Data Conversion Laboratory, (DCL), a provider of digital publishing services, reports 70% of 411 respondents to a survey drawn from a cross section of the publishing industry cited “quality” as the most important consideration when publishing an eBook. Another important finding is that 63% of the respondents plan to publish a digital book in 2012.

“Eighteen months ago, more publishers were concerned about getting their information onto an eBook platform and quality was not the overarching theme it is now,” says DCL President and CEO Mark Gross. “The survey demonstrates that the publishing industry realizes consumers will not tolerate typos and bad formatting in an US$15 eBook.”

In another shift from tradition, 64% of the respondents stated they were interested in publishing non-fiction and technical digital content. This statistic is indicative of an expansion in the use of e-readers from casual reading of novels to a myriad of business and technical applications, Gross adds.

“The survey confirms what we have been hearing from publishers, that while the initial push to digital was important, they are now seeing a need to go with the best partners and to improve their quality control and workflow,” says Bill Trippe, vice president and lead analyst at Outsell, Inc. an industry analyst firm. “Digital products are becoming the lifeblood for publishers, and consumers are expecting an optimal experience.”

The DCL survey also discovered 43% of publishers realized the importance of compatibility with all e-readers, including iPad, MOBI (Kindle), Nook and custom formats. Within the publishers group, the iPad edged out Kindle at 44% as an e-reader, versus 36 percent preferring a Kindle.