night of 12th June 2018, and submitted it on the isbn.gov.in website. The status for the "Add Title Detail of the books for which ISBN IS required" then showed as Submitted.

As of 22nd June 2018, they have not responded so far to my mail to them dated 13th June 2018 on the issue of my proposed actual book title being "Who am I? I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation" but due to the isbn.gov.in web form not allowing ? character in title field, the application form having title, "Who am I. I am I - Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation". I specifically asked/wrote them in the mail, "I hope this minor inconsistency (due to ? character not being allowed in Title field of isbn.gov.in application form) is acceptable to your esteemed agency (isbn.gov.in/ Raja Ram Mohun Roy National Agency for ISBN)."

So there is uncertainty both in when (and if) I will get the ISBN number for this Paperback (POD) book, and whether, if & when I get the number, I can use that number if the ? character issue remains unresolved.

Given this uncertainty, I decided to issue an update to my book on my iami1.wordpress.com blog with only the ISBN number not being specified. I have also updated the associated ebook. Here's the associated download page: https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/

Given below are modified extracts (with link address in text) of https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/ related to this update:

E-Book Version Download

Download E-book, https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/20180617-noisbn-ebook-notprint-colourcover-bw-a5-who-am-i-i-am-i-n-god-n-science.pdf, (125 pages of A5 size)

Paper Book Version (Document) Download

Download Inner contents document, https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/20180617-noisbn-bw-a5-who-am-i-i-am-i-n-god-n-science.pdf, (123 pages of A5 size)

Download Cover Front Page ONLY picture, https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/20180617-frontcover-final.jpg (18.21″ x 25.83″, 96 DPI, 1748 x 2480 pixels; suitable for A5 size page after compression)

Download Cover Back Page ONLY picture, https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/20180617-backpagepic-1762x2481.jpg, (5.87″ x 8.27″, 300 DPI, 1762 x 2481 pixels; suitable for A5 size page)

Download Full Cover (Back-page+Spine+Front-page) picture,  https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/20180617-fullcoverpic-final-3570x2481.jpg, (11.90″ x 8.27″, 300 DPI, 3570 x 2481 pixels)

...

Changes made in blog book version/date 17th June 2018 on earlier blog book version/date 26th April 2018:

1) Title changed in front cover page as well as in Title-Verso page to “Who am I? I am I – Ultimate Existential Reality Answer; Vedanta; God and Science conversation”

2) Front Cover page text changed additionally to remove earlier descriptive text and have mainly above title with sub-title of iami1.wordpress.com blog book as well as author name and some other info.

3) Title-Verso pages (Pages 1 and 2 of inner content) revamped in a big way to become more in line with regular books, and meeting requirements for ISBN application. Note that I have applied for ISBN only for printed book version as of now (17th June 2018), and am yet to receive it.

4) Minor grammatical/spelling error type changes.

5) Added “For at cost printed book and free e-book visit iami1.wordpress.com” to back cover page right bottom corner.

--- end extracts from https://iami1.wordpress.com/consolidated-blog-content-document/ ---

Note that I have NOT mentioned the price of the book on either the cover pages or in the inside contents, based on previous discussions on the price issue with Pothi.com.

I also felt it appropriate to direct readers who want to buy the printed book copy (see point 5 above) to my blog from where I direct them to Pothi.com webstore for buying POD Paperback/SoftCover copy. So Pothi.com is not mentioned anywhere on the book, either in the inner contents or on the cover pages. I think this makes it better and safer from a legal angle both for Pothi.com and for me. Essentially, I am the publisher and author and take complete responsibility for the book contents including cover pages, and so any legal issues associated with the book should come directly to me and me alone. Of course, I have taken great precautions to conform to Indian laws, in particular those related to copyright and defamation, to the best of my knowledge and ability, while creating the content of this POD book (and associated e-book), and so I don't think there will be any legal issues associated with this book.

I have requested Pothi.com to have an overview look at the updated files, given above, for my POD book - in particular, the cover pages and the Title-Verso pages (page 1 & 2 of inner content) - and let me know whether they are fine with my plan to update my Pothi.com POD book with these files.

Once the POD book entry is updated, I plan then to go ahead and update the e-book entry for the same book on Pothi.com as well with the updated e-book download file whose link is given earlier in this post.

After that is done then I intend to update the e-book file and book details on the following free e-book sites:

* archive.org:  https://archive.org/details/20180424EbookNotPrintColourCoverBWContentsA5WhoAmIIAmINGodNScience

* Open Library:   https://openlibrary.org/books/OL26445400M/Who_am_I_I_am_I_-_Ultimate_Existential_Reality_Answer_Vedanta_God_and_Science_conversation

* Project Gutenberg: http://self.gutenberg.org/eBooks/WPLBN0100002977-Who-am-I-I-am-I--Ultimate-Existential-Reality-Answer-Vedanta-God-and-Science-Conversation-by-Iyer-Ravi-S-.aspx