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Book Scanning

Digitising your books is the best way to create digital reproductions of your favourite texts. With the introduction of the iPad, Kindle, e-reader and similar tablet devices, the book scanning and digitisation market has grown in popularity by 100% as more and more people are putting down the books and picking up a tablet.

Whether you have historical, heritage bound book, newspapers or the latest full-colour glossy magazines; at Pearl Scan we take extreme care in handling your books during the book scanning process and converting to your required digital format, such as PDF, Kindle and Ms. Word.

Our service is used by:

  • Writers: Scan your books for easier access and let your work be read around the world.
  • Publishers: Convert new editions and back lists and re-publish books to sell them online.
  • Collectors: Scan large book collections to a secure but accessible format for others to view.
  • Archivists: Create a safe and secure digital archive to preserve rare and historical books.
  • Students: Scanning textbooks to relieve that back strain and speed up essay writing.
  • Individuals: Scanning books to PDF, Kindle, Word and more to bring the digital benefits to you.

Our Book Scanning Service 

We have a specialist book scanning team who are experienced and dedicated to digitising your valuable collection of books to any required format. We offer two key digitisation methods, scanning bound books and scanning unbound books and we have the most advanced scanners which can produce high resolution images of your books.

OCR can be applied to scanned images to convert them to searchable or editable text. Continue reading about Optical Character Recognition Processing.

The first thing to consider when getting book(s) scanned is the type of scanning you would like. You will sometimes get these two choices across the industry but many companies only offer the destructive option. Typically we scan the following formats:

  • magazine scanning serviceRare and fragile
  • Large format
  • Bound volume 
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Manuals 
  • Comic books
  • Manuscripts
  • Journals
  • Diaries

Here are some reasons why you should scan your books:

  • Archiving and preservation purposes
  • Have a digital copy of your publication
  • Easier access to your libraries
  • Ability to search through pages quicker
  • Digitise to share or sell online
  • Reduce the weight of carrying your books
  • Scan for republication purposes
  • Scan to downsize
  • Scan to re edit text

Unbound Book Scanning

scannerAlso known as destructive scanning method

Though not as harsh as it may initially sound, unbound or destructive book scanning will involve the removal or 'slicing' of the spine of the book. The spine or staples will be removed and the pages will be processed through one of our document feed scanners.


  • There is a lower cost for this service
  • The process is very fast
  • Results can be clearer (depending on level of detail in the book itself)

Bound Book Scanning

Book scanner

Also known as non-destructive scanning method

Bound book scanning (also known as in-tact scanning) is exactly as it sounds. Books are scanned in the condition in which they arrive on one of our upright overhead book scanners and we use technology specifically made to cater for bound books and magazines, whether delicate, rare or in perfect condition.


  • Books remain in the same condition in which we received them
  • Books are exposed to considerably less light than other scanning methods, for those concerned about heat generated by the scanner lamps
  • Ideal if your book is one-off, rare, valuable or has high sentimental value

Formats we can transfer your books to:

We offer a wide range of book scanning services in order to offer you a choice of formats to convert your books to. These include the very latest e-book formats as well as classic formats such as PDF and searchable PDF; and conversion to Microsoft Word so the content can be edited and sent to be republished (if you wish).

Here are the most common formats we can convert your book to:

convert book to pdf, scan books to pdf

PDF format

We can scan books to PDF format which is viewable on computers, mobiles and tablet devices.

convert books to pdf searchable, scan books to pdf searchable

PDF Searchable format

Like a standard PDF, but all the text contained will be readable and searchable on your computer for searching.

convert books to word, scan books to wordMicrosoft Word format

Converting to Word enables you to edit the content of the publications and prepare for further printing in the future.

convert books to kindle .mobiBook scanning to kindleBook to Amazon Kindle

This is the most popular e-Book format as the Kindle is the most popular e-reader around.

convert books to epub format, scan books to .epub

.ePub format

The .ePub is the most widely recognised e-book format and is used by thousands of e-readers across the world.

convert books to ipad, scan books to ipadiPad or iPhone

The popular iBooks platform is exclusive to the iPad and iPhone, Apple's multi-million selling tablet devices.

create flippage booksDigital Flipping Book

With the fully interactive Flippage format, you can display your files and brochures online or send them on disks.

convert books tos html, scan books to htmlHTML

By having your book converted to HTML, this allows you to display it online as a functional website.

convert books to xml, scan books to xml formatXML

XML provides an underlying technology that makes your information portable across platforms, and applications.


Rare Book Scanning Service

book scanning in london


The greatest of care is taken when it comes to the scanning, digitisation and digital preservation of older, more delicate and hard to find books. These books can also be scanned to PDF as well as editable formats such as MS Word. We place the requirements around the condition of the books and the speed in which we process them can be reduced to make absolutely sure that the books remain in the same condition that they came to us in.

Of course, we treat all the books we scan with the greatest of respect but we understand that there will always be a few cases that need special attention. We use only our most experienced scanners to complete this work and they will always wear gloves to protect the pages and print of your books, which is all part of our rare book scanning service.

We use state of the art, specialised, overhead liner book scanners to scan and capture bound, rare, historical, out of prints and fragile books, magazines and journals. The books are carefully scanned and the images captured. We can scan either in colour, black and white or greyscale as necessary (depending on the nature of the books, contents, e.g. pictures, text, illustrations, drawings etc). Once scanned, the images are then processed and converted to the required image formats such as PDF, Text Searchable PDF, ASCII Text, Ms Word, XML, HTML and even Excel for directories. They are then supplied on a required storage medium such as CD or USB.

We deal with hundreds of rare and one-off books per year and have been trusted with books from right back in the 16th century up to the present day. With Pearl Scan Solutions you can be assured that we will treat your books with the greatest of respect throughout the book scanning process.

Scanning Service for Writers

Book scanning for writers

Stuck with only a hard copy of your book and want more people to see your work? Book scanning can help you take steps to launching your work online and let you send it to publishers and third parties in seconds.

Pearl Scan can give your books a new world of possibilities!

Why Are Writers Scanning Their Books?

  • To preserve a digital copy of their work
  • To self publish their work online
  • To republish in an digital format
  • To send to third parties (publishers, editors, agents etc) easily
  • To display on websites
  • To access their work quickly and easily
  • To make additional edits


Why choose Pearl for your book scanning services?

Here are a few reasons why you should consider Pearl Scan to scan your books:

  • books scanning serviceWe have a decade of experience working with the most reputable companies in the UK
  • We are a creative and friendly team of professionals who are easy to approach
  • We have a custom built scanning bureau focussed on security, safety, confidentiality and scalability
  • We offer a one-stop service for all your book scanning and digital conversion
  • We have the infrastructure to support small-to-large, quick-to-long terms projects
  • We are backed up by external quality and security audits
  • We offer fully supported services and management system throughout the UK including book scanning London, book scanning Manchester and book scanning services across the UK.
  • Our scanning operations have been audited and approved by many NHS, Local Authorities, Private blue chip companies to ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 27001 (Information Management System) and EMS 14001 (Environment Management System) and Data Protection 1998.
  • Here at Pearl Scan, we know how to scan a book to suit your needs so get in touch today for a free, no obligation quote.
  • We are a scanning bureau based in Manchester with sales offices in London and Birmingham.
  • We cater for a large range of projects from one-off scanning of one book or manuscript to large digitisation and conversion of your collection.