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Publishers are increasingly concerned with quality as they move towards digital productions, according to a new survey on trends in the digital publishing industry.

Of the respondents, 84 percent are planning to publish digitally in 2014 (an increase of 21 percent over the prior year), and 52 percent of respondents said quality of digital conversion was the aspect of greatest concern. The survey was jointly conducted by Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), an industry leader in organizing and converting content into digital formats, and Bowker®, the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions for publishers, booksellers, and libraries.

“Books in digital formats are continuing to become the norm,” said Laura Dawson, Product Manager at Bowker. “More and more publishers are planning to publish digitally. As a result, quality in conversion has become more important than ever, and cost is no longer as big a factor as it has been in the past. The challenge for publishers now is to ensure that all conversion and content quality is done with the greatest amount of care, especially to meet reader expectations.”

“These results demonstrate how quickly ebooks and digital content have come of age, and as a result user expectations have risen,” noted Mark Gross, DCL’s CEO. “At the beginning, ebooks were given a pass when they weren’t up to snuff, but we’re happy to see that readers today expect the same quality and accuracy in a digital product as they have learned to expect from quality print books, and are vocal when their expectations aren’t met.”

Reader expectations are an important factor driving concerns around conversion quality. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said that quality affects ebook sales, stating that readers want the best quality possible, with 89 percent of respondents seeing quality editing being as important as it is for print. Significantly, respondents plan to publish digitally, even in traditional print genres—non-fiction (37 percent), fiction (34 percent), technical content (30 percent), and even training information (13 percent).

The full results of the survey can be found here.

31 Jul 2014

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