Conversion of paper documents or books to ePuB format can seem to be an easy process, but in reality, is quite challenging. Software cannot provide all the required results even for books with simple text, no tables, and no graphs. Most content is not easily extractable and often lacks the details needed for full conversion. Much would need to be corrected and inferred based on the content.
For example, in case of PDF conversion, extracting content is rather a difficult process, as it is a less structured version of the original word-processor. Moreover, it contains a few clues about the functioning of text elements such as paragraphs, spaces, and line breaks and how they would be displayed in different contexts. Even with advanced tools and techniques, we cannot predict the time needed for automated conversion.
Factors that Determine an Automated Conversion
Complexity of the Source File: Complexity of the document or books in printed format determines the time needed for conversion. Complexity refers to the number of complex elements that need to be converted and reconfigured to make it readable on devices such as smartphones, tablets and ebook readers.
Format of the Source File: Whether converting from paper or from electronic files, problems can be expected. PDF is the common type of source file, but come in different types and some are better sources than others. Here are the common issues associated with source files:
- Digitization of paper documents is costly as proofreading is necessary to ensure the accuracy of the file.
- PDF conversion comes with problems such as word spacing, paragraph delineation, hyphens, emphasis, and special characters.
Conversion Software: Conversion will be tough if the selected software is not in tune with your content. The software has to be tuned to the content to be converted.
Actually, writers are the source of many conversion challenges, though they do not create problems intentionally. They are not aware of how their actions can create conversion problems. It is about to the converter to choose the best approach. These actions need to be performed:
- First, the content has to be manual cleansed.
- Use commercial conversion software and if any issues arises, go back to the original page and modify it to work according to software expectations.
- A third approach is to select a reliable document conversion company and seek their services. If they use flexible document software, you can be sure of a customized solution.
Clean Up and Review
If the conversion process has been done efficiently, the review can be completed quickly. On the other hand, if the conversion process is rough, it will take a long time to find and fix things.
The aim of the review should be not just to correct errors, but to make sure everything has worked well. It is not just about comparing the original copy with the final result, but seeing whether the changes made are appropriate to the context. For example, in e-book conversion, the source file or text file has to be repositioned to support device screen size and orientation. So the reviewer should know about to what to check for and what to ignore.