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Old 09-06-2008, 04:51 PM   #1
sriram
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Unhappy Document quality of ebooks

Any comments/ views about the quality of books you've been buying .... i.e. the document quality vs the content itself? Or is it only me that thinks that in their anxiety to get ebooks to the store front, publishers are sacrificing quality. Of late, I've been observing an increase in typos, misaligned paragraphs, spell-checkers gone haywire ..... etc etc. The last straw was Scot McClellan's What Happened, that I downloaded from the Sony Store ... the epitome of shoddy workmanship! Example, the name Kristof was repeatedly 'corrected' as Krist of, so the sentence didn't make any sense!!! Left a very poor reading experience.

What say you?

Last edited by sriram; 09-06-2008 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
Patricia
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I agree. And the Sony Classics are particularly egregious. I deleted my copies and made my own, from public domain sources.
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:56 PM   #3
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For most of the Sony books it is almost as if they went out of their way to produce a book that would make me throw away the Reader and go back to paper books forever. Thankfully, there are additional sources such as MobileRead (where I have enjoyed a lot of great books including many by Patricia) and Fictionwise which does a great job at providing DRM free LRF formatted books for the Sony.

Also Baen and the Baen Free Library provide books that can be converted and loaded on the Sony.
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
DMcCunney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sriram View Post
Any comments/ views about the quality of books you've been buying .... i.e. the document quality vs the content itself? Or is it only me that thinks that in their anxiety to get ebooks to the store front, publishers are sacrificing quality. Of late, I've been observing an increase in typos, misaligned paragraphs, spell-checkers gone haywire ..... etc etc. The last straw was Scot McClellan's What Happened, that I downloaded from the Sony Store ... the epitome of shoddy workmanship! Example, the name Kristof was repeatedly 'corrected' as Krist of, so the sentence didn't make any sense!!! Left a very poor reading experience.

What say you?
Were you able to compare the ebook edition against a print edition?

I've seen a decline in quality of print editions, too, as publishers seek to economize. One friend used to be a partner in an editorial production house. Her firm provided copy editing, proofreading, and typesetting services to publishers. She saw the decline in quality, and lamented the number of publishers who no longer bothered with things like proofreading on a mailing list we were both on. Another list member, who was an editor at a major house replied "But copy editing and proofreading are part of the budget for the book, and are always done!" My friend said "Maybe they are in your house, but that's not the case elsewhere. I'm the one in my shop who has to deal with the folks who used to pay us to do that, and don't want to incur the expense now."

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the print edition and the electronic edition were prepared from the same faulty source text and had the same errors.
______
Dennis
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:50 PM   #5
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I asked a similar question a few days ago here. I wasn't sure if Kindle formatted books were having issues or if was a problem across the board. It seems with a few exceptions we all deal with badly formatted books.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:34 AM   #6
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I complained about the layout of the Mobi version of the latest Temeraire book in this thread, and when I wrote to Random House (parent company of Ballantine) to complain, received a rather snarky comment about how "we don't do the e-books, we have a vendor that does them." Well, your name is on them so you would think they would be concerned or take a little responsibility for them, wouldn't you?

I just bought another Ballantine book and it's also got some issues. Same ugly cover, and some issues with hard returns in the middle of paragraphs (though most of the book justifies nicely). Also near the beginning a small section had all words that should be in title case (proper names, etc.) in all lower case, which was weird.

I also had a similar issue that sriram mentioned with "Krist of" in a Mobi book I purchased--the word "pleasure" was rendered as "plea sure" throughout! I actually know the author so let her know about it and she said she would tell her publisher. I think that was a Penguin company.
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:11 AM   #7
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I've also seen a lot of misspelled words in many of my purchased ebooks. The format is often "strange" too. I was just thinking this evening how pretty the ebooks are from Mobileread! A great big thank you to all who make these books!
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Old 09-07-2008, 04:25 AM   #8
Jellby
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As I've written before: These last weeks I've been creating (and proofreading) mobipocket editions of early Wodehouse works from Project Gutenberg text. In some cases I've found obvious OCR errors, missing dashes, etc. When I've tried to compare with other published editions, I've found, in general, that the newest editions (which can be seen in Amazon or Google Books) tend to have the exact same problems, often together with poor formatting.

I cannot comment on the quality of commercial ebooks, though.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:22 AM   #9
slayda
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Most of my ebook purchases are from Baen & Fictionwise. Typos seem about normal and in line with pbook typos.
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