As the Department of Justice faces off with the major publishers and Apple, I want to offer up a simple statement that likely contradicts what most readers believe: Making e-books is harder than it looks.
As a literary agent, I fell victim to the same false conclusions I
think most readers do, that e-books are easily produced from paper
books. But that's not quite true. For older books, publishers didn't own
the typesetting file (the typesetter did) and those files were not
usually maintained forever. So publishers often have to physically take
an old book and have it scanned and then converted using OCR -- optical
character recognition -- which is far from perfect. So publishers --
good ones at least -- then have the resulting file professionally
proofread for scanning errors. And in a perfect world, they also ask the
author to proof it again.
Then there's the question of rights. For older books, the publisher
may not have the right to use the cover art in an e-book. Granted, these
would have to be much older books, as most publishers started asking
for display rights a longer time ago than the Kindle has been around.
These display rights are generally interpreted as allowing publishers to
display the cover online or on the screen of an eBook reader. But if
the publisher doesn't have those rights, it must acquire them or create a
new cover. And new covers cost money.
Then there's the question of originals. Originals are books that are
first appearing in eBook form and are not reprints of previously
published books. And here the argument that eBooks should be cheaper and
easier to produce than paper books really fails. To produce a quality eBook takes just as long and costs just as much as producing a quality paper book.
Yes, you save some money on paper, printing, and binding. And you save
some money on warehousing and shipping. But you incur other costs. But
first let's look at the commonalities.
Read on here.....http://wtr.mn/LBSkvU