With the digitalization of the publishing world, eBooks have gained much popularity.  eBooks have not only replaced paper-based books but have added a whole new dimension to reading. The electronic format has attracted avid readers as it can be accessed anytime, anywhere on several electronic devices, including smartphones, tabs, etc. They are far more entertaining than their paper-based counterparts as some ebooks are rich in multimedia content like images, animations, graphics, etc., making reading enticing.

Since the demand for eBooks is reaching an all-time high, the need for eBook conversion services is also upsurging. It is simply because converting manuscripts or physical books into professionally designed eBooks compatible with several platforms is a very technical, tricky, and time-consuming process that requires professional expertise. 

Authors and publishers can effectively leverage this booming market by availing services of expert eBook conversion companies, who can optimally develop or transform their physical books into digital/analog versions.

Read further to know everything that matters when it comes to converting your book to eBook:

What is eBook Conversion?

ebook conversion

As mentioned earlier, digital platforms have transformed our reading experience, making eBook conversion an industry standard. Therefore, eBook Convers+ion Services must ensure that when they convert to eBook, it should be compatible with major eReading devices that can be sold on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and so on head honchos in this industry. 

So now that you have understood what is ebook conversion all about, let us know some pros and cons that go with it:

  • Ebooks are way too convenient for both the readers and authors/publishers. Readers benefit significantly from this form of reading as it is a great space saver. You can store thousands of books in one device without going through the trouble of physically carrying the books. Also, book owners can integrate updates and content without too much trouble. But, unlike paper books, ebooks are easily prone to becoming victims of piracy.
  • The popularity of ebooks has skyrocketed; to stay put in the market, it is important for authors to stick to both formats (digital and physical). It is also pivotal for authors to successfully convert their ebooks to different formats (not all formats fit each device) to be compatible across several reading devices, making them popular among e-readers and thus giving your book more visibility. 
  • eBooks have excellent features such as read-aloud, which can be a great boon for the visually impaired. In addition, customized layouts with interactive and engaging content deliver an immersive reading experience.
  • Lastly, it is cost-effective and eco-friendly, saving tons of paper that go into manufacturing paper books.

What Are Some Common Challenges During eBook Conversion?

Like most good things, you may encounter a few complications with ebook conversions. But the good news is that typical challenges can be overcome with a little more thought and effort. And if you choose to work with reliable ebook conversion companies, you can expect them to tackle any technical or linguistic complexity proficiently and with ease.

Let’s look at a few challenges in detail

Format Types And RTL Languages

The language type and format are two major factors determining the complexity of the eBook conversion and translation project. The length of the project and the level of expertise that will be needed depends if the project starts from a Word Document, scannable PDF, or InDesign Format.

Besides the format type, the language type also shares its role in adding complexities. Languages such as Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic have written Right to Left (RTL Languages) and will demand additional formatting if appropriate tools are not used. Although bidirectional issues could be fixed using some regular expressions, applying them globally is not reasonably possible. Hiring professional DTP experts for ebook conversions is an apt solution to deal with these glitches. 

The Source Content Quality

The quality of the source content can present an additional challenge regarding ebook conversions. Ebook conversion companies have to put in extra time and effort to convert a book to an ebook if the source is faded or blurry, contains text in multiple languages, incorporates intricate fonts or distorted images,

When you want to scan content from older sources, there is a need for special scanning equipment and expertise to deliver high-quality digital files. A special team of experts, including conversion experts and linguists, should be put together to achieve good results with books that do not lay flat when opened, have damaged or missing text, have brittle pages, or have tight bindings that hinder viewing the content in the gutter. These problems that surface while scanning printed material can be resolved but require a different approach.

Human intervention is a must when processing scanned documents or books with OCR content. How does this work?

  • Analyze the document and identify the textual areas.
  • With the help of an OCR-Tool, select some predefined settings to determine the outcome of your document.
  • Native linguists/proofreaders will identify corrupted characters or missing words that are not extracted in the OCR outcome.
  • They will compare the original text against the OCR outcome and weed out any issues, ensuring that the content is error-free and perfectly similar to the source content.

Material Variety, Complexity, And Scale

When ebook conversion services have to convert a large quantity of content with a lot of variety, they find it far more arduous than converting the same amount of similar content. It is because the ebook conversion process’s complexity, variety, and scale depend on factors such as images, formatted text boxes, ordered/ unordered lists, footnotes, endnotes, columns, content in margins, etc.

Obviously, it is crystal clear that for every new content type, technology will have to be configured, the workforce will require training, and the workflow too may alter.  Also, a synchronized effort between technological and linguistic expertise becomes more vital. On the other hand, working with source material that is similar makes the conversion process far easier and faster as the people working on it tend to become familiar.

Accessibility

The Section 508 refresh, an important part of the recent international regulations, has made ebook formatting services and publishers rethink accessibility. Working on the accessibility of ebooks, right from the start, eBooks should be accessible, and making sure they are from the start eliminates the need to incur costly edits down the line. Additionally, the more accessible the ebook, the more the general usability for consumers will be. Ebook conversion companies currently use HTML coding to enable accessibility, but to do this successfully, proper authority is needed. A high level of expertise is required to ensure that Web PDF, MOBI files, EPUB, etc., have all the required accessibility features.

For those already applying the XML-first workflow,  supplementing HTML with the application of the necessary structural semantics in the WAI-ARIA specification (Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications) should not be a cumbersome task. 

Why is Desktop Publishing an Important Part of eBook Conversion?

Can ebooks sell simply with good content? Not possible. Looks are equally important as substance. During the ebook conversion process, ebook formatting services will need to give the same amount of attention to the formatting as the actual content. Who better than the DTP (Desktop Publishing Experts) to do the job right.

By enhancing the presentation and formatting of your visual features, the DTP experts can change the ball game. Besides making your ebook visually appealing to local audiences, DTP experts ensure formatting bugs are fixed. For instance, if you wish to convert a formal document, the DTP team must ensure that your document format is exactly the same when translated.

DTP professionals respect every minute detail of a product, addressing cultural variances that might restrict the visual potency of your content in the global market. In addition, they are highly specialized in formatting complex languages and characters.

Conclusion

eBook conversion and translation is an amalgamation of technical, linguistic, and visual skills and is best handled by ebook conversion companies that can provide all the services under one roof. We do not deny that along the way; specific challenges may rear their head. Still, with the right expertise, it is always possible to adopt customizable solutions to solve the problem.

Our Alpha eBook team comprises linguists, DTP experts, and all those specializing in eBook conversion and translation. With our customizable solutions and years of experience, we can develop multi-media-rich content that can help increase your online presence and reach out to more people. We would love an opportunity to serve you!