Digitize Your Personal Backlist? For a Dollar?
Yesterday, the folks at 1DollarScan announced a program that makes their nifty, if somewhat controversial, service a little bit niftier. The San Jose, Calif., company scans customers' print books and converts them into ebooks—essentially giving John and Jane Q. Bookworm access to the same services big publishers outsource offshore when they convert their backlist titles.
Through a partnership with Evernote—the early favorite for best cloud app ever—customers who have their print books converted to ebooks through 1DollarScan can access those books through their Evernote interface. (Sign-up for the service started Thursday.)
Beyond being able to access scanned ebooks anywhere Evernote goes (aka: everywhere), 1DollarScan VP of marketing Ryan Brusuelas explains that users will also be able to record their notes, comments and impressions on those books through Evernote.
According to Brusuelas, “the main benefit of this integration is so that people can organize their e-reading experience. Right now, it’s not very organized. We’re dealing with, ironically, a new digital clutter.”
Brusuelas notes that 1DollarScan (which is affiliated with Japanese company Bookscan that performs the same services, and which is unrelated to Nielsen BookScan), after cutting the book spines for scanning, indeed destroys and recycles all of that delicious pulp.
As part of the scanning service, through which 1DollarScan converts, using optical character recognition, print books into reflowable pdf files, the company requires customers to agree to not distribute their new file, and includes that signed ownership document in the pdf.
“So far we haven’t had any issues,” says Brusuelas. “We believe it falls under fair use.” He adds that “our goal is not to compete with publishers, it is to collaborate with publishers.”
Publishers and authors are provided a portal to approve or deny the scanning of printed material at author.1dollarscan.com. However, not everyone is convinced the company is acting responsibly; as reported elsewhere, the Authors Guild believes this process to be copyright infringement.
Speaking of publisher bugaboos, 1DollarScan also offers an Amazon direct option, wherein print books ordered from Amazon can be sent directly to 1DollarScan to be converted to ebooks.
Services like this could go a long way toward solving a problem lots of ebook converts have: what to do with all of those read and undread p-books once one had made the leap to digital reading. It will be interesting to see how this develops.