View Full Version : Hall of Shame - don't buy these ebooks!


Logseman
04-07-2010, 04:30 AM
An idea surged from another thread (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79185) which I believe is praiseworthy: to point out which books are horribly converted and edited for ebook usage, so that fellow readers can avoid them like the plague and send complaints to the respective publishers.

I'd like to set some little guidance norms. As for this thread to be most useful, some data must be given such as title of the dreck conversion, author and the website where it was purchased. Captions or screenshots where we can see the shoddy conversion in delicto flagrante are a plus, but they're not needed, your word for it is good.

Let's see how it fares!

John F
04-07-2010, 08:03 AM
Here is a related thread:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79307

Richard Hawkins
04-07-2010, 08:55 AM
Hi there,I'm new to this, but thought this might be the appropriate thread.
I'm really dismayed at the quality of ePub books on the Internet Archive. Before I got my Sony PRS-600, I would download pdf versions from that source - large but just fine as far as accuracy is concerned.
Since I have started e-reading in earnest on a mobile reader I have been downloading the ePub versions.
Here is an example of the Flaubert "Bouvard and Pecuchet" by Google:-

(Quote) They looked at their tongues lo
" Don't be aftatd. It is 1 " n
" What is jour band doii^ there ? " [9
"No, mr little angel. Don't be afraid" .... 27
Púcucbet tns sunding on one of the chairs, with a rope
in bla band 34
Imagine that this armchair is tlie sun 41
^cbv Google
^cbv Google
BOUVARD AND PECUCHET
S there were thirty-three de^ees of heat . the Boulevard BourdoD was absolutely lA () r deserted (end quote.)

Now what's the point of recording that for all time!

Secondly - different subject - Google is missing the point of a downloadable pdf version of a classic book if the search function inside the pdf no longer works offline ... ugh!

Richard

HarryT
04-07-2010, 11:35 AM
Hi there,I'm new to this, but thought this might be the appropriate thread.
I'm really dismayed at the quality of ePub books on the Internet Archive. Before I got my Sony PRS-600, I would download pdf versions from that source - large but just fine as far as accuracy is concerned.
Since I have started e-reading in earnest on a mobile reader I have been downloading the ePub versions.
Here is an example of the Flaubert "Bouvard and Pecuchet" by Google:-

(Quote) They looked at their tongues lo
" Don't be aftatd. It is 1 " n
" What is jour band doii^ there ? " [9
"No, mr little angel. Don't be afraid" .... 27
Púcucbet tns sunding on one of the chairs, with a rope
in bla band 34
Imagine that this armchair is tlie sun 41
^cbv Google
^cbv Google
BOUVARD AND PECUCHET
S there were thirty-three de^ees of heat . the Boulevard BourdoD was absolutely lA () r deserted (end quote.)

Now what's the point of recording that for all time!


They aren't. The "real" version of the book is the scanned image. The ePub version is just a "quick and dirty" OCR of that. Download the image version if you want the real thing.

rakulos
04-07-2010, 11:49 AM
The Steven Erikson Malazan books - at least the first 2 epubs in the series from Waterstones - have a common issue. Whenever you get a block of italicised text the first word appears to be missed off so you get this...

a bridge of stone, lit by ruby flames. A Bridgeburner.

Ganoes Paran looked back down at the burning quarter, pleased with himself. Even a boy, Commander, can make a point.

This doesn't make the book unreadable - just annoying as it occurs multiple times in every chapter and you're never quite sure where the emphasis should be after awhile as it doesnt occur 100% of the time - probably around 70% :(
I really do love the books, just a shame about the formatting. I havent bought the books from any other site or in any other format so cant comment if this has been fixed in any of the versions currently available.

Latinandgreek
04-07-2010, 12:16 PM
In another thread (a while back), I saw a few people mention that they bought epub versions of "Outlander" (Gibaldon) and were not able to change the font size.

Rumpelteazer
04-07-2010, 01:42 PM
In December I downloaded Dean Koontz's "Darkfall" as pdf from BoB. The first thing I noticed was that the filesize was huge (18mb). Because I just bought my eReader I didn't think too much of it until I found out that on some page I could use my Sony's dictionary function and on other pages I couldn't. It is also the only ebook I have read that has managed to crash my reader (not responding until I pushed the reset button several times).

After some investigation I found out that the pages with even number converted as text whilst the pages with uneven numbers are converted as an image.

I don't know if the book is available in other formats since it isn't available at the time due to the model agency thing.

Ravensknight
04-07-2010, 03:25 PM
The Steven Erikson Malazan books - at least the first 2 epubs in the series from Waterstones

I bought the first two also, and counted over 50 OCR errors in each book, most were problems with I, L, or 1. Mainly I or L coming across as 1's. Loved that Co1l! ;-) P's and R's took second place for common problems...

Richard Hawkins
04-12-2010, 11:07 PM
<<They aren't. The "real" version of the book is the scanned image. The ePub version is just a "quick and dirty" OCR of that. Download the image version if you want the real thing. Harry>>

As I wrote earlier - the pdf version is just fine on a computer.
We're talking e-readers here. If you put that huge file in a PRS-600, you find a couple of unfortunate things: it's very slow to change pages, & in mine it can freeze the e-reader, and it will not magnify the original page. That's a waste of everybody's time. While the ePub version is "quick", yes it is so "dirty" it's not worth looking at. Another waste of space and time, that is simply embarrassing on the Internet Archive.
Richard

Worldwalker
04-12-2010, 11:41 PM
The problem is that the Internet Archive epubs are raw OCR output from (often bad) scans. Sometimes, to mak0e things more fun, from text OCR'd at a 90 degree angle from how it was scanned. The IA is a wonderful place, but not for ebooks. They really need to not offer those books in epub format if (as usually is the case) the text is just a pile of random gibberish.

Jellby
04-13-2010, 06:55 AM
The IA is a wonderful place, but not for ebooks.

It's great for finding scans, which can be used to check spelling, formatting and punctuation of ebooks, or to get the illustrations (much, much better than Google Books for this).

JakesFriend
12-07-2010, 09:05 AM
I purchased "Mindweb" by Scott Thomas from the Sony bookstore (EPUB format). This book has the usual number of typos, but the real sin seems to be using the wrong word. Some examples:

"He heard a FEINT noise..."
"The heavy DEVISE was attached to the..."
"Without much in the way of good BUYS..." (this error happens several times)
"Once in the car, Sandra caught Ken's attention and with jesters indicated ..." (that was my favorite)


Other times, words are dropped. Here's just one example:

"... in a place that was have been well below the water line."

I could go on an on. The interesting part: this book tells me it is from Smashwords (where I bought the second and third books in the series). I contacted Smashwords and they don't care -- meaning they say it's entirely the fault/responsibility of the author. That buck will wear out if it's passed around much further.

bjones6416
12-07-2010, 09:13 AM
"Once in the car, Sandra caught Ken's attention and with jesters indicated ..." (that was my favorite)


On a serious note, I would be upset at having paid for this. On a lighter note, the author has to get style points for the "jesters" line! :joker:

elemenoP
12-07-2010, 09:34 AM
FYI - I have Outlander in epub, from when it was free, and I can change the font sizes on my Sony.

eP

sourcejedi
12-07-2010, 11:24 AM
The interesting part: this book tells me it is from Smashwords (where I bought the second and third books in the series). I contacted Smashwords and they don't care -- meaning they say it's entirely the fault/responsibility of the author. That buck will wear out if it's passed around much further.

That is rather the point of Smashwords. I don't think there's much point trying to list Smashwords books to avoid; you can just leave feedback as a review. Unless you feel the need to share particularly creative spellings... I'm normally quite quick, but it took me far too long to work out what the word JESTERS was supposed to be!

mr ploppy
12-07-2010, 11:58 AM
I I contacted Smashwords and they don't care -- meaning they say it's entirely the fault/responsibility of the author. That buck will wear out if it's passed around much further.

It's a fair enough point. Nobody at Smashwords actually reads or checks any of the ebooks people publish there.

mr ploppy
12-07-2010, 12:00 PM
All of Dorchester's Leisure line seem to be Topaz format scanned images from the paperbacks. That is the only format available in the UK, epub versions exist for America, I don't know if they are any better or not.

Sweetpea
12-08-2010, 01:44 AM
I just started reading Gai-Jin by James Clavell (bought in mobipocket format at Fictionwise). It does look decent so far, except for this one:


"for God's sakÚ,"


It made me laugh :p

JakesFriend
12-08-2010, 09:27 AM
That is rather the point of Smashwords. I don't think there's much point trying to list Smashwords books to avoid; you can just leave feedback as a review. Unless you feel the need to share particularly creative spellings... I'm normally quite quick, but it took me far too long to work out what the word JESTERS was supposed to be!

That's my idea: to show how strange and frustrating it can be to read books (e- or not) that haven't been checked carefully.