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Should Publishers “Design” For Digital?

Without a standard format in place, designing eBooks can be difficult for publishers who are used to designing text for the printed page. Most publishers are looking to reformat digital versions of their print titles in the easiest way possible.

But Joshua Tallent owner of eBook Architects, a company that formats print titles into eBooks, argues that this might be the wrong approach. In an interview with O’Reilly Media, Tallent said: “To me, the big deal is that the conversion process is going to morph from conversion to design. We’ve been stuck on this idea that we have to get books developed and out in the market right now. We’re trying to get thousands of backlist titles produced, and the quality has suffered. What’s happening, at least on a small level, is that conversion companies and publishers are starting to see that it’s not the conversion that matters, it’s the design. Ebook design requires the same quality and care that you see in print book design. I hope that’s the direction we’re headed.”

Should publishers be concerning themselves with eBook design, the way they do in print? What do you think?

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