Originally Posted by Xenophon
Charlieperry wrote (in part):
I suspect that the cost of digitizing books may be higher than you think, at least for cases where there is no pre-existing electronic copy. Simply scanning is cheap, but there's quite a lot of effort in getting clean, well formatted text that is free of Scan-os (i.e. OCR errors), has no missing pages, etc.
I suggest that the injection of some actual data might be useful here. I'll ask Arnold Bailey (the guy who runs Webscriptions.net for Baen) if he'll give us a ballpark estimate of the cost to digitize a book from the back catalog. My prediction: the market had better be much larger than 20 people. Much larger.
I have to admit that I picked the number 20 off the top of my head. The thing that's worth remembering is that even if only 20 people may want to read something now there's nothing to say that 100 won't want to read it in a year or a 1000 in five years. Until it's available it's hard to know demand.
On a separate but related point, I wonder what % of the books that have ever existed now exist in digital format. It's an almost impossible question to answer but I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of anyone in the publishing industry.