January 14, 2014 Last Updated 10:35 am

The MIT Press works with Data Conversion Laboratory to convert technical textbooks into reflowable eBooks

Readability of graphics has been a thorny issue for publishers in the Scientific, Technical and Medical fields

Press Release:

New York, NY, – January 14, 2014 –- Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), an industry leader in organizing, converting and enhancing content into digital formats, announced today at Digital Book World that it is helping The MIT Press convert computer science textbooks into reflowable eBooks, making it easier to view the many highly complex charts, graphs and tables on digital devices and e-readers.

Algorithms-Cormen-featureAs part of this initial effort, DCL helped MIT re-release three of its leading computer science books, including “Algorithms Unlocked” by Thomas H. Cormen, “Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python” by John V. Guttag and “Distributed Algorithms” by Wan Fokkink.

The readability of graphics has been a thorny issue for publishers in the Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) fields as there are many of them, and they are often critical to understanding the subject matter. Their poor rendering in eBook formats has affected the influential ratings based on reader reviews on popular sites like Amazon.com, which in turn negatively impacts sales.

DCL has helped The MIT Press overcome obstacles with a previous eBook format, which led one bestselling author to withdraw a book from sale on Amazon.com because a lack of readability – especially of math equations and illustrations – resulting in poor reviews and low ratings. It has also helped position The MIT Press to realize greater revenue potential in a market hungry for more on-the-go e-content.

Despite the challenges of formatting and rendering many math equations, formulas and tables, DCL was able to convert each book in two weeks. In a reflowable eBook, digital text is automatically resized and justified to fit the particular device used, making it more easily viewed and read.

“We have worked with programs such as Amazon Print Replica that provide a faithful representation of the book page, but this has not been the best format for our readers,” said Bill Trippe, Director of Technology at The MIT Press. “Our leading line of computer science textbooks is critical to our book publishing program, and we really need to be presenting these and other books in reflowable format.”

Trippe added that DCL “is the right partner in this critical endeavor because of its expertise in digital content conversion, specifically in reflowable production, its deep understanding of the particular demands in STM publishing, and its careful execution of each book title.”

DCL will show the special formatting features of these titles at Booth T21 at Digital Book World, which runs from Jan. 13-15 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York City.

“We feel that we are presenting these important books in the best possible way as eBooks, respecting all the work the authors and editors did in creating the original books for print,” said Trippe. “Thanks to DCL, we’re able to launch more of our important computer science books in a reflowable format, providing the best possible digital reading experience for our users.”

“At DCL, we have combined our experience in producing high-quality technical publications and brought it to bear on eBook production, in the process raising the bar on what is possible with eBooks,” said Mark Gross, President and CEO of DCL. “For The MIT Press, the ability to publish high-quality technical content in a format that is easily readable across the various device types represents a significant revenue opportunity, considering the growing popularity of on-the-go digital content consumption.”

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