Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
It’s a regrettable fact of digital publishing that not all ebooks are created equal. For every scammer hoping to turn a quick profit by willfully selling shoddy products, there’s a hardworking author or publisher whose earnest efforts still fall short of the mark.
Several years ago, Digital Book World introduced the QED Seal to distinguish titles that measure up to the highest standards of “Quality, Excellence and Design.” The QED program is designed to encourage a virtuous circle–elevating high-quality digital content (and the authors and publishers who make it) in a crowded market while arming consumers with a tool for discovering it.
During the years I spent in book production, I saw print runs of physical copies shrink and the volume of digital titles increase. In my experience, those two trends never operated proportionately. The pressure on publishers to get more ebooks out into the marketplace on tighter schedules is still tending to outpace declines on the print side. Steadily swelling workloads and the accelerating pace of digital production means an increased risk of mistakes slipping past the most valiant efforts to catch them.
The QED Seal can’t diminish those production challenges or eliminate human error from the digital publishing process. But it does set a useful industry-wide benchmark for readers and publishers alike in evaluating the kind of digital content out on the market. And as technology and consumers’ reading habits continue to evolve, such a measure will become even more invaluable.