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Old 12-28-2008, 05:55 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Ebooks, Quality Assurance, and refunds

I recently downloaded a book from Fictionwise called 'A Dragon Lover's Treasury of the Fantastic' editor Margaret Weis. It is a collection of short stories and novellas about - what else - dragons.

The first story in the book has typos on almost every page, sometimes 5 or 6 on a page, and the second also has some typos. I haven't read any further yet.

I think this is totally unacceptable. I would not tolerate this many typos in a print book; why should I accept it in an ebook? I accept that some ebooks are generated by scanning print books, and that OCR is not an exact science. But print books have proof-readers; why not for ebooks?

If this was a print book I'd return it to the vendor and demand a refund. ButFictionwise put a 100% rebate on this book, and it would be hard to return it anyway.

So what can we do to let vendors know that typos in ebooks are not acceptable?

Regards, Alex
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:12 AM   #2
alehel
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This seems to be a common problem with ebooks. Publishers seem to treat ebooks as nothing more than a novelty despite the rather large increase in sales lately. I doubt they'll start paying more attention to details such as quality untill sales go up even more, but it is of course possible that this was a mistake, so it's always worth trying to contact the publisher.

Personally I have rather bad experience with some publishers and very good experience with others. So far I've bought ebooks from Faber and Faber and Canongate which have been of very good quality. Penguin, Corgi Books and Orion on the other hand have not impressed me and I certainly wont be buying any more ebooks from them. Penguin was the worst.

Basicly the only thing we can do is let the publishers know what we think by sending them emails and so forth.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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That's one of the reasons I haven't bought a single e-book yet (I have enough with the free stuff for the moment).

I'd write an angry but polite letter/email to both Fictionwise and the publisher, and ask for a refund or, better, for a new corrected version of the book.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:16 AM   #4
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Alex, tell Fictionwise about the problem book, complain in a polite but firm way to them and they would probably reimburse you and withdraw the book. It is a valid complaint. Also, drop the publisher an email saying in no uncertain terms that you're a very dissatisfied customer.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:02 AM   #5
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If you can comment on the book at the lace you bought it then do this and point out the faults so that people can avoid buying the book. I also think that a web page collecting this kind of information would be a good idea.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:10 AM   #6
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That's one of the reasons I haven't bought a single e-book yet (I have enough with the free stuff for the moment).

I'd write an angry but polite letter/email to both Fictionwise and the publisher, and ask for a refund or, better, for a new corrected version of the book.
I disagree about the "angry" part. Firm, yes; angry, no - in my opinon.

I would simply write a polite letter to Fictionwise and tell them about the problem. Mention that you are dissatisfied with the quality-control. At this point, I would imagine either you or Fictionwise will suggest a solution.

Fictionwise is a very understanding and human company.

Don
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:16 AM   #7
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I disagree about the "angry" part. Firm, yes; angry, no - in my opinon.
Totally agree. "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" as the saying goes. "Polite" achieves a lot more than "angry".
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:20 AM   #8
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Totally agree. "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar" as the saying goes. "Polite" achieves a lot more than "angry".
Eh, "angry but polite" was the suggestion. I would say that this seems better then a letter that do not show that you care and will continue to buy badly formatted books.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:21 AM   #9
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I disagree about the "angry" part. Firm, yes; angry, no - in my opinon.
Well, my choice of words is rarely the best I probably meant "firm" as well, something that would clearly show the dissatisfaction and disappointment, but not fall into name-calling.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:53 AM   #10
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I know if you got the book from Sony, they have an email address where you can tell them about typos.

I haven't had much of a problem with it, just a few that I would normally see in a pbook.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:08 AM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will send a polite but firm email to Fictionwise and Hachette Books Group, and to Margaret Weis if I can track her down.

The main thrust of the message will likely be that I would be ashamed of putting out such a book in over my signature. There are not quite as many typos in later stories, but still more than there should be.

Regards, Alex
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:39 PM   #12
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will send a polite but firm email to Fictionwise and Hachette Books Group, and to Margaret Weis if I can track her down.

The main thrust of the message will likely be that I would be ashamed of putting out such a book in over my signature. There are not quite as many typos in later stories, but still more than there should be.

Regards, Alex
I would be interested to hear how you get on with Fictionwise. I know lots of people here say they are a good company to deal with, but I've contacted them twice now about unacceptable typos in an ebook I purchased from them and have received no replies. I'm glad I didn't take out the membership they were pushing at the time I bought the book.

Dave
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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typos

I do wonder sometimes at how the typos manage to make it through. You would think that the electronic copy that they use is the same one that they use when publishing the paperback verision, though apparently this is not always the way things work?

Email fictionwise, I would be interested in hearing waht their response was.

I got a book one time where the author misused the word caste, they spelled it cast, instead of caste. Silly english language same sound different word thing! I was surprised the editor did not catch it.

Some of the typos I find in ebooks are from the conversion process that I run them through to get them to imp format. Though if you bought from fictionwise I am guessing it was multiformat so you should not have had a conversion issue?

Amy
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:14 PM   #14
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Email fictionwise, I would be interested in hearing waht their response was.

I want a refund!
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #15
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I do wonder sometimes at how the typos manage to make it through. You would think that the electronic copy that they use is the same one that they use when publishing the paperback verision, though apparently this is not always the way things work?
Fictionwise offers a great many out-of-print books, many of which have no digital edition. Books/stories created before ~1990 were often typed, not computer-created. So they make the ebooks by scanning pbooks. Apparently, they're not careful about proofreading their OCR results.
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