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Old 10-28-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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Why is an ebook ever riddled with typos?

http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/26/3554770/ebook-typos
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
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It's odd - the article says he specific had a discussion with Amazon and was told that Amazon doesn't allow the ebooks to be corrected. But I've gotten emails saying updated versions have been made available and to accept with "yes" if I'd like to replace my original with the revised version.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
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*looks at thread title* Because publishers are cheap and can't be bothered to hire the same editors & proofreaders they'd use for their mass-market paperback versions (and greedy, of course, for not passing the savings resulting from the lack of physical manufacturing, transportation, and storage on to the consumer).
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
It's odd - the article says he specific had a discussion with Amazon and was told that Amazon doesn't allow the ebooks to be corrected. But I've gotten emails saying updated versions have been made available and to accept with "yes" if I'd like to replace my original with the revised version.
Yes, Amazon allows any publisher, traditional or self-pub, to update their books whenever they want to. I have noticed that they don't always send out emails though, I got an email about a book recently and when I went to MYK to update it there were a bunch of others there that had updates available too.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD Gumby View Post
*looks at thread title* Because publishers are cheap and can't be bothered to hire the same editors & proofreaders they'd use for their mass-market paperback versions (and greedy, of course, for not passing the savings resulting from the lack of physical manufacturing, transportation, and storage on to the consumer).
This is just not true.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
It's odd - the article says he specific had a discussion with Amazon and was told that Amazon doesn't allow the ebooks to be corrected. But I've gotten emails saying updated versions have been made available and to accept with "yes" if I'd like to replace my original with the revised version.
I think the problem is with her use of "push". This suggests that the correction is automatically sent. So when she asked whether Amazon "pushed" updates she was told "no".
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JD Gumby View Post
*looks at thread title* Because publishers are cheap and can't be bothered to hire the same editors & proofreaders they'd use for their mass-market paperback versions (and greedy, of course, for not passing the savings resulting from the lack of physical manufacturing, transportation, and storage on to the consumer).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
This is just not true.
Could you tell me please, Catlady, why you are so sure that it is not true, and what you think are the real reasons why there are so many more typos in ebooks than in print books?
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
I got an email about a book recently and when I went to MYK to update it there were a bunch of others there that had updates available too.
How do you tell if books have updates available? I don't see anything obvious to indicate that.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD Gumby View Post
*looks at thread title* Because publishers are cheap and can't be bothered to hire the same editors & proofreaders they'd use for their mass-market paperback versions (and greedy, of course, for not passing the savings resulting from the lack of physical manufacturing, transportation, and storage on to the consumer).
I would be very surprised if publishers handled print editions and ebook editions of new books separately - everything's digital nowadays, it wouldn't make sense to have two production processes. If I have any beef with ebooks from big publishers it's exactly this: they sometimes don't seem to realise that reflowable text needs a little extra attention to make sure it works properly.

The book the writer is complaining about is Foucault's Pendulum, which was published in English in 1989. No ebooks back then. I would expect the more recent ebook edition to have been based on some sort of scanning process, which may be where the errors are coming from. No excuse for not checking it, though.

Last edited by MartinC; 10-30-2012 at 04:16 AM. Reason: Showing my age
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinC View Post
The book the writer is complaining about is Foucault's Pendulum, which was published in English in 1989. No ebooks back then. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the more recent ebook edition was based on some sort of scanning process, which may be where the errors are coming from. No excuse for not checking it, though.
It also features significant chunks in multiple languages, which is going to throw any automated conversion process, which will probably introduce errors by over-correcting against a single-language dictionary. That sort of book absolutely requires line by line manual proofing.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
How do you tell if books have updates available? I don't see anything obvious to indicate that.
I can't remember the actual wording, but it's impossible to miss when looking at your list of purchases. It's a clear visual indication, but you will have to look at each page of your purchases. It's a book by book visual indicator. There is no master "You have updated titles" message on your account page, to my knowledge.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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I can perfectly well understand that it might not make economic sense to give backlist titles the same kind of attention as a new release. They are often relying on OCR from scanned paper originals, and OCR is not infallible.

Some of the books will be selling in very small quantities. They are only cost-effective en masse. They can't afford to fully proofread each one because the income per book is not enough to cover the costs. And all the costs are up front, if you're releasing a big backlist.

My impression is that these books are quickly checked for errors, possibly even just a random sample, and that quite a few errors can get through. I have reported particularly bad examples back to publishers, in the past, and they usually seem to want to fix them.

If the choice is between having a few errors and not having the book at all, I'm willing to take the errors.

TBH, they'd probably be better off grabbing a pirate copy and releasing that, but I'm not sure what kind of legal can of worms that would be.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I can't remember the actual wording, but it's impossible to miss when looking at your list of purchases. It's a clear visual indication, but you will have to look at each page of your purchases. It's a book by book visual indicator. There is no master "You have updated titles" message on your account page, to my knowledge.
As far as I recall you get an extra entry on this menu saying something like "Books with updates".

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avantman42 View Post
How do you tell if books have updates available? I don't see anything obvious to indicate that.
Go to your MYK page at http://www.amazon.com/myk
(If you have a large archive you may have to wait for all items to load)

In the 'view' drop down select "Available for Update", this will filter your archive down to those items that have updates available. Click on 'update available' behind the title and select 'Update this title now'.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Go to your MYK page at http://www.amazon.com/myk
(If you have a large archive you may have to wait for all items to load)

In the 'view' drop down select "Available for Update", this will filter your archive down to those items that have updates available. Click on 'update available' behind the title and select 'Update this title now'.
Yeah, what he or she said.

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