Originally Posted by jbenny
It is bad enough that public domain ebooks have typos and other errors. Even ebooks from PG are not error free, despite the fact that they have all those proofreaders. I think that it is inexcusable that the ebooks you pay money for are sometimes even worse.
Distributed Proofreaders tries, and does a fairly good job, but perfection is a goal to be strived for, not something you normally attain. eBook publishers are at the mercy of their sources. They don't acquire the manuscript, copy edit, and proofread. That happens elsewhere, and if it's done badly or not at all, they are stuck with the results.
The most common errors I see are due to OCR. Some of these should have been caught with a spell checker, as they are not real words. The others should have been caught by someone actually reading the text. It seems that even the commercial publishers can't be bothered to do this.
It's an increasing problem. Some publishers still try, but others see it as an expense they'd prefer to avoid. I recall at least one exchange on the topic on another forum I'm involved with, where the participants are mostly in publishing in one manner or another. One who worked for a production service that did copy editing and proofreading on a contract basis complained about books that apparently weren't
proofread. Another who was an editor at a major publisher said that proofreading and copy editing were part of the production budget for the book. The first replied "At your
house they are, because you folks still maintain standards. That is not the case everywhere else..."
Right now, I'm reading "Red Alert" that was a Black Mask release. I'm not halfway done and I've found several errors so far. I appreciate the efforts of PG, Baen, Blask Mask (or whatever it's called now) and others, but I would prefer that they had error free text before they released something, as opposed to going for quantity.
Blackmask is now called Munseys, though www.blackmask.com
also gets you there.
I know the proprietor of Blackmask. He'd
like to have error free text, too, but how do you propose he get
it? What he's doing is taking text from elsewhere, like PG, and reformatting into a dozen electronic formats. He's a one man shop. He can create the ebooks and maintain the site, but he can't also proofread - there just aren't enough hours in a day.
Drop the proprietor of Munseys a note with your corrections. He's pretty responsive.