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Old 08-24-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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poorly edited book from connect

Hopefully this the right place to vent about a poorly edited book I bought from connect.

First of all, connect only had book 3 in the series. (The presidential agent novels by W.E.B. Griffin, which I am quite enjoying.) Go figure. But it was after midnight and I had a pressing need for book three, so I bought it from connect at the hardback price (~$20, a total rip off for electrons, if you ask me.) Now, I read the first two books in paper format, and there was no problem with the editing at all. You'd think they'd just take the same version and ebook it, right? But somehow, in this electronic version, every "Mrs." or "Ms." is written as "Mr." How could they possibly get this wrong? You'd have to TRY to change all of those. It is quite confusing. The other problem is that spaces are frequently in the wrong place. For example, when someone asked if he could ask a question, the reply was, "As kit." AS KIT? You must be kidding. And this is the third or fourth time such a mistake has been made.

End rant.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:13 PM   #2
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Most of the books that I have bought from Connect have had several errors in them. I must say that the most annoying was Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer where clicking on a foot note would take you to the part of the book where the foot notes were located but clicking on "return to text" would take me back to some completely different page. Thank goodness for the history function with the joystick.

Another issue that I found funny was after reading Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut the book said "We hope you enjoyed Brave New World.

The latter was probably due to the publisher so I emailed them directly. I am not sure who would be to blame for the foot note issue. I think it is pretty poor to get such a shotty quality product when in some cases they are charging nearly as much for an electronic copy of a book as they are for the physical medium.

Bottom line is that you are not alone feeling frustration on this issue.

I would like to add that the real place you should vent is back to Sony so that they have the opportunity to fix the product or contact the publisher to fix it so that others don't have to deal with the same thing you are dealing with.

Last edited by monkeywrench; 08-24-2007 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:50 PM   #3
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Good idea. I'll look into emailing sony.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:11 PM   #4
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But, has anyone bought other ebook formats of these same books to see if it might be Sony's thrid party formatters or it just is that way as an electronic copy?
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:14 PM   #5
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Sony's survey at the following link has the following question:

http://connect-metrics.custhelp.com/...eys/ws?_133=22

"7) Sometimes a publisher may submit eBooks that are incomplete or contain typos. If you experience this with any of the eBooks you purchase, please provide us with as many details as possible (page number (e.g. page 101 of 1001), the misspelled word(s), etc.) so we can forward and have them corrected. Please provide us with your email address as well so we can notify you when you will be able to download the corrected version."

Which makes it sound like typos are fixable and that they will fix them if you tell them about them.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by europas_ice View Post
Now, I read the first two books in paper format, and there was no problem with the editing at all. You'd think they'd just take the same version and ebook it, right? But somehow, in this electronic version, every "Mrs." or "Ms." is written as "Mr." How could they possibly get this wrong? You'd have to TRY to change all of those. It is quite confusing. The other problem is that spaces are frequently in the wrong place. For example, when someone asked if he could ask a question, the reply was, "As kit." AS KIT? You must be kidding. And this is the third or fourth time such a mistake has been made.
Unfortunately, the manuscript used to the ebook might not be the same one as used in the paper edition.

For instance, I have pretty much the entire Baen Free Library on my PDA, converted to Plucker from the HTML content. Most of them are fine. but one was amusing, complete with obvious typos, asides to the editor, and author's note to himself to go back and fix something.

A note to the author got forwarded to the person who did the CD from which the ebook copy was taken. He confirmed what I suspected: because of publication timing, the version included electronically on the CD was the manuscript for the ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) -- essentially uncorrected page proofs, and not final proofed copy. I have the same book in hardcover dead tree edition, and those errors are fixed in it.

Something like that may be happening with the electronic versions you have, though it's not clear whether Sony or the original publisher should get the blame. (I doubt Sony does proofing on the electronic manuscripts they get, but assumes the publisher of the paper edition did it.)

Incidentally, the late John Brunner told a story about about one of his SF books. He included stuff in it that was done deliberately, but he knew some copy editor would want to "correct". So he went through the submission draft of his manuscript, circling all of the instances in question, and putting "STET!" in the margin.

Sure enough, when he got the galleys to proof, every instance had been "corrected". Apparently, he got a copy editor who didn't know what STET! meant...
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:51 PM   #7
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I've been reading a number of books in Sony format from Manybooks and I often find the space pr oblem in all of them. Must be something in the conversion softw are.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paulkbiba View Post
I've been reading a number of books in Sony format from Manybooks and I often find the space pr oblem in all of them. Must be something in the conversion softw are.
The chap who runs Manybooks does his own format conversions via scripts. You might wish to drop him a note. It's possible he can make adjustments on his end that will address the problem. I've corresponded with him before and found him responsive.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:49 PM   #9
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Yes, but Baen makes it very clear that ARCs will have typos, etc. in them and aren't a finished product. To find one in the free library is a bit weird, but still not outside of reason. I expect different from publishers charging full price (especially full hardback or greater than paperback price!) Doubly so for a DRMed copy that I can't correct the typos in my copy of.

What it shows is that most publishers do not expend the effort to fully proof an ebook, especially when ported to different formats. You'd think that if the publisher is going to reap the profit on the book, they should be willing to pay for the same level of proofing on it.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaughingVulcan View Post
Yes, but Baen makes it very clear that ARCs will have typos, etc. in them and aren't a finished product.
Agreed. I don't expect ARCs to be fully corrected.

Quote:
To find one in the free library is a bit weird, but still not outside of reason.
I was very weird. As mentioned, I have the complete offering, including stuff on CD not posted to the Baen website, and this is the first one I've seen generated from ARC copy instead of final copy.

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I expect different from publishers charging full price (especially full hardback or greater than paperback price!) Doubly so for a DRMed copy that I can't correct the typos in my copy of.
Me, too. I wasn't upset by it. I was actually amused, especially by encountering author asides to his editor and notes to himself. But because it was the first one I saw, I felt the need to query, and the response was about what I expected.

My guess is that Baen juggled their schedule a bit to get a title out faster, and that left insufficient time to create the CD version from final proofed copy, because the CD had a longer production lead time than the book it accompanied.

Quote:
What it shows is that most publishers do not expend the effort to fully proof an ebook, especially when ported to different formats. You'd think that if the publisher is going to reap the profit on the book, they should be willing to pay for the same level of proofing on it.
The book should use the same base manuscript for the copy sent to the printer and the format conversions for ebooks. The conversion software may introduce oddities, but the copy converted should be clean.

In this case, scheduling issues required using the ARC copy for the CD, but that's an exception. All other electronic versions I've seen from Baen have been relatively flawless.
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:12 AM   #11
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Sure enough, when he got the galleys to proof, every instance had been "corrected". Apparently, he got a copy editor who didn't know what STET! meant...
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... and to think that some people say that Latin is useless . Everyone in Mr. Brunner's generation was taught Latin in school; it seems that his editor was of a younger generation
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Old 08-25-2007, 04:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by monkeywrench View Post
Most of the books that I have bought from Connect have had several errors in them. I must say that the most annoying was Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer where clicking on a foot note would take you to the part of the book where the foot notes were located but clicking on "return to text" would take me back to some completely different page. Thank goodness for the history function with the joystick.
.
I have noticed that while trying to make footnotes in Book Designer. If you click on the link to take you back to the text, it doesn't take you back to the original link, but to the page that has the beginning of the paragraph that contains the link. It varies according to paragraph length and font size, but you may be a few pages away from where you began.
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #13
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... and to think that some people say that Latin is useless . Everyone in Mr. Brunner's generation was taught Latin in school; it seems that his editor was of a younger generation
STET is a basic copy editing term, whether you have been taught Latin of not. The copy editor should have known what it meant...
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:50 PM   #14
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I have found the Sony Connect Classics so irritating that I have stopped downloading them - even though I have about 40 free classics left, which have to be downloaded by the end of the month. There are so many errors that I find them unreadable. We can make much better copies ourselves.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:26 PM   #15
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Sony Connect is not alone, I have found errors in books from Fictionwise and ebookmall too. Some minor, some major -- "In 1892, near the end of the eighteenth century ..."
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