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Old 04-24-2009, 12:58 AM   #1
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Penguin Producing Crappy eBooks?

So, Amazon reps are saying (at least in a response posted on the Amazon boards, so not sure if it's true) that Penguin has been providing them with a number of crappy ebooks lately. On this board we've been talking about Jim Butcher's "Turn Coat".

Here's the forum post.

This is the particular bit:
We are currently working with Penguin, the publisher of all the books you've mentioned, to try and get the triple-spacing changed. This has been common with a majority of the content they have been providing in the Kindle Store. However, they do have final say on whether each of these books receives a change to the formatting, so we cannot promise that the fixes will definitely occur."
So anyone else seeing this? Any other books from Penguin you've noticed, other formats? This post overblowing it? If they are consistently doing this is a more organized response appropriate? Letters? Boycotts?
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:02 AM   #2
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problem

I had an issue a while back with a ebook published by Penguin.

See thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39499

Basically I bought a ebook published by Penguin and when the file was opened it was the incorrect book!

That seems like a BIG publishing error!

Amy
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassanik View Post
I had an issue a while back with a ebook published by Penguin.

See thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39499

Basically I bought a ebook published by Penguin and when the file was opened it was the incorrect book!

That seems like a BIG publishing error!

Amy
That was not an error by Penguin, but a cataloging error by the eBook supplier.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
So anyone else seeing this? Any other books from Penguin you've noticed, other formats? This post overblowing it?
I've bought several Penguin books, all in ePub format, and they were all formatted extremely well. I'm a very happy Penguin customer.

-maarten
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:56 AM   #5
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the tripple spaceing is probably due to them wanting to double space the text like the following


Quote:
paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraphparagraphparagraphparagraphparagraph paragraphparagraphparagraphparagraph paragraphparagraphparagraph paragraphparagraphparagraph

paragraphparagraphparagraphparagraphparagraph paragraphparagraphparagraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraphparagraph paragraphparagraph
and some weird converting error. it went from

Paragraph>br />
<br />
Paragragh

to

so now the line break gets doubled due to the <p> tags which add a line break themselves

<p>Paragraph<br /></p>
<p><br /></p>
<p>Paragraph<br />
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:31 AM   #6
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I downloaded a sample of the Penguin edition of Between the Acts (Virginia Woolf) - the pages looked like really bad Xeroxes of a paperback edition. Actually, more like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox .... you get the picture. This was the first bad Penguin edition I have encountered. Truly horrible to read.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
I downloaded a sample of the Penguin edition of Between the Acts (Virginia Woolf) - the pages looked like really bad Xeroxes of a paperback edition. Actually, more like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox .... you get the picture. This was the first bad Penguin edition I have encountered. Truly horrible to read.
Sounds to me like it's a Topaz format eBook.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:08 AM   #8
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I looked at the first few pages of Turn Coat (in LRX) and I didn't see any issues. I didn't want to keep looking (only on book 8).
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poohbear_nc View Post
I downloaded a sample of the Penguin edition of Between the Acts (Virginia Woolf) - the pages looked like really bad Xeroxes of a paperback edition. Actually, more like a Xerox of a Xerox of a Xerox .... you get the picture. This was the first bad Penguin edition I have encountered. Truly horrible to read.
It's a Topaz book, and those are produced by Amazon, not the publisher.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:35 PM   #10
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It's a Topaz book, and those are produced by Amazon, not the publisher.
My bad - it was the Kindle edition linked to the Penguin paperback edition.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #11
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One thing I've noticed is that they way publishers deliver eBooks to Amazon can introduce errors not present in any other version.

The Amazon eBook version of Turn Coat (for example) has some errors that do not exist in the MS Reader or Mobipocket editions.

I'm not saying all erros in AZW eBooks are because of Amazon's delivery method. But some seem to be.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andybaby View Post
the tripple spaceing is probably due to them wanting to double space the text like the following

and some weird converting error. it went from

Paragraph>br />
<br />
Paragragh

to

so now the line break gets doubled due to the <p> tags which add a line break themselves

<p>Paragraph<br /></p>
<p><br /></p>
<p>Paragraph<br />
Good guess, but nope. Here is a sample of the crappy HTML inside Turn Coat (mobi/Kindle edition):

Quote:
<div height="1em" width="1em"><font size="3">“So I could leave you hanging out to dry.”</font></div>
<div height="1em"></div>
<div height="1em" width="1em"><font size="3">“You could.”</font></div>
<div height="1em"></div>
<div height="1em" width="1em"><font size="3">“But if I did that, we wouldn’t find the traitor. And since you’d died in his place, he’d be free to continue operating. More people would get killed, and the next person he framed—”</font></div>
<div height="1em"></div>
No style sheet -- just the same godawful markup on every. single. paragraph. If I wanted to make up a sample of bad formatting, I'm not sure I could've gotten it quite this bad.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitearrow View Post
Good guess, but nope. Here is a sample of the crappy HTML inside Turn Coat (mobi/Kindle edition):



No style sheet -- just the same godawful markup on every. single. paragraph. If I wanted to make up a sample of bad formatting, I'm not sure I could've gotten it quite this bad.
Ewwwwwwwwwwww....as a former web designer, that's just AWFUL.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:53 PM   #14
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Ewwwwwwwwwwww....as a former web designer, that's just AWFUL.
As an active web designer thats still awful - and I guess whoever has a look at it, its still awful.
Did they use Microsoft Word to convert a Doc into HTML?
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:06 PM   #15
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I've used Word on occasion to convert to HTML, and the HTML isn't *that* bad! You certainly don't end up with blank lines between each paragraph unless that's how you had the document formatted in Word in the first place.

And you can't see it in the sample, because the editor here recodes them, but every quote and em-dash is a markup character (like & #147; ) or whatever. Which makes the HTML nearly impossible to proof, assuming they were going to actually do that. Which I doubt.

Yo, Penguin, hire me! I'm just an interested amateur, but I'll do a lot better than the chucklehead you're currently using.

Last edited by whitearrow; 04-24-2009 at 07:09 PM.
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