To be helpful, the steps of converting a print book to ebook are thus:
- Scan the print book, which can either be done:
- More affordably, by breaking the book and ripping off the spine, or,
- More expensively, by keeping the book and spine intact (usually an additional $0.15/page)
- The average price for scanning alone in the US ranges from $0.40/page to $1.25 page for plain text; highly-formatted text (like a medical or financial textbook, as an example) will run more.
- Then the scan has to be run through OCR (Optical Character Recognition), which turns the scan into actual, digitized text. The charge for this varies, but is usually included in whatever price you are quoted in Step #1.
- The resulting files--should be in Word and in POD PDF format--have to be proofed.
- The average price for proofing runs approximately $1/page, or at least $10-$15/hour for 8-10 pages/hour.
- Once the files are proofed, the author/publisher should review them (if the proofing was sub-contracted out), and approve them, ready-for-ebook-conversion.
- We then take the finalized Word/PDF file from the OCR'd, scanned book and begin the process of conversion, which runs approximately like this:
- We export/extract all the html from the Word book/ms/document;
- We clean up the code, which is always poor quality from scanning services (no fault of theirs);
- We place the properly-coded text into xhtml, which creates an epub, which is one type of ebook format;
- We send you that epub for review, along with Proof sheets;
- You review the ebook and return it to us with whatever corrections are needed;
- We then make those corrections, and return the revised epub to you for approval;
- You approve it, and we then,
- Export that xhtml from within that epub, convert it into html, "downcode" it to suit the Kindle device, and make a
- Kindle book, which we send to you for review and approval, and repeat steps 5-7 if necessary, although that's rare.
And that's it. The whole process. It takes a while to do everything--usually the proofing by the author-publisher in Steps 4 and 5.5 take the longest--but for authors with an established fanbase and backlist, it's well worth doing.