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Old 02-05-2013, 05:25 PM   #31
JSWolf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
People who are used to proper books, with good covers, typography, and finishing like good ToC's and such. Basically, most people born before 1995 or so.
I was born in 1963 and I do care.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00min View Post
I typically grab the HTML files from Calibre, cat them back into one file then run the lot though a bunch of search and replaces I got saved in my text editor, usually takes me 30 minutes to sort out one book. I don't save as text because, as you say, you're then having to put back all the italics manually. I archive all my books as HTML files, it's the next best thing to straight text files in terms of long term readability.
Wow! You sure do a lot more then is needed to fix things.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:16 PM   #33
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Wow! You sure do a lot more then is needed to fix things.
Yeah probably. What can I say, I'm picky.

Bad formatting offends my designer's sensibility.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #34
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Badly formatted books are a pain to read and, like the OP, I get annoyed when I get one.

Well formatted books, OTOH, are just such a pleasure.

Still, I'd rather spend my time reading than fixing. I may try it one day, though.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:31 PM   #35
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I totally agree about the poor presentation and formatting. If I bought a cake from a very expensive patisserie I would expect it to come in a nice box and be made correctly, if I buy home-made scones from a church fete I don't mind them being on a paper plate covered in cling wrap. It's not that I need perfect formatting and pretty covers, but that is what I paid for!

Authors should insist on this when they get their books sold as ebooks - write it into your publishing contract.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #36
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Because of fixing the really horrible books and realizing how easy it is to do, I now often fix typos I find with Sigil. When I come across something wrong, I'll bookmark it on my reader to fix later on. Makes the 2nd time I read a book (and I do that at times), more enjoyable, and I just like knowing my book is correct.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:44 PM   #37
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I feel sorry for all of you obsessive compulsive people. Me I'm focused on the story not the formatting, and so long as not every other word is misspelled, I don't pay any attention to that either.

I went for too many years not reading books because it simply became too uncomfortable, so I'm not going to let things like formatting and spelling stop me from reading a story I know that I will like.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:07 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
People who are used to proper books, with good covers, typography, and finishing like good ToC's and such. Basically, most people born before 1995 or so.
I was born in 1955, and thus am used to reading newspapers which have continuation errors, a problem a lot more time-wasting than most of what is described here.

I wish I could reproduce here a 1960 New York Times article concerning my worksplace. Lines and paragraphs are randomly distributed. And that was (and IMHO is) one of the best papers.

Even today you can find small-time papers, or at least single issues, that are no better than the uncorrected scans at archive.org/texts.

I am blessed with not noticing the vast majority of single-word errors.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 02-05-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00min View Post
Yeah probably. What can I say, I'm picky.

Bad formatting offends my designer's sensibility.
What I do depending on what needs to be done is run it through Sigil (maybe). Rename the files so I know what's in them by the filename. Maybe fix the ToC. Save it. Find a cover graphic to use if it has a low res or crappy generic cover. Open the ePub with WinRAR, extract the contents, use Notepad++ to edit it all. Use Firefox to preview (as needed) while working on it. Then when I am done, run it through FlightCrew, fix any errors that come up. Run it through ePubcheck 3.0 and fix any errors that pop up. Have a quick look in ADE. And if that's OK, I'm done and it can then go into Calibre for going on my 650.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:43 PM   #40
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At the risk of appearing lazy, I prefer not to edit a book before I read it. There are major risks of encountering a misspelled word, and reading before and after the position of that word. Your mind may deduce plot elements based on a few phrases or sentences. There, you've done it. Ruined a perfectly good book, spoiling a plot surprise or twist. Quite easy to do with relatively short books, like the Maltese Falcon. Oh, don't tell me you found out about the true nature of Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Tsk, tsk.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:09 AM   #41
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I must be fortunate in that I've never read a book with serious formatting issues. Other than a few typos and a partial picture all my books have been good quality.
I guess I've been really lucky, also. I've read a couple hundred digital books and only had editing problems that bothered me in a couple of freebies. Another from a major publisher had a formatting problem I was able to repair before reading. If a typo doesn't interrupt the reading flow, I'm good. Pictures are so easily replaced I don't worry about them at all.

Last edited by BelleZora; 02-06-2013 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:20 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
I feel sorry for all of you obsessive compulsive people. Me I'm focused on the story not the formatting, and so long as not every other word is misspelled, I don't pay any attention to that either.
Sure but sometimes the formatting errors or omissions make it very difficult to read the story properly. In particular, inter-scene gaps can sometimes make a big difference. If you're having to figure out, at the start of each paragraph, whether there's been a jump (in space or time), it starts getting rather annoying.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:17 AM   #43
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I've had mixed results with ebooks. For the most part, novels intended to be read on a specific device have been fine. Examples would be Kindle books bought from Amazon and Kobo books purchased from Kobo. The main exception are covers, where some publishers use an ugly placeholder instead of the real book cover (curse you Penguin).

Books that can be read on a variety of devices is another story. Sometimes it's understandable. Gutenberg titles downloaded from their site are a volunteer effort, and the Internet Archive doesn't have the funding to do large scale digitization without automation. In other cases, it seems to depend upon the reader software. I notice this a lot with ePubs that are signed out from the library (especially since I've used them on everything from my Kobo to various Android applications). I don't know if the issue is with the software or the ebooks themselves.

After attending a public talk of self publishing, I also suspect that independent authors have issues creating ebooks since their work is dependent upon conversion tools or a fair amount of knowledge of the file formats. Not that I blame authors for this. You shouldn't need much more knowledge than what it takes to write on a piece of paper to publish a book these days. The technology is there to make life easier after all.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:22 AM   #44
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The thing about tidying up ebooks is that I don't want to do it before I've read them in case I accidentally spoil myself, and after I've read them unless I think I'll re-read it a lot it's not worth my time.
Indeed - I'm glad I'm not the only one !
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:06 AM   #45
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For me, the quality has improved significantly in the last three years.

If the book is unacceptable I notify Amazon and the publisher. So far, publishers don't seem to care.

If it's an old book that was probably entered via OCR, I download a sample before I buy.
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