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Old 10-22-2011, 11:20 AM   #1
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Some perspective on why ebooks are so filled with errors.

I thought this was a pretty interesting article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-...b_1023072.html
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:43 AM   #2
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Given the convoluted workflow, it's a wonder ebooks aren't bigger piles of mess than they are.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Sounds like a cop-out to me.
All they have to do is do the proof-reading back and forth from the author, the type setters and publisher until all are happy just as they do now but ON THE ORIGINAL file document from the author, and only after that they should work on the layout and appearance and do PDF's or whatever else they do before printing or creating the ebook file.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #4
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All they have to do is to proof-read the OCR'd output that serves as the source for the e-book. This isn't rocket science.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Sounds like a cop-out to me.
This is the same thing I thought.

Still an interesting read, though.
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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It's definitely not an excuse. My favorite line from the article is, '"When you consider the fact that many e-books from the major houses are priced higher than paperbacks," Cronin says, "a mistake-riddled reading experience is pretty hard to rationalize."'
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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What a bunch of extremely clever people... how come you're not all producing perfectly proofed, edited and beautifully laid out books if it's so easy...

Quexos and RainingLemur have always known better regarding production than those who do it and howyoudoin is obviously reading a different article when he's talking about "OCR," where did that creep in...

As resident experts, let me know when your perfect publishing enterprises get off the ground and we can all bow down in awe and admiration...
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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Sure, perfection is too much to expect, but should my kindle copy of Gene Wolfe's "On Blue's Water" really keep confusing "needler" (the name of a type of firearm,) with "needier"? Obviously, this is an OCR problem that apparently no one saw, and it doesn't happen once. I'd say more often than not the wrong word is used. I found a pirated version of another book in the series that had the same type of mistakes. Also, in the paper version of the book, hyphens are used to break words up, but in the kindle version, these words remain hyphenated even if they no longer occur at the end of a line. It's hard to chalk this up to anything other than either laziness or apathy. And yes, the kindle version cost more than the paperback version.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:10 PM   #9
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On the one hand, I think it's nearly impossible to vanquish every last typo.

On the other hand, I picked up a Brautigan omnibus e-book from my local library (the one with Revenge of the Lawn), and gave up after 8% of the book because I had noted over a dozen obvious errors, e.g.:

"Hey, kid, take your head cut of your ass" ...
"No," she said. "I don't wan: any hamburger," ...

After reading that 8% and seeing errors that even a basic spellcheck would have caught, I was convinced that either (a) no one at the publisher had even read the ebook prior to selling it, and/or (b) no one at the publisher gave a f*ck about Richard Brautigan. The lack of professionalism on the part of the publisher made me really angry.

From the Gutenberg folks, I can accept a lower standard. But for people whose job it is to produce "perfectly proofed, edited and beautifully laid out books," and who charge top dollar, the standards are different.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by elcreative View Post
howyoudoin is obviously reading a different article when he's talking about "OCR," where did that creep in...
What do you mean? The author says, "While many of the most egregious errors involve scanning and OCR mistakes for older publications, book designer and typesetter Maggie Dana, author of the novel Beachcombing, explains why newer books aren't exempt"

It seems like a reasonable idea to conclude that closer proofreading (or proofreading at all) of OCR'd texts could help - at least when it comes to older publications.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:11 PM   #11
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What a bunch of extremely clever people... how come you're not all producing perfectly proofed, edited and beautifully laid out books if it's so easy...

Quexos and RainingLemur have always known better regarding production than those who do it and howyoudoin is obviously reading a different article when he's talking about "OCR," where did that creep in...

As resident experts, let me know when your perfect publishing enterprises get off the ground and we can all bow down in awe and admiration...
Because, like jupstin says, the sort of errors that are commonly encountered in shoddy ebooks are OCR errors. Where 'I' becomes '1', the serif 'l' becomes 'i', and the like.

But I guess we're just dumb folk with no idea of what's going on
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:13 PM   #12
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From the Gutenberg folks, I can accept a lower standard. But for people whose job it is to produce "perfectly proofed, edited and beautifully laid out books," and who charge top dollar, the standards are different.
Exactly. When I spend $9.99 on a product that costs nothing to reproduce, I expect it to at least match the quality of the $7.99 version that I bought in a store.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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Because, like jupstin says, the sort of errors that are commonly encountered in shoddy ebooks are OCR errors. Where 'I' becomes '1', the serif 'l' becomes 'T', and the like.
And one of my personal favorites - the letter "i" becomes :
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:16 PM   #14
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But how do we get a mess like with Snuff where a lot of the instances of people and couple were missing the leading space? The explanation of back and forthing a PDF doesn't explain this. Unless the PDF was used as the source and then errors are a free-for-all.
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Old 10-22-2011, 02:23 PM   #15
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But how do we get a mess like with Snuff where a lot of the instances of people and couple were missing the leading space? The explanation of back and forthing a PDF doesn't explain this. Unless the PDF was used as the source and then errors are a free-for-all.
I know what you mean. There are some errors that I just can't "reverse engineer."
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