Over the past 2-3 years, one of the projects that we are frequently hired to do involves taking a client's existing curriculum or content and "converting it" to a digital format which can be accessed as an ebook on devices such as the iPad or the Kindle. Simply converting content isn't really that complicated of a process and, in fact, there are many applications which will export content to an ebook-ready format. Perhaps the most well-know is Apple's Pages that will save a document as an EPUB and can be opened by a variety of readers. The challenge arises when a client wishes to "write-once, publish many."
Based on my experience it would be a rare client who just wanted to take a piece of content which they had written in Word and convert it to EPUB and that's it. More typically, they want to take their content and publish it to many different formats so that it can be accessed on many different devices, printed in a nice layout, displayed on the Web and modified with ease. And, most importantly, they want this process (or workflow) to be as simple and unified as possible so that they don't have to manage multiple versions of the content.
It is this challenge which has resulted in development of our custom workflow which takes content (from Word or whatever available source file) and uses a combination our our subject-matter expertise to adapt the content and our technical savvy to prepare and export that content into many different formats.