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Old 08-30-2011, 11:53 AM   #61
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Yes, Calibre will look for key words like "Chapter" and generate a table of contents from them.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:25 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Yes, Calibre will look for key words like "Chapter" and generate a table of contents from them.
That is really good to know! I recently converted a free manual, that had each chapter in a different PDF, by copying page by page, pasting to a RTF, cleaning up the text and spacing and **then using Calibre to create a MOBI file of each separate chapter. It was so nice to be able to read it on the Kindle with reflowable text, but I hated having it in 16 different files.

It never occurred to me that I could put it all together in one MOBI file and Calibre would create a table of contents that would enable me to access each chapter as I wanted in a single MOBI file. Or would I have to convert to Epub first and then MOBI?


ETA: **I made a mistake above because I forgot that I opened the RTF files I made in OpenOffice Writer and saved those as HTML files... that's what I used with Calibre to make my Mobi files (because they included photos that otherwise would not be included without the conversion that OO does.)

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:52 PM   #63
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Just an update on my end: My package has finally arrived via USPS (shipped Aug 30, arrived Sept 12, that'll teach me to use Media Mail instead of First Class, I guess).

Presumably / Hopefully the cutting and scanning will begin shortly.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:20 AM   #64
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OK. Reporting back. Got the download link today -- it's only active for 30 days which seems reasonable, but important to note.

1. The PDF for my entire book is 133 MB. (356 pages, plus change.)

2. The text is searchable within the PDF but the search doesn't grab every instance of the word. (I.e., I can search for "nothing" and get several instances back, but not the one on the first page.) So the conversion process -- if that's what you're counting on -- seems a bit iffy.

3. The scans are really good. Most of the pages are oriented perfectly straight (no skew), and the scans are very bright and clear. There is some bleed through from the other side of the page.

Here are some images, courtesy of Quick PDF Tools:



Since I really just wanted a clean scan, I will definitely be using this company again. They were very professional and responded to my emails when I had questions.

If you're wanting this for a perfect text-layered PDF, though, it seems like the conversion process isn't 100%. (No surprise there.) However, having said THAT, my FineReader program seems to be able to convert the PDF into text VERY cleanly (I haven't seen any errors yet in my cursory glance-through). Whether that's because the scans are Just That Good or because of the behind-the-scenes text layering, I can't say. I *think* FineReader just treats the PDF as image, but I'm not sure.

I'm a happy camper.

Last edited by anamardoll; 09-21-2011 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:27 AM   #65
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That's great! Nice to know we have an option for our paperbacks. Are you able to convert it to another format?
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:32 AM   #66
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That's great! Nice to know we have an option for our paperbacks. Are you able to convert it to another format?
I use FineReader to convert to text and then slap everything into an epub and clean it up in Sigil. FineReader is an OCR program and it's working very well with the PDF I received.

Just for research's sake, I threw the PDF into Calibre and told it to run a conversion. I'll post pictures when that is done, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

UPDATE: Ick. Calibre, bless its heart, just treated every page as an image and gave me an epub of scaled images. So, yeah, not a magic bullet. Back to FineReader.

Last edited by anamardoll; 09-21-2011 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #67
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And... one last update.

Since the test book worked out so well, I picked up a flat-rate box from USPS (god bless them). The largest box is $15 to ship. I packed that as full as can go with books that (a) can't be bought in eBook form and (b) probably won't be available any time soon (i.e., orphan works).

The math came out such:

$73 for 23 books at $15 shipping = $3.82 per book.

So obviously this is still not the magic bullet for converting your library cheaply and easily BUT it's a step in the right direction. I hope to have the remainder of my orphan works converted by the years' end. I'm very happy at the moment.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:05 AM   #68
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I just sent them an email to see if it would be ok to send them the book without the cover since
1 they recycle the book
2 that if I can keep the cover it proves that I owned the book
3 some of the covers are really decorative and I could do a display with some of them
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:23 AM   #69
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Thanks for the feedback on the scanning service - it sounds very good.

My concern would be what would happen if something had gone wrong with the scan and they had, for example, missed out some pages? Given that they destroy the book after scanning, there'd be no way to do it again, would there?
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:44 AM   #70
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I'm sure they hold on to the book until you have proofed it or for the 30 day life of the link - I used to transfer vhs tapes to DVD, and would keep the footage on a hard drive for 14 days to give the customer time to proof before wiping, and if they did not want them back, destroying the tapes.

BTW - thanks anamardoll for being the first to try out the service. I am definitely going to be using it.

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Old 09-22-2011, 05:15 AM   #71
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If nothing else this should force publishers to price ebooks lower than they do currently. As buying a used book and using this service cost less than $5 so publishers charging $9-10 for back list titles.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Thanks for the feedback on the scanning service - it sounds very good.

My concern would be what would happen if something had gone wrong with the scan and they had, for example, missed out some pages? Given that they destroy the book after scanning, there'd be no way to do it again, would there?
The email says you have 30 days to mention if they missed a page. So I would assume they hold the pages for that long?

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If nothing else this should force publishers to price ebooks lower than they do currently. As buying a used book and using this service cost less than $5 so publishers charging $9-10 for back list titles.
I'm sending them my complete Philip K. Dick short story collection. 2,000 pages for $20. That's cheaper than the $21 I'd have to pay for the eBook that contains 16 stories. 16! Each one of my collection volumes contains more than that, and I have 5 collections.

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I just sent them an email to see if it would be ok to send them the book without the cover since
1 they recycle the book
2 that if I can keep the cover it proves that I owned the book
3 some of the covers are really decorative and I could do a display with some of them
That's not a bad idea. Let us know what they say.

Last edited by anamardoll; 09-22-2011 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:13 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicmonster View Post
I just sent them an email to see if it would be ok to send them the book without the cover since
1 they recycle the book
2 that if I can keep the cover it proves that I owned the book
3 some of the covers are really decorative and I could do a display with some of them
I can't imagine that they would care. They're just scanning pages - it's nothing to them what those pages actually are.
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:29 AM   #74
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CUT MY BOOKS? Are they f@&%ing kidding me?
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #75
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CUT MY BOOKS? Are they f@&%ing kidding me?
If you don't wish to use a "scan and destroy" service, then this obviously wouldn't be the service for you to choose.
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