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Digital conversion services

MAP Systems, among the leading service providers in India, offer premium quality services in eBook conversion, graphic designing, photo editing, digital prepress and 3d services for various entities worldwide.

Top 5 eBook Conversion Issues and Ways to Resolve Them

You can now convert backlist titles to popular eBook formats with relative ease. However, some problems may still be encountered. Mostly, you would come across 5 different types of complications. Solutions are available for them as discussed in this post.  


The eBook conversion technology has advanced a lot. This is the reason why majority of publishers are getting the backlist titles updated. The process has become cost-efficient and more streamlined than earlier.


The backlists which have been published on word processors during the time frame of 1970 to 1990 can be converted directly. With OCR software, you can accomplish highest possible accuracy for such titles if the source files are of good quality. But, complications may sometimes show up. Suppose, the source files have not been preserved in high quality or the titles carries complex equations. However, you can overcome such challenges strategically although more efforts and planning would be required.


The common challenges that you would come across during conversion of eBook file format from print-only or legacy pdf modes are discussed below.


Quality of Source Content


If the source content is not of higher quality, problems arise during conversion. Some problems include faded source content, presence of difficult or rare fonts, presence of different languages and warped pictures. Conversion process becomes difficult.


Source content from older files may require specialized scanning devices. Also, expertise matters during creation of superior quality digital files. Some books which cannot be laid flat upon opening may contain fragile pages. The bindings can also be tight which may be preventing the content to be viewed.  For achieving best result, collaboration is needed between the conversion experts, publisher, book preserver and librarian. Also, there is the possibility that the book may be damaged or some text is missing. During scanning of the textual content, proper care has to be taken.


Type and Scale of Content


It is really difficult to convert material with significant amount of variety. Content which is similar to a great extent is easier to convert. Technology has to be configured for different specifications. Since workflow would also vary, proper training has to be imparted to concerned persons.If the source material contains content that is relatively matching, the process of conversion becomes quicker and simpler. As familiarity of people undertaking the conversion grows with the content, efficiency of processes increases.A boilerplate solution cannot be applied for all conversion related problems. The order of content conversion has to be prioritized at the beginning of the project. Entrusting conversion to an expert who can flexibly and creatively work out process efficiencies which would resolve problems faster is important.


Content is Handwritten


Despite the advancement in OCR technology, challenges are experienced for content that is handwritten. Even human eyes find some types of handwriting hard to recognize. There are some OCR packages which claim that handwritten content of any type can be converted. However, the accuracy level may be questionable.


In older texts which carry difficult or damaged or poorly written content, OCR technology may not function properly. Accurate conversion of handwritten content to digital can be best done with the keying as well as proofreading methods. Although more efforts have to be put in the accuracy level and reading experience are better.


Content accessibility Issues


Publishers are talking more about accessibility issues due to the imposition of new regulations internationally and Section 508 refreshing issues. As eBook conversion services make the eBooks accessible once they are developed, the requirement for expensive rework at another level is eliminated. The eBook also becomes useful for all intended audiences.


HTML scripting which facilitates accessibility is already being used by outsourcing partners and publishers. The fact is that it should be done correctly. Proper expertise is needed to ensure that accessibility features are working properly for different file types like pdf for web, ePub, Mobi etc.


The aforesaid calls for complementing code in HTML with comprehensive WAI-ARIA specification adhering structural semantics. WAI-ARIA stands for Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications. If the workflow is xml conversion based, significant amount of work would not be involved.


Handling equations and mathematics


If the content contains mathematical symbols and equation, conversion and subsequent distribution can be challenging. Coding is not a problem thanks to MathML which represents most mathematical representations.


MathML is rendered by various distribution platforms in a different manner. The outcome may not be attractive always. This is the reason why MathML is commonly not included in the final publication although it may have existed in previous versions. This problem is being solved collectively by the industry. A solution would help to get over accessibility issues as accurate MathML is needed for publications that are accessible.


Some challenges are commonly experienced when pdf to eBook conversion is done at a large scale. With creativity and proper insights into the process, the problems can be solved.


It is advisable to entrust the eBook conversion process to expert companies that have been doing this for many years.