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Old 01-05-2012, 03:27 AM   #1
DonaldL.
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E-Book Editing Raises Questions for Publishing

E-Book Editing Raises Questions for Publishing

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A recent Wall Street Journal Books blog post by Nicholas Carr raises questions about the malleability of e-books. The author self-published an essay collection on Amazon, decided to make a few sentence-level changes, and was able to do so in just two days, rather than the months it would have taken if those corrections went through a traditional publisher — that is, if the publisher even agreed to make them.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:56 AM   #2
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There is some solutions, maybe include timestamps and hashes to publishing platforms and force those on works. Also access to earlier editions should be allowed. It's quite depended on storing all the different editions.

Good and bad change which digital world brings. Still, books have been censored before...
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:22 AM   #3
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I don't see a problem as long as the author gives final approval.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:47 AM   #4
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I never really thought of it that way, but I see being able to fix mistakes quickly and easily as a good thing. Smashwords lets you decide which version you want to download, so maybe getting other vendors to follow their lead would be the way to go. But I think it will be several centuries at least until schools start teaching about books that have never had a paper edition.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Sometimes a new capability requires a new institution, or new guidelines to an existing institution, to police it. No one likes “more laws,” but quite possibly literary organizations, or bodies like the Library of Congress, will have to provide tracking and access to altered works.

We may have to establish a new method for designating certain texts as “historically significant,” and therefore required to notify a body in the event of an edit. This would place the burden only on certain texts, making the tracking and access job easier.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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We may have to establish a new method for designating certain texts as “historically significant,” and therefore required to notify a body in the event of an edit. This would place the burden only on certain texts, making the tracking and access job easier.
Depends on the definition of "certain texts".
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post

We may have to establish a new method for designating certain texts as “historically significant,”
I can't really see how that could be done in advance. All you would get would be someone's idea of what might become significant.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #8
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I can't really see how that could be done in advance. All you would get would be someone's idea of what might become significant.
Seriously. Who would ever have guessed in the 1950's that Tolkien's revisions to The Hobbit -- a children's book of no particular renown -- would someday be considered historically significant?
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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I suspect the best answer is to resort to decimal versioning as used for software. e.g. a typographical correction might increment v1.0 to v1.1 . Content revisions would roll the whole number, from 1.1 to 2.0 .
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Who controls revisions - author? copyright holder? publisher?
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:05 PM   #11
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Who controls revisions - author? copyright holder? publisher?
Yes.

Koshistically,
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
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Depends on the definition of "certain texts".
Which, in turn, depends on who gets to make those definitions. Which won't be your or I. Anybody who says "There outta be a law!" needs to be reminded who makes laws. Do you really want our culture enshrined in law by the current band of wingnuts in Congress?
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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Which, in turn, depends on who gets to make those definitions. Which won't be your or I. Anybody who says "There outta be a law!" needs to be reminded who makes laws. Do you really want our culture enshrined in law by the current band of wingnuts in Congress?
I would prefer total and absolute chaos on this issue!

I like the version numbering, and the changes would be implemented by the copyright holder.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:33 PM   #14
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I would prefer total and absolute chaos on this issue!

I like the version numbering, and the changes would be implemented by the copyright holder.
Yeah. I'm coming from a background in technical writing. I really don't want to ever touch my books once they go up for sale, but if an edit IS necessary, I'll implement a version history page and say what changed and where.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #15
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We already have many "fine" version-control systems, as long as we are mainly using text and markup they aren't too inefficient. Just implement one of them or move to something better...
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