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Old 07-29-2011, 12:04 PM   #61
elcreative
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I think there is a factor being overlooked. In the U.S., a capitalist driven economy, profit is everything. Pbook publishers are seeing their tactile products being overtaken by eBook purchases which means there is less customer feedback through traditional booksellers (i.e. pBooks returned with complaints of errors) and lower prices expected from savings on paper, transportation, middle-man profits (B&M stores) and re-stocking returns. With lower prices comes less profit unless authors are screwed and/or publishing percentages are raised. The obvious short-term (and what capitalist is willing to deal with long term success these days) solution is to send them out 'as is' and hope the author knows how to run his/her spell-checker. Only when customer ire reaches into profits will proof-readers be re-employed. Right now, thousands of them are being laid off by major publishing houses and the results are painfully obvious.
Where are these thousands of proofreaders/editors being laid off to be later re-employed??

I think most people here have an entirely exaggerated idea of the number of proofreaders/editors that exist in the entire world... I know of NO publisher that has thousands of them, let alone hundreds... this formerly respected job has been heavily destroyed over the past decades as a cost-cutting exercise and a mistaken belief in the power of spellcheckers and other computer aids. Decent proofreading is a skill that requires some time and effort to acquire especially once you've got rid of the existing employees... If any of those who proof professionally as freelancers or publish care to comment, they will say the same...

You can get a small number of people doing out-of-copyright material for love (and they'll tell you that proofing a book isn't some half hour read but a labour intensive process) but you cannot suddenly produce a cadre of proofreaders from thin air...
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:05 PM   #62
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pillage and "rape the windows"?

It is an easy one to make, just that extra "n" just changes the whole comment.

Pretty funny.

One strange one I ran across was in one of the WEB Griffin Presidential Agent series. In the ebook version, every instance of Mrs. was changed to Mr. Made for some confusion as both the Mr. and Mrs. are characters in the book, and contiribute to the story line a good bit. But it only occured in one volume (the characters are in several).
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:14 PM   #63
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If the formatting errors are egregious I will return the book. A lot of backlist books get scanned in by a third-party company and then the publisher never pays for anyone to proofread this copy before it goes live.

Adding to the problem is that sometimes DRM can accidentally scramble perfectly good e-text after application, so if the proofreading is done before that...
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:19 AM   #64
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Whenever there are typos and bad formatting, leave an honest review on Amazon/B&N/Smashwords/etc. and help out your fellow readers. I've been reviewing ebooks for my blog for a few months now, and while I read books for the content, if a book has too many errors, I'll include that in my review. Less than 5 errors in a 80,000 book won't bother me, a bit beyond that makes me go eeenhh, and when it hits 10 or more makes me write "This book needs another editing pass." I've received review requests for books with bad line spacing and formatting in the first page of the sample... I told the authors about it, but many book bloggers would just ignore those. I've been reading a lot of perfectly polished ebooks, so I've been happy so far, but yeah, I try to help out with my book reviews on which ones need another proofreading pass.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:48 PM   #65
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The one time I returned a (self published) Kindle book for widespread formatting errors, I left a review explaining that. The author responded that she herself didn't have an e-reader, but had wondered why all the returns were happening? I suppose it appears on her balance sheet. She said it had been fixed, but I wasn't willing to find out.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:16 AM   #66
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The thing I notice is that the electronic errors introduced by bad formatting translations, the funky letters for apostrophes or accented letters like blasA instead of blasé, is usually in the early author submissions. BAEN has that often. Preproduction, direct from the author files, type of thing. Probably a PC/Mac thing.

Problem is, it lingers. Edition after edition has the same errors, once translated never to be redone. Aggravating. Another problem that really annoyed me is the Charlie Huston books. I had to look up the pbook hardcover and yep, still there. He, for what ever reason, decided he wanted to have different rules for dialog indicators in a paragraph. Couldn't use endquotes, no he'll use ONE em hyphen at the beginning of the sentence. Arrrr.
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:29 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post
He, for what ever reason, decided he wanted to have different rules for dialog indicators in a paragraph. Couldn't use endquotes, no he'll use ONE em hyphen at the beginning of the sentence. Arrrr.
That's the norm in other languages, like French, Spanish, Russian... maybe that's why.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:30 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post
The thing I notice is that the electronic errors introduced by bad formatting translations, the funky letters for apostrophes or accented letters like blasA instead of blasé, is usually in the early author submissions. BAEN has that often. Preproduction, direct from the author files, type of thing. Probably a PC/Mac thing.
That's really interesting that you'd make that observation about BAEN's ebooks (David Weber's work, in this case), because I've actually been more impressed with their good formatting than I have been with any other "traditional" publisher's formatting.

It just seems to me that some of the traditional houses don't want to put in the same level of effort into producing an ebook that they do into a hardcover or a paperback, which saddens me. If I'm going to be paying as much for an ebook, I'd really like the formatting to be decent, you know?
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:26 PM   #69
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That's really interesting that you'd make that observation about BAEN's ebooks (David Weber's work, in this case), because I've actually been more impressed with their good formatting than I have been with any other "traditional" publisher's formatting.
It's quite variable. Weber is pretty good IMO, which is interesting because he doesn't type. He uses Dragon, one of the few commercial writers that I know of that does, and gets away with it. I assume that he has a very good speaking voice. Ringo isn't as good. It's mostly from the early draft thingies that BAEN so loves to let loose, but then doesn't re edit when they actually print the book. Given BAEN's support for digital formats (one of the best in the world) I think it's just oversights from too much work. Nobody's perfect.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:54 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by OneandonlyDoc View Post
It just seems to me that some of the traditional houses don't want to put in the same level of effort into producing an ebook that they do into a hardcover or a paperback, which saddens me. If I'm going to be paying as much for an ebook, I'd really like the formatting to be decent, you know?
The state of proof reading in pBooks is similar. I see a lot of errors that seem to be the result of using common spell checkers for proof reading.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:07 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by SeaBookGuy View Post
The one time I returned a (self published) Kindle book for widespread formatting errors, I left a review explaining that. The author responded that she herself didn't have an e-reader, but had wondered why all the returns were happening? I suppose it appears on her balance sheet. She said it had been fixed, but I wasn't willing to find out.
Don't need an ereader, especially with where Amazon is concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimwit View Post
The thing I notice is that the electronic errors introduced by bad formatting translations, the funky letters for apostrophes or accented letters like blasA instead of blasé, is usually in the early author submissions. BAEN has that often. Preproduction, direct from the author files, type of thing. Probably a PC/Mac thing.

Problem is, it lingers. Edition after edition has the same errors, once translated never to be redone. Aggravating. Another problem that really annoyed me is the Charlie Huston books. I had to look up the pbook hardcover and yep, still there. He, for what ever reason, decided he wanted to have different rules for dialog indicators in a paragraph. Couldn't use endquotes, no he'll use ONE em hyphen at the beginning of the sentence. Arrrr.
It is a Unicode/ASCII thing, or an OCR issue. Sometimes if the document is in ASCII and converted to unicode, or vice versa, uncommon characters (such as ones with various markings) will not get converted properly. However I'd say it is more likely to be an OCR thing.
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