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Thread: Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook


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Laurence Galian

Posts: 3
Registered: 08/13/15
Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 6:54 PM
 
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I wrote a book several years ago and it sold reasonably well through the Amazon Advantage program. However, due to tragic and unforeseen circumstances, I lost all the copies of my book. Now independent sellers are selling used and new copies of the book for outrageous prices.

It occurred to me that perhaps if I could find someone who had bought my book, I could ask them to lend it to me, and I could scan it and turn it into a Kindle ebook. And I was very lucky to locate an old friend who sent me my book via DHL and it arrived tonight.

However, I wrote to Amazon KDP and asked them if they would accept PDF scans of the book. They said "No." They want me to scan it as a PDF and then convert the PDF to a Word Document, and then format the Word Document to their Kindle ebook requisites.

Please help. This book is 778 pages. It contains over 900 endnotes as well as a very extensive Index. I have already written two Amazon Kindle ebooks and I know all the work that it entails. I cannot imagine the amount of work that would be required to reformat my book for KDP Kindle. I already spent 10 years of my life writing this book and formatting it for the printing press.

Is there a way to scan the book, as a PDF file, and submit it to Kindle? Or might you know of another way that I can get this book into ebook formatting without going through all the steps that Amazon is asking of me? I do not have any money to spend to hire anyone to do any work for me.

Thank you for your time and suggestions.

Laurence
Donna St Felix

Posts: 5,489
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook
Posted: Nov 8, 2017 8:32 PM   in response to: Laurence Galian in response to: Laurence Galian
 
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Laurence Galian wrote:
Is there a way to scan the book, as a PDF file, and submit it to Kindle?

Kindle does not accept a PDF. Word doc, yes.
Notjohn

Posts: 23,018
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook
Posted: Nov 9, 2017 2:49 AM   in response to: Laurence Galian in response to: Laurence Galian
 
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Investigate Kindle Textbook Creator. It has limitations (not every Kindle device can display a fixed-format book, and since it's a proprietary format it can be sold on Apple, Google, Barnes & Noble, etc.) but it should work.

And while you're at it, go to CreateSpace and build a new paperback copy. It won't be cheap. The printing cost for 788 pages, 6x9 inches, is $10.30. If you sell it for $20, Amazon takes $8 and you get $1.70. To make a good royalty, and to get any royalty from Barnes & Noble, you probably would have to price it at $25.

And a near-800-page book is going to be rather hard to read, perfect bound as all POD books are finished. You absolutely must get a proof copy to make sure it works all right.

Go for it. That sort of book may actually sell better in paperback than as an ebook. I have a few books of which that is true, all non-fiction and not especially easy to read.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 379
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook
Posted: Nov 9, 2017 7:11 AM   in response to: Laurence Galian in response to: Laurence Galian
 
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Laurence Galian wrote:
I wrote a book several years ago and it sold reasonably well through the Amazon Advantage program. However, due to tragic and unforeseen circumstances, I lost all the copies of my book. Now independent sellers are selling used and new copies of the book for outrageous prices.

It occurred to me that perhaps if I could find someone who had bought my book, I could ask them to lend it to me, and I could scan it and turn it into a Kindle ebook. And I was very lucky to locate an old friend who sent me my book via DHL and it arrived tonight.

However, I wrote to Amazon KDP and asked them if they would accept PDF scans of the book. They said "No." They want me to scan it as a PDF and then convert the PDF to a Word Document, and then format the Word Document to their Kindle ebook requisites.

Please help. This book is 778 pages. It contains over 900 endnotes as well as a very extensive Index. I have already written two Amazon Kindle ebooks and I know all the work that it entails. I cannot imagine the amount of work that would be required to reformat my book for KDP Kindle. I already spent 10 years of my life writing this book and formatting it for the printing press.

Is there a way to scan the book, as a PDF file, and submit it to Kindle? Or might you know of another way that I can get this book into ebook formatting without going through all the steps that Amazon is asking of me? I do not have any money to spend to hire anyone to do any work for me.

Thank you for your time and suggestions.

Laurence


You cannot do what you propose. Even a properly produced PDF results in a substandard e-book, as many people have discovered. Submitting some slapdash file you created on your scanner from a physical book would be even worse. If you want to publish via the KDP platform you have to meet their standards of quality. You really only have two options for publishing -- retype it and properly format it or hire someone who can. If you can't do either, then you either have to move on or settle for selling a tatty PDF copy via your own website. Good luck.
William Thompson

Posts: 1,034
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook
Posted: Nov 9, 2017 3:33 PM   in response to: Laurence Galian in response to: Laurence Galian
 
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What you could perhaps do is use a free online OCR software to convert your scanned book to plain text format. OCR software turns a scanned doc into a plain text document using text recognition software. Once you have the text file of your ebook you could then perhaps import that text file into MS Word or OpenOffice and reformat the ebook again as you like. An example of an online OCR website is: https://www.onlineocr.net/

The only other option for you would be to use Adobe Acrobat DC(OCR) software(costs $20 per month) which only converts scanned text to PDF. You could then use Amazon's free Kindle Create app to create your ebook from a PDF. But this route will cost you some pennies.

I've also never used any of the above routes to recover a book, so I'm not really sure about end product quality. Perhaps the first option would be the easiest and best for you since there are some well-known major disadvantages if you upload to KDP using Kindle Create.

Why not try my free Sigil plugins now available on MobileRead?

OpenDocHTMLImport - converts ODT HTML(Writer) docs directly to epub.

GoogleZipImport - converts Google Doc HTML directly to epub format.

NormalizeScrivEpub - reformats, finishes-off and normalizes Scrivener epubs.

You can download all these free plugins from The Sigil Plugin Index on the MR Forum

Notjohn

Posts: 23,018
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Converting a large nonfiction paperback into an ebook
Posted: Nov 10, 2017 4:01 AM   in response to: William Thompson in response to: William Thompson
 
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I have found that the free software included with scanners is quite useless. Even if 99 percent accurate, just imagine how many errors that leaves in a book-length manuscript!

However, for about $100 I bought a copy of ABBYYfinereader. Despite its name, it is easy to work and will scan directly to a Word doc. I have done two of my old backlist titles this way. It takes time, and proof-reading is absolutely necessary. (For some reason lower case M at the end of a word often turns out to be RN!)

I was very happy with the result, as compared to keying in the entire book. (I did that with the first backlist novel I turned into an ebook.)

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
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