Frequently Asked Questions
* Low cost * Quick
service * Quality product *
Nine out of Ten students prefer Electronic
Text Conversion over Books on Tape
The average human reads aloud at the rate of 130
words per minute. The average human eye reads at well over 200
words per minute. Thus, text to audio conversion on audio tape
is a slow and cumbersome process, even for the most proficient human
reader. The listener can hear the text only slightly faster than the reader
can read it. Most new academic books are not available on tape,
forcing the college or program to find a reader to read the book aloud
onto tape recorders. Yet, this is typically not the most effective use
of program funds nor is it always the best option for the student's
Books on tape are becoming outdated for the following reasons:
- No easy way to skip or skim
over unneeded text
- To rehear or refind information
on tape, rewinding is slow and in-exact, slowing down the listener's
- Sometimes, the tape-player eats
the tapes or distorts the sound
- Not all human readers are
proficient at reading aloud
- Books on tape are space hogs. A 500-page book (with 480,000
words) requires nearly forty (40)
90-minute tapes or thirty (30)
- Most readers will skip
important information, like the table of contents, glossaries and
indices to save on time and expense.
- Readers can only record (on
average) 500 pages of text in 50 to 60 hours.
- Most human readers only record
two to four hours per day, taking several weeks to complete the book
due to the enormous amount of strain that reading aloud puts on the
- At $8.25/hr, the human
reader cost to record a 500-page textbook onto audio tape is $472.50 (including
cost of the tapes). Most professional readers' pay scales
are considerably higher.
What Can Book*Scan*Talk do?
several affordable ADA reading options in specialized format for
colleges with print-challenged students.
- 500 page text conversion to
audio CD = $275.00 (complete book @ $0.55/page)
- 500 page text conversion to
electronic text = $225.00 (complete
book @ $0.45/page)
- Scan most books (in the English
convert them into electronic text for students to hear the text read
aloud with a text-to-speech engine or screen reader on their computers
or in audio
format on their CD players.
- Return your textbook along with
electronic/digital text to the
college/school within seven to ten business days. (Timeline is
the average 500 page book, plus mailing.)
- Option 1:
Audio CD. Instead of
dealing with 5-15 audio tapes per book,
entire book is audio recorded on 1 - 2 CDs.
- Option 2: Electronic text can
returned on a
data CD in DOC (Word 6.x), PDF, or
RTF for use with text-to-speech programs on a data CD. Digital (electronic) text can
also be emailed to the college campus for use immediately.
- If the student needs the text
immediately, Book*Scan*Talk can deliver
the first two chapters of e-text to the campus within 48 hours (after
we receive the book).
- Convert the textbook into audio
approximately ½ the
average cost and ½ the time it takes to record an audio
tape prepared by a trained reader. E-text conversion is the quickest,
- The scanned text is proofed by
professionals to reduce reader
errors during conversion.
- We act as your text conversion agent by
converting only the books that you need in specialized format for
disabled students upon your request and pursuant to copyright laws as outlined in the United States Code Title 17 Chapter 1 Section 121.
What Can't Book*Scan*Talk do?
textbooks in foreign languages or books with
technical symbols, like math, chemistry, computer programming, etc.
Standard text-to-speech programs do not recognize foreign, technical or
- No used books with torn pages,
highlighting of text, or handwritten
notes on the pages. The text must be clean, typed, and legible.
- No textbooks with mostly
charts or graphs. The
scanner program can recreate the image, but cannot describe the image
to the listener.
- Cannot retain copies of the scanned
materials or create a database of textbooks in specialized format. We
are different from LearningAlly in
the services we offer. We choose not to compete with LearningAlly,
but instead we complement their program by quickly and economically
filling the gap of unavailable academic books through LearningAlly. It is recommended that you check with LearningAlly first to check their library for the book you need. If the book is not available, we are you next best option.
- Cannot convert textbooks for any non-profit institutions located outside of the United States,
any profit-based organization or private individuals.
What is the difference between Text-to-Speech and Audio CDs?
- Text-to-Speech is an assistive technology that can convert most
text format documents on the computer into audible words. In most
cases a variety of TTS (Text-to-Speech) engines can be installed on the
computer PC or MAC. The student would need access to a computer
on a regular basis for study purposes. Some TTS resources are located
on the Book*Scan*Talk home page.
- Audio CD's are created by utilizing a Speech synthesizer to
create audio files saved on the CD similar to a music CD and can be
listened to either on a standard CD player, Victor Daisy Reader or on
the computer using a Media Player.
What Book*Scan*Talk must do to
accomplish text conversion.
must alter the book -- We cut off
the bookbinding to separate all the pages for quick and efficient
scanning/conversion. The textbook can be rebound with spiral-binding
for a nominal charge, or the graphics department of your school campus
may be able to spiral the book for you. The book remains
functional and readable.
We require confirmation that the
book is owned by the college, the
program, or the student, and that the user of the converted text will
share, sell, or pass along his/her electronic or digital version of the
is a requirement for copyright usage. The
purpose of Book*Scan*Talk is to convert academic textbooks and
materials for higher education institutions in alternative format for
ADA compliance within the academic and copyright rules.
More Information about Book*Scan*Talk
LLC, is a family-owned business. Dennis manages the business, while
Jann scans and transforms the text. Dennis earned his bachelor's degree
in Business Administration from Oregon State University. Jann earned
her master's degree in Education after earning her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Reed College. Jann was also a
paralegal for over 15 years. Our goal is to provide a low-cost service
while maintaining quality and attention to detail in the text
conversion. The print-challenged student of your institution deserves to have access to all the text materials contained in the book s/he has purchased for her/his class.