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Old 03-14-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
thibaulthalpern
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Poor editing?

I've read a couple of ebooks so far and it strikes me that the editing for some of these ebooks are really horrendous! The most common error is two words combined. In one book, Skinny Boy, the word "wildy in" was combined to make 'wildyin". When I first read it, I didn't realise it was two words and had marked it to look up in the dictionary when I get the chance.

I wonder what your experiences are. Are ebooks often poorly edited or perhaps the process of going from printed book to ebook leads to some errors?
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like maybe a book that was scanned and OCR'd because they didn't have a digital source to start from for the ebook. I haven't had a lot of problems with the books I've bought, but it does happen on occasion.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:33 PM   #3
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I've bought two books from Amazon Kindle in the past and I have asked for refunds for both of them. There are spelling mistakes and other editing errors. One that seems to be a typsetting error are Drop Caps that begin each chapter running into the body text creating mangled words.

Horribly unprofessional.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Source material matters a LOT. Technical books that were originally created in an electronic format then printed or academic books that are "revised" every year get regularly proofed and reproofed. But these are the exception. For a large majority of books, I get the impression that the typical workflow is something along the lines of:

Author writes story up on Word, publisher extracts text, throws into template, prints books, dumps files onto archival CD, purges files from computer, goes on to next project, forgets where CD is stored. Author wants to reissue book, publisher grabs paperback, scans, OCRs, runs spellchecker, throws back into template, etc.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerement View Post
Author writes story up on Word, publisher extracts text, throws into template, prints books, dumps files onto archival CD, purges files from computer, goes on to next project, forgets where CD is stored. Author wants to reissue book, publisher grabs paperback, scans, OCRs, runs spellchecker, throws back into template, etc.

That's about what I've heard to be true although in the last year or two they've started changing some.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:29 AM   #6
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Yeah, i've seen more poorly edited e-books, than correct ones.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:39 AM   #7
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Same here. Or more exactly, I have yet to see a properly-edited book (I would be satisfied with one that has less than 20% pages containing errors).
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerement View Post
Author writes story up on Word, publisher extracts text, throws into template, prints books, dumps files onto archival CD, purges files from computer, goes on to next project, forgets where CD is stored. Author wants to reissue book, publisher grabs paperback, scans, OCRs, runs spellchecker, throws back into template, etc.
That's not too far from the truth, in my experience, though it is starting to change. From the author's point of view, it's a real bear. If you want it done right, you have to proof it yourself, and that's a lot of time spent on something that may never earn you more than beer money, at least in the short term. Ereads is getting ready to reissue some of my existing titles, along with some new (to them) titles, and I'm doing what I can to proof the text. (Fortunately, with help from a reader-volunteer who happens to be really good at it.) These are texts from scanning, and despite the fact that they were already proofed by someone else, there are errors such as dropped letters and scenes run together.

I'm doing it because I want them right, but I could never justify it from a financial point of view.

And there's no telling what new errors will appear in format conversion, which I'll never have the chance to catch.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
That's not too far from the truth, in my experience, though it is starting to change. From the author's point of view, it's a real bear. If you want it done right, you have to proof it yourself, and that's a lot of time spent on something that may never earn you more than beer money, at least in the short term. Ereads is getting ready to reissue some of my existing titles, along with some new (to them) titles, and I'm doing what I can to proof the text. (Fortunately, with help from a reader-volunteer who happens to be really good at it.) These are texts from scanning, and despite the fact that they were already proofed by someone else, there are errors such as dropped letters and scenes run together.

I'm doing it because I want them right, but I could never justify it from a financial point of view.

And there's no telling what new errors will appear in format conversion, which I'll never have the chance to catch.
i can understand how a few typos manage to happen. But this kind of thing shouldn't happens :
http://www.mobipocket.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14952

I also had a book where a fist letters where like this :

H
ello

instead of

Hello.

Or the first twilight books where the fist part or the sentence of a chapter is all capital.

Neptune crossing sounds like it's properly edited at leat. And the Eragon series too, save for a few glitchs.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:37 PM   #10
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I found a grammar error in NY times the other day, now that was a bigger surprise.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:58 AM   #11
thibaulthalpern
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Oh, grammar mistakes happen in newspapers all the time. It's rather surprising that it doesn't happen more often given how quickly newswriters and editors must produce the writing.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern View Post
Oh, grammar mistakes happen in newspapers all the time. It's rather surprising that it doesn't happen more often given how quickly newswriters and editors must produce the writing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gua...opular_culture
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EowynCarter View Post
I also had a book where a fist letters where like this :

H
ello

instead of

Hello.
I recently saw this in my PRC conversions... clearly something going on in the original files as entered into the conversion SW, I believe problems with the tab settings.

I almost hate to post in this thread, as I discovered my rushing The Lens to market resulted in missing a lot of errors that I now have to fix.

On the other hand, the good thing about this forum... and e-books in general... is that I was alerted to these errors, I can now fix them, and I will be able to re-release the material in a matter of weeks. I can even send revised copies to my customers in minutes, free of charge (yes, I am... should be this week, just 2 weeks after initial release). You can't get service like that out of print publishing!
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Old 03-17-2009, 11:54 AM   #14
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This is what I received from Amazon when I asked for my refund for two books that I downloaded. I asked for the refund because the editing quality of both books were horrendous. Amazon did refund me my money and here is what they say about the ebook process:

Quote:
As to your question about the quality of your purchases, let me advise you a bit about the process before a book or eDoc is listed on our site. The publisher or author takes a usually very large digital version of the book or eDoc and converts it to a different format. This conversion usually results in a few typographical errors and usually a bit of formatting work being needed to make the document look right. If the author, publisher, editor, or rights holder does not go back and proof that file before giving it to us, then these mistakes then appear in the versions we sell. We cannot retroactively or proactively go into another party's copyrighted material and make changes to it.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:12 PM   #15
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The amazon comment of "very large digital version" means they are OCR'ing an image to make the versions. Really sad in this day and age that that is still the way they are producing eBooks. It is caused by a complete lack of source control of the Author's documents.

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