Making E-books Is Harder Than It Looks.
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…
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