Reprinting Old Books by Scanning

Many customers come to us with old books that they want to reprint, but they don’t have computer files to print from. Sometimes it is a book that has an expired copyright that they would like to see back in print. Many uncover small projects done by a deceased grandparent, and wish to have them preserved for future generations. Others bring in books they have published in decades past, when they’ve run out of copies.

The best way to revitalize these old texts is to retype and redesign the books. For those who don’t have the time or resources to type out an entire book, we offer book scanning. Scanning does not produce an excellent book, but it can produce an acceptable book. Here are some of the drawbacks:

  • When scanning a book, it must be taken apart. Keep that in mind if you have only one copy of the old book you want to reprint! In most cases, this means cutting off the spine, so that the pages are free to run through our scanner. The original book cannot be rebound.
  • The pages run through the scanner automatically (the way a copy machine feeds a large stack of papers), so the pages sometimes come out crooked. We can manually rotate the worst of the pages that catch our eye, using our PDF editing software, after scanning. However, it would be impossible to adjust each page individually.
  • Photo quality is greatly reduced through scanning, though new equipment has recently improved upon the photo quality we were capable of in years past.
  • The text will no longer be vector. It will not be crisp and clear (see our Vector and Raster Graphics information sheet). When you look at it closely, the letters will have fuzzy rather than smooth edges.
  • Occasionally pages are missed going through the scanner, and are then missing from the book. For this reason, we send out hard-copy proofs that should be reviewed very carefully for content.

If, after these warnings, you still feel like scanning your old book is the way to go – then visit our website for a quote and send it along!

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