- Question: How can you tell that the next tech bubble has arrived?
- Answer: This is a good sign:
Bowker is expanding upon their existing partnership with scam POD publisher iUniverse to add a new ebook conversion service provided by Data Conversion Laboratory. Priced at a mere $1.85 a page, or what looks to be over twice the going market rate for converting a novel, authors can get their manuscript converted into Epub and Kindle format.
In exchange for all that money Bowker will hand you the ebook files; no distribution services are included. That price is only good for low-complexity titles, and Bowker specifically excludes titles with "heavy formatting, lists, tables, question/answers, math, block quotes, boxed text, and sidebars." That means you're limited to fairly basic books with not much more than text. You are also required to submit a PDF; they won't even take a DOC file.
Yeah, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that for most people and for most titles this will not be a good price. A number of conversion services, ebook architects among them, quote a much lower price for basic conversion services similar to what Bowker launched today. Many of those other services will offer you the same quality guarantee as Bowker, so it's not like paying more will necessarily raise the quality.
I should note that I am specifically referring to novels and other ebooks with about the same level of complexity. When it comes to nonfiction, that does not include much beyond memoirs and history books. Nonfiction titles are often more complex and might require certain specialized services like creating an index. Pretty much every conversion service charges more for nonfiction than they do for fiction, with prices going even higher than Bowker's quoted $1.85 a page.
BTW, I'm not sure exactly how Bowker defines a "page". That detail isn't clear (and Bowler won't explain it), but the webpage for this new service discusses the ebook conversion in terms of the size of a paper book. That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.