eBook Publishing Process is a Joint Effort Of Vendors & Publishers

Remember the days when books were just blocks of paper, typesetting meant just typing, and getting your manuscript to a book involved services of multiple specialists? Well, I can’t!

Digital technology beckons publishing processes to become more integrated. When the author does the typing, it’s not just a paperback in the end, but an ever-expanding set of digital products. These digital products now go through a series of transformations and minor tweaks, which is achieved by different players. Who are these middlemen? They are the digital conversion experts! Print publishing differs largely from digital publishing.

Initially, most digital publications were produced post-print. The publisher used to forward the final print of PDF file to a ebook conversion services, which in turn converted it to the digital format. The digital format was usually for three purposes — a PDF optimized for the web, an ePub compatible with all devices, and a Mobi file for Kindle.

Those who provide conversion services also help in prepress, typesetting, and at times editorial and management services. They can even assist the publishers with some technological and organizational changes. During the digital revolution, vendors knew the crux of the conversion process. The publishers just went with it. This led them to lose control of the main part of publishing an eBook (conversion). They just received some XML file from the vendors and started outsourcing things that might be better kept in-house.

But the readers aren’t happy with the content that publishers are publishing. So what’s the problem?

Did the vendors deceive publishers? No!

The problem is that the publishers treated their vendor carelessly. They bid to a couple of vendors and picked the cheapest one. They just wanted any one of the file formats- XML, ePub.

What’s the new change?

It has dawned on publishers that they need to be true partners of vendors. They need to work together and figure out who does what. And most importantly, they have realized that they need to listen to the vendor.

It is plain knowledge that vendors are still more experienced than publishers. But this has started changing fast. Publishers have released that their workforce needs to know their work even if they don’t do it. And the publisher needs to take responsibility of the specs. And vendor needs to meet the quality requirements.

Partnership is a healthy. Be it in case of two companies or between the publisher and the vendor.