The results are in. We have finalized the results of our DCL/Bowker survey, and interestingly enough, the submitted answers point to worries over quality and consistency when content goes from print to digital.
This year was our third joint survey with Bowker, and together we probed digital publishers and self-publishing authors to find trend lines across a wide swath of important topics.
As with our 2015 survey, a topic that continued to stir interest was quality, with more than 56 percent of respondents saying it was a major concern. Other concerns were “retaining formatting” (55 percent) and “errors caused by automated conversion” (46 percent).
And in my opinion, it makes a lot of sense that quality be a topic of note. Unlike the early days, digital technology is mainstream, and these surveys show that consumers expect to hold eBooks to the same high standards that they expect from print books. Publishers must be diligent to ensure content is converted accurately. Accuracy and quality are key to our work!
The reality is that poorly converted digital books are flatly rejected by readers. Readers are no longer willing to accept and struggle through a poorly converted book. If a book is not perfect, they will not read it and will demand a refund. Nobody can afford that. It's official. Quality has become king!
If you haven't yet had a chance, I highly encourage you to check out the survey's full results: 2016 Digital Publishing Survey.
Mark Gross, President of Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), is a recognized authority on XML implementation and document conversion. Prior to DCL, Mark was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from New York University. He has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of automated conversions to XML and SGML.