35+ Tips for Quality and Streamlined E-Book Production
The IT publisher referenced earlier outsourced much of his (now completed) backlist conversion, but produces new titles in house. "New titles have been handled by changes to our authoring templates so that the process can move relatively smoothly," he says.
Naperville, Ill.-based independent trade book publisher Sourcebooks Inc. handles "about 80 percent" of its e-book conversion in house, according to Sarah Cardillo, senior managing editor. The company shifted resources, replacing an external vendor with a new staffer for page production and converting another staff member to e-book production and project management. "We focused on being as efficient as possible and as technically sound as possible, and that allowed us to add work without adding resources," she says.
Sourcebooks outsources its titles that are most complex from a design standpoint. "It's important the vendor be well-versed in how to convert those designs to digital format," Cardillo says.
Backlist conversion can be a formidable logistical challenge, whatever the publisher's size. Gollancz, an imprint of London-based Orion Books, recently announced its digitization of a huge cache of 5,000 out-of-print science fiction novels (titles it previously owned as well as those it has recently acquired the rights to) as part of its SF Gateway project. "To bring entire backlists back into print using traditional publishing mechanisms is simply not feasible, but the rapid developments in digital publishing have allowed us to do just that: to rescue authors' entire backlists and republish them … as e-books," says Darren Nash, Gollancz's digital publisher.
Nash expects the project to be complete in a little over a year. "We will produce EPUB files and, from there, they'll be optimized for iBooks, Kindle, etc.—all the major commercial platforms," he says.
There was no question for Gollancz that now was the right time to make this investment. The newly digitized titles will be available in combination with the release of an all-digital third edition of the "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction," allowing readers of the encyclopedia to instantly purchase e-book versions of classic novels.