logo_cup The Bookseller’s FutureEBook blog has a interesting post today on the process of converting textbooks into digital textbooks.

The textbook publisher that writer John Pettigrew works for, Cambridge University Press, is in the process of exploring the market for e-textbooks. In looking into the matter, it ran up against the problem that there simply isn’t much information available about the success of e-textbooks versus printed ones—most of the headlines about e-books relate to fiction.

So, to get its feet wet, the company chose two textbooks—one fairly well-known and the other relatively new—to convert and market to see what happens. The rest of the article covers the process of converting the books to the PDF, EPUB, and MOBI (for Kindle) formats, and the hurdles the company went through to get it done.

Pettigrew notes that though one book ended up being more expensive than normal since it had been produced in Quark with special plugins, the total cost for converting both books to all three formats ended up being under £1000. The conversion process only took a couple of months, and the e-book titles are now available for sale through ebooks.com (and will soon be available elsewhere).


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