Data Conversion Laboratory and Bowker's Digital Publishing Survey Shows Concerns Over Conversion Quality

Nov 29, 2016

Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc. (DCL) and Bowker have delivered the results of their 2016 Digital Publishing Survey, and the answers point to worries over quality and consistency when content goes from print to digital. The survey was jointly conducted by DCL and Bowker, connecting publishers, authors, and booksellers with readers. This is the third joint survey for DCL and Bowker, and this year's attracted 698 participants, up from 579 in 2015 and 215 in 2014. The survey probes digital publishers and self-publishing authors to find trend lines across a wide swath of important topics. Question topics range from the various digital formats publishers use to the quality of ebooks.

As with 2015's survey, a topic that continued to stir interest was quality, with more than 56% of respondents saying it was a major concern. Other concerns were "retaining formatting" (55%) and "errors caused by automated conversion" (46%).

Since quality is an important topic, it's not surprising that digital publishers increasingly include some level of quality assurance to ensure error-free content. Nearly 45% hire editors (up from last year), 33% perform self-checks (slightly down from last year), and 18%t perform QA prior to conversion (down from last year).

Another key finding from the survey were the numbers of publishers that have digitally published. It continues to rise, this year to 73.21% from 72.88% in 2015. Although, this year the number of self-publishers dropped from 45% points to 42%.