With the rising popularity of electronic reading, many authors and publishers are striving to provide users a quality e-book experience, while managing costs and adhering to standards. When it comes to electronic publications, quality assurance is undoubtedly the most important factor.
Quality Issues in Ebook Conversion
Common quality issues relate to
- Missing words or the use of unaffiliated terms
- Entire sentences replaced with phrases that do not make sense
- Disappearance of charts and graphic
- Formatting changes
- Change in font type and size
- Typographical artifacts
- Unsightly indentation
- Hyphenated headers, and more
All of these errors spoil the reading experience. What is especially disconcerting is that they are preventable.
Results of DCL and Bowker 2014 Digital Publishing Survey
The demand for e-books has increased with improved accessibility through mobile devices and e-readers. According to a new survey on the trends in the digital publishing industry, 84 percent of the respondents said they are planning to publish digitally in 2014, an increase of 21 percent over the previous year. Also, 52% of the respondents stated that the quality of book to e-book conversion was the major concern.
The main participants in the survey included print and digital auditors, small publishers, digital authors, print authors, medium sized publishers and major publishers. Factors evaluated were:
- Whether the respondents have published electronically in the past
- Whether they have plans to publish digitally by 2014
- Kind of e-books they plan to publish
- Whether they have previously distributed their e-books
- Which e-reader (Sony, Amazon Kindle, Noble Nook, iPad) they are planning to convert for or have previously converted for
- The format of e-reader (EPUB, MOBI, HTML5, etc) they are planning to convert for or they have previously converted for
- Which aspects of digital conversion are they most concerned about
- Importance of editing or copyediting for e-books
- How they rate the quality of ebooks they have read
- Whether they thought that quality affects the sales of ebooks
- How they ensured that their content is error free?
- The method used to convert their content – on their own, in-house, or e-book conversion services?
As per the survey, around 63.26% of the respondents had published electronically in the past, with the remaining 36.74% never having published in digital format. As for the format they wished to convert to, E-Pub got the most votes – 46.51%.
Publishers cited retaining formatting and quality as the top two factors in the digital conversion process that they were the most concerned about. It’s obvious that they need to choose their document conversion service provider with care to improve quality control and workflow and meet customer expectations.