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Reality Check: What to Expect from an Automated Conversion to eBook
 

Reality Check: What to Expect from an Automated Conversion to eBook

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This presentation reviews what an automated approach can (and can’t) do, issues that are best dealt with preconversion, and issues that are best dealt with postconversion. It covers some of the ...

This presentation reviews what an automated approach can (and can’t) do, issues that are best dealt with preconversion, and issues that are best dealt with postconversion. It covers some of the specific problems encountered when converting to EPUB & MOBI from different source types; the limitations of automated conversion as well as a suggested approach; the difference between EPUB & MOBI and their supported devices; and important things to keep in mind for special content. Learn about the kinds of things that should be considered in advance, and the kinds of preparations you can make in order to manage the changeover process easier with no surprises.

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    Reality Check: What to Expect from an Automated Conversion to eBook Reality Check: What to Expect from an Automated Conversion to eBook Presentation Transcript

    • Reality Check What to expect from automated conversion to eBook Mark GrossJune 25, 2008
    • About this Presentation • Recent eBook survey results • A very quick intro to eBooks • Conversions from HTML & PDF • Limitations of automated conversions • A suggested approach • Things to keep in mind with special content 2
    • About Us • Providing publishing and XML-related services for 30 years, successfully converting over a billion pages • Privately held woman-owned small business headquartered in New York City • Expertise in large complex conversion projects • Substantial experience in managing multiple vendors for large-scale projects, with automated tracking and reporting of data throughout • Sophisticated quality control workflow with both automated and human quality control steps to guarantee accuracy • Publish a monthly newsletter devoted to SGML/XML and Electronic Publishing topics with a subscriber base of over 7,000 • Wrote the data conversion chapters in The XML Handbook and the Columbia guide to Digital Publishing 3
    • Highlights From Our Recent eBook Survey • Majority (63%) said the next book they publish will be an eBook • Accuracy is the top issue, rather than cost and turnaround time • Not just novels - 75% are planning eBooks for complex books • iPad and kindle users lead (44% & 36%), with others far behind • Most want their books to work on everything – ePub, kindle, and more • Most respondents (65%) are currently earning money from eBooks 4
    • Very Quick Introduction to eBooks • ePub is the emerging standard used for most eReaders • Mobi is also a large player, but proprietary to Amazon Kindle • ePub is evolving • ePub is supported differently by different eReaders • eBooks are publications and need care in their production • There are no “Silver Bullets” 5
    • Things to Keep in Mind When Converting from HTML • Smaller screen size • Large tables may not fit • Not all Character Sets supported by all devices • MathML not supported very often 6
    • Some Things to Keep in Mind When Converting from PDF •• Page layout concept• More than one column• Index – is linking necessary?• Objects mid-paragraph 7
    • Handling of Objects Mid-Paragraph Converting directly may lead to problems … 8
    • What Happens in an Automated PDF Conversion 9
    • Source Document 10
    • Product #1 Automated Conversion Output • Chapter header found mid paragraph • Paragraph breaks do not match source • Multiple links to the same chapter heading • Lots of extraneous data • Emphasis not retained 11
    • Product #2 Automated Conversion Output • Missing random characters "ex" vs. "exact” • Footnote Linking Character captured as plain text • Emphasis not retained • Indented formatting not retained 12
    • Product #3 Automated Conversion Output • Extra spaces around punctuation • Missing spaces between words 13
    • Product #3 (cont’d) • PDF repeating header captured as plain • Merged paragraphs text repeatedly • Unnecessary hyphens 14
    • Approach to Converting PDF to an eBook 1 2 3 Log and Zoning and Image Review Text Cropping Materials Extraction 6 5 4 Convert to Styling / Proofreading / HTML Pre-Tagging Clean-up 7 8 9 Edit CSS ePub Based on Look Validate Creation of Source 12 11 10 Final Quality View Final Delivery Control 15
    • Intermediary Word Document (after pre-tagging and cleanup) 16
    • Final ePub Output 17
    • Tools for ePub Validation ePubCheck – validates against ePub standard code.google.com/p/epubcheck ePubPreflight – checks for device-specific issues threepress.org/document/epub-validate 18
    • Things to Keep in Mind with Special Content 19
    • Math as Images – Changing Font Size Doesn’t Change Images 20
    • Unicode Symbols Will Adjust with the Font Size Change 21
    • Large Tables Table as Text (searchable but cut off) Table as Image 22
    • When Layout Matters Testing Materials Poetry 23
    • When Layout Matters (cont’d) Letter Recipe 24
    • Things to Keep in Mind when Converting for Kindle 25
    • Some Notes on the Kindle Traditional Kindle • Designed for reading long documents • Designed for simplicity • Has some features that others don’t • But also missing some features that others have • Therefore, need to design the conversion differently Kindle Fire • Supports the KF8 format, allowing for more styling, the Float CSS style, Drop caps and some HTML5 tagging • However, new features are not backwards compatible 26
    • Glossary Definitions iPad screenshot Kindle screenshot 27
    • Use of CSS “Float” Style iPad screenshot Kindle screenshot 28
    • Use of Borders iPad screenshot Kindle screenshot 29
    • Color/Spanning/Large Tables iPad screenshot Kindle screenshot 30
    • Importance of Viewing on the Actual Device Actual Kindle Device Kindle for PC 31
    • Importance of Viewing on the Actual Device (cont’d) Actual Kindle Device Kindle for PC 32
    • What We Learned • For most materials, automated conversion isn’t ready for primetime • Since different devices render differently, multiple outputs are recommended • Special content requires special attention • Review your converted content on it’s intended device • It’s your book – it’s worth the effort to make it come out right! 33
    • Questions... & Answers Data Conversion Laboratory Mark Gross, President 61-18 190th St., 2nd Floor mgross@dclab.com Fresh Meadows, NY 11365 718-307-5711 Telephone: (718) 357-8700 Fax: (718) 357-8776 Web: http://www.dclab.com 34