Ebook Conversion: 10 Tips for Finding Your Ebook Conversion Vendor
Pay Attention to Communication: When you start interviewing potential vendors, Kaplansky says, you should "pay close attention to how the vendor representatives communicate. Generally speaking, the means, quality and quantity of communication in initial conversations are usually a good indicator of the kind of communication a publisher can expect from that vendor going forward."
Executive Director, International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)
Future-Proof Your Content: "We're already seeing companies that are reconverting ebooks," McCoy says. Companies "have ebooks they've created two years ago, and they're going back and republishing them to get a higher quality level and to get to new channels."
The key point is this: "Your content is your main asset—your intellectual property. And in my opinion, you shouldn't think about ebook conversion as a one-time thing, where you do it once, and now your book is in the iBook store and the Kindle store and the Nook store, and you're done for all time."
McCoy says publishers working on their first backlist or frontlist conversions are likely going to be focused on the distribution channels in which they're most interested. "And yet at the same time," he adds, "I think [publishers] should be thinking about creating digital content assets that are ready to be used in new ways that may not exist now."
By this time next year, he says, you may also need to use some of the features of EPUB3 and HTML5 just to stay competitive—with other publishing companies you're in direct competition with, of course, but also with other forms of competition for your readers' time, like websites and television.
Do Some Soul Searching: Finding the right conversion partner ultimately depends on what your needs are, says Brian Felsen, president of BookBaby. "Do you need, for example, a large distribution network? What kind of document are you starting with? How much multimedia or interactivity do you need? Are you more concerned with compatibility, or with having all the whiz-bang features? And how much support do you need?"
Dan Eldridge is a journalist and guidebook author based in Philadelphia's historic Old City district, where he and his partner own and operate Kaya Aerial Yoga, the city's only aerial yoga studio. A longtime cultural reporter, Eldridge also writes about small business and entrepreneurship, travel, and the publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.