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OCR: quality versus quantity?

by: Romany Howes (13 January 2015)

Ninety-three percent of kids aged between two and thirteen now e-read at least once a week. And parents are accepting that this trend is not, in fact, a trend but a new way of life for a new generation. According to a survey from Book Boon, eBooks in 2015 will overtake printed books in units sold. American readers (27.1%) and UK readers (24.4%) are the leading countries in buying eBooks regularly.

This is due to the vast numbers of tablets, eReaders, phones etc., sold globally, but is the market able to keep up with demand, or will the rush to convert existing educational literature to eBooks lead to a reduction in quality of the printed word?

The technology behind producing an eBook involves the scanning process, the conversion process and perhaps most importantly, the proofreading process. Take for example, the subject of English literature. Pupils are given a historic well-known literary masterpiece, usually quite a few centuries old (Shakespeare, Elliot, Dickens, Buchanan, and so on). These novels exist in physical form but not digitally, as computers were, obviously, not invented. So these pages are manually scanned using a process called OCR (optical character recognition). The scan picks up everything on the page and converts it into a readable character. Even the smallest mark on the page can show up as a random letter.

Ebook conversion

The scan is then converted into an editable document: and here is where the proofreader, a GOOD, QUALIFIED proofreading service comes into play. The book has to be painstakingly proofed for errors and from an OCR scan - they are legion! It cannot be done any other way. Imagine the huge literary mistakes if only an electronic spell check is used: King Leer, Prosperous, and the unthinkable, Loveís Labourís Lust.

There are few companies who can combine all three elements - scanning, conversion and proofreading. We are one of them. And we proofread old manuscripts on a daily basis. So when you are reading a book on your eReader and you come across a mistake, feel free to write and complain to the publishers. Even if the book is downloaded free, you still expect the highest quality. Be sure to suggest WriteItClearly.com as the optimum solution.


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Ref: 147 It's very important that children have perfect text to read on their Kobos or similar. Proofreading from OCR scans is essential!
Marilyn - 11:34 13-01-2015
Ref: 146 An excellent service.
Garry - 11:13 13-01-2015

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