Introducing the Shortcovers ePUB Conversion Program

Posted by Kobo July  23, 2009

Shortcovers is excited to announce a new service – the Shortcovers Publisher Conversion Program. Publishers can provide us with their digital source files – PDFs, Quark files, InDesign, .doc, .rtf – and for a shockingly low fee*, we’ll convert them into ePUB files, load them up into Shortcovers and then give back the ePUB file so the publisher can send it off to other vendors who also accept ePUB files.

Basically, we wanted to make sure that no matter what size a publisher is, or how “digital” they felt they are, they can still get their books onto devices and into the hands of readers. Shortcovers wins because we love having more books to sell. Publishers win because they get an easy entry into the eBook space. Readers win because they get access to thousands of new titles they might not otherwise be able to read in eBook form. And it’s good for the eBook market as a whole because it encourages standardization and competition in this growing market. Good news all around!

(If your interest has been piqued already, contact conversion@shortcovers.com for more information. Otherwise, read on!)

For those of you who aren’t huge eBook-file-format fans, the eBook landscape has been a tangle of competing file formats for years — .lit, .mobi, BBeB — each one tied to its own device or software or service.

Shortcovers decided early on that we weren’t going to force publishers to support another format. And we didn’t want to support all of the weird and wild proprietary formats that are floating around out there, so we have standardized our eBook process entirely on ePUB. It’s an open, free, platform-neutral, reflowable format that works well on the web, on mobile devices, eInk devices — basically all of the places where readers want to read.

The response from publishers, especially larger publishers, has been fantastic and the files are rolling in by the thousands. But we were also hearing from a lot of publishers who want to sell eBooks but don’t have the resources to create .epub files themselves. Independent presses, regional publishers, literary presses — publishers who are producing fantastic books but don’t have the wherewithal or the time to produce the accompanying digital files themselves. We also heard from medium and larger publishers who are grappling with the task of converting backlist that they think would be a good fit for the eBook space, but are shocked by the fees charged by conversion houses to convert their source files to digital.

That seemed like a problem we could solve.

The Publisher Conversion Program is all set to go. If you’re a publisher with books you’d like to convert, send an email to conversion@shortcovers.com. We’ll send you back some pricing info and options and more information about the program.

(Find out more about ePUB here - http://www.idpf.org/specs.htm – but only if you’re really interested in technical specifications.)

* Yeah, you knew there would be an asterisk there. Conversion prices vary depending on the complexity of the book. Straight-up text books are the cheapest, while hyperlinks, images, scientific formulas, etc. all add to the cost. But we’ve looked around and as far as we can see, the prices we’re able to provide are excellent — up to 50% less than what a small/medium publisher would pay if left to their own devices.

 

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