TechCrunch reports that 1DollarScan, a US subsidiary of Japanese jisui (third-party book-to-e-book scanning) company Bookscan, has introduced an improved formatting service called Fine Tune. Fine Tune promises to custom-format its scans so that they work better and load faster on all different platforms. For example, Fine Tuning for the iPhone, Android devices, or e-readers offers compression, margin removal (to make the PDF fit the screen shape better and waste less space on already-small screens), and optimization for the different resolutions or display technologies.

CEO Hiroshi Nakano says this approach is particularly important for making inroads in the U.S. — saving physical space is less important here than in Japan, so the main advantage of digitization is mobility. And with Fine Tune, 1DollarScan can deliver a better mobile experience.

1DollerScan launched last August, and for $1 per hundred book or ten document pages, will destructively scan any books you want to send to them into PDF e-books. (Books have their spines removed to scan, and the printed pages will be recycled after scanning.) This is the same thing that jisui companies in Japan have been doing for space-conscious Japanese consumers who wanted electronic copies of their books so they could save space and didn’t want to wait for the Japanese publishing industry to standardize on an e-book format.

Of course, the Japanese companies have been sued for their trouble, and I honestly have no idea why the same thing hasn’t happened to 1DollarScan over here yet. Authors and publishers weren’t too thrilled by Google Books’s library digitization project scanning their works without authorization at the behest of the owners of the physical copies of those books, and 1DollarScan is basically the same thing on a smaller scale. Perhaps they just haven’t noticed yet?

At any rate, people who have large libraries they’d like to get rid of in exchange for e-book versions could find this service more compelling than ever, especially if they use the sorts of mobile devices Fine Tune can optimize for. It might be a good idea for them to get it done before publishers shut it down, however.


  1. This is what I think about this bulshit “1dollarscan” company…

    READERS- I can sense bulshit a mile away and…

    Why can’t people have their books back? …even if they PAY for return shipping?

    Is it because you guys SELL their books and make money?

    You guys could and probably DO make money on selling people’s books, which is fine, but just be honest about it if you do. Meaning, you “say” you recycle then, but lets be honest, books can be worth a LOT of money, by themselves, AND in volume, so you could just as easily “keep” these books and sell them for your own profit, actually profiting off people. Meaning, you’d be ‘making’ more than “$1” off people.

    People get lured into your service through the $1, but you are making money off their books! But I guess, it works both ways – because they get an E-book in exchange 🙂 Still, you probably make more money off their book. What irritates me is not giving people the option of having their books back even if they pay return shipping, and that’s exactly why I think you keep their books for profit to sell.

    You’re able to keep up the “image” because of the $1 (which is super cheap) and the fact that you say you “recycle,” which sounds amazing, but do you REALLY recycle? And if so, how many do you recycle? Also, any certificate, procedure, etc., just like a college education/diploma doesn’t mean anything! Your service wouldn’t be a problem if you would just BE HONEST! And secondly, let people CHOOSE whether or not they get their books back. If your service is really as “selfless” as you are portraying or “good/great” in the public eye, then give people the option and be truthful in its entirety!

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