Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > News

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-06-2009, 06:35 AM   #1
Polyglot27
Addict
Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Polyglot27 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 230
Karma: 5588994
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Paris, France
Device: Cybook Gen3, Archos 80 G9, Sony PRS-650, Sony T1, Asus MemoPad.
Quality of eBooks a real problem?

After reading jswinden's thread I realised that I have to say something about the present quality of many eBooks.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46221
A lot of MR members have toiled to format and upload works from Project Gutenberg and I am deeply thankful to them. However, it seems that the PG texts often have OCR errors that have not been caught by spell checkers for the reason that they are real words though the wrong ones. Like reading "done" for "clone".
Now, at least these books are free and one cannot complain too much about them.
But when publishers are selling digital versions of their books for real money, often at similar prices to the paper versions, and letting the OCR processed texts go through without a proper check by a real proof reader like for books printed on paper, I begin to wonder.
Since buying my Cybook 4 months ago, I have read about 20 novels on it and can say that I catch at least an average of 1 error in either misread words or wrong punctuation on each equivalent paper page, which comes to several hundred per book. Is this acceptable?
Polyglot27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #2
dpierron
calibre2opds guru
dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.dpierron shines like a glazed doughnut.
 
dpierron's Avatar
 
Posts: 532
Karma: 8792
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Metz, France
Device: iPhone, iPad, PRS-650
No it is not (IMHO). If this industry is to have any future success, the prices must stay low enough and the quality high enough so that the good quality of the bought ebook vs the bad quality of a pirated copy pushes the potential customers to shell out their money...
dpierron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:09 AM   #3
dottedmag
OpenInkpot co-founder
dottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-books
 
dottedmag's Avatar
 
Posts: 402
Karma: 845
Join Date: Dec 2007
Device: Nokia770, Nokia N900, Sony PRS-505, lBook V3, Orsio b721+, Hanvon N516
There's community of Russian-speaking users who fix the books formatting/OCR errors. This kind of crowdsourcing works well for improving quality of e-books - "given enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow".

I don't think anything like is possible with proprietary books, unless there are regulations, boycott of publishers or something else which makes copyright owners/distributors lose money.
dottedmag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:17 AM   #4
basschick
Guru
basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.basschick ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
basschick's Avatar
 
Posts: 964
Karma: 4046277
Join Date: May 2008
Device: Cybook Gen 3, Kindle 3 WiFi, iPod Touch with Stanza
some people on this board talk about the time it takes to proofread a single ebook perhaps contributing to the price. maybe that would be the case if THEY were proofreading for a publisher, but in reality most ebooks are packed with errors - got the new jim butcher at hardback price and there was an error right there in the first paragraph.
basschick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
dottedmag
OpenInkpot co-founder
dottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-books
 
dottedmag's Avatar
 
Posts: 402
Karma: 845
Join Date: Dec 2007
Device: Nokia770, Nokia N900, Sony PRS-505, lBook V3, Orsio b721+, Hanvon N516
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpierron View Post
good quality of the bought ebook vs the bad quality of a pirated copy pushes the potential customers to shell out their money...
I should say that sometimes pirated copies are of better quality than bought ones. Not due to terrible quality of bought books, but instead due to brilliant work of volunteers improving the pirated versions without the copyright barriers. Try to submit typo fix back to the Amazon!
dottedmag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:18 AM   #6
dauwhe
<geek type="xml"/>
dauwhe has a complete set of Star Wars action figures.dauwhe has a complete set of Star Wars action figures.dauwhe has a complete set of Star Wars action figures.
 
Posts: 22
Karma: 276
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA
Device: Kindle, Kindle 2, Sony Reader, iPod Touch
Quality is a huge problem in the industry. But publishers expect to pay almost nothing for eBook creation, and there isn't a budget for a full proofread, even at offshore wages. And the errors aren't just in titles that have been OCR scanned.

Dave
dauwhe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:26 AM   #7
AlexBell
Wizard
AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AlexBell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
AlexBell's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,284
Karma: 3868800
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Device: Kindle3, Kobo Touch, Sony PRS T3, Nexus 7, iPad mini
So each of us should complain to the publisher and vendor about every commercial book which is not done properly, preferably with specific examples, and ask for a copy of the corrected version.

Individual complaints may not achieve much - though I have had responses from Fictionwise and and HarperCollins - but if we all complained I'm sure we could influence them to do a better job.

Regards, Alex
AlexBell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
netseeker
sleepless reader
netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
netseeker's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,770
Karma: 615335
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Germany, near Stuttgart
Device: Sony PRS-505, PB 360° & 302, nook wi-fi, Kindle 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyglot27 View Post
Is this acceptable?
"Acceptable" is a relative term. We all are dreaming of error free ebooks...
Even printed books contain errors - in worse cases up to a rate of around 0.3%. The rate differs very much from book to book. 150 errors in a printed novel with 50.000 words are no rarity.

I guess it would be pointless to expect less errors in a ebook - ebook contents are made by humans and hence they will contain errors.
netseeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:49 AM   #9
dottedmag
OpenInkpot co-founder
dottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-books
 
dottedmag's Avatar
 
Posts: 402
Karma: 845
Join Date: Dec 2007
Device: Nokia770, Nokia N900, Sony PRS-505, lBook V3, Orsio b721+, Hanvon N516
Quote:
Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
I guess it would be pointless to expect less errors in a ebook - ebook contents are made by humans and hence they will contain errors.
Yes, it's pointless to expect less errors in proprietary books whose owners have no incentive for fixing them.

What a shame that the sets of bits become like physical objects in terms of unfixability, not due to nature laws, but due to artificial laws!
dottedmag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 08:55 AM   #10
netseeker
sleepless reader
netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
netseeker's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,770
Karma: 615335
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Germany, near Stuttgart
Device: Sony PRS-505, PB 360° & 302, nook wi-fi, Kindle 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dottedmag View Post
Yes, it's pointless to expect less errors in proprietary books whose owners have no incentive for fixing them.

What a shame that the sets of bits become like physical objects in terms of unfixability, not due to nature laws, but due to artificial laws!
Come on, even our free books here at MR (which are very carefully handcrafted) contain errors. Such things are made by humans and it's not in any case a matter of "DRM or not" or "proprietary or not".
netseeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 09:00 AM   #11
dottedmag
OpenInkpot co-founder
dottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-booksdottedmag has learned how to read e-books
 
dottedmag's Avatar
 
Posts: 402
Karma: 845
Join Date: Dec 2007
Device: Nokia770, Nokia N900, Sony PRS-505, lBook V3, Orsio b721+, Hanvon N516
Quote:
Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
Come on, even our free books here at MR (which are very carefully handcrafted) contain errors. Such things are made by humans and it's not in any case a matter of "DRM or not" or "proprietary or not".
Is there easy way to upload fixed version instead of one in library?

Famous lib.rus.ec library (placed literally in Ecuador to avoid problems with copyright laws) is built on wiki principle (modified: the main idea is to let everyone add and replace books) and grew a community which works on improving books.

Just remove barriers for improvement (either legal, social or technical) and improvement will follow.

Last edited by dottedmag; 05-06-2009 at 09:02 AM.
dottedmag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 09:39 AM   #12
Ankh
Guru
Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Ankh's Avatar
 
Posts: 708
Karma: 2003741
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Device: Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
Come on, even our free books here at MR (which are very carefully handcrafted) contain errors. Such things are made by humans and it's not in any case a matter of "DRM or not" or "proprietary or not".
Yes, to err is human. However, this medium is different, and if books on MR have those errors, it is only because they were not yet spotted and quickly fixed. "Reprint" is easy, expectations different.
Ankh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 09:40 AM   #13
Ankh
Guru
Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Ankh ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Ankh's Avatar
 
Posts: 708
Karma: 2003741
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Device: Kobo Touch
Quote:
Originally Posted by dottedmag View Post
Try to submit typo fix back to the Amazon!
However, I wouldn't hesitate to submit typo to Baen.
Ankh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 10:57 AM   #14
Xenophon
curmudgeon
Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Xenophon ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Xenophon's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,453
Karma: 5657812
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Device: Kobo Aura (soon), (soon-to-be-ex)nook, (ex)PRS-700, (ex)PRS-500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyglot27 View Post
After reading jswinden's thread I realised that I have to say something about the present quality of many eBooks.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46221
A lot of MR members have toiled to format and upload works from Project Gutenberg and I am deeply thankful to them. However, it seems that the PG texts often have OCR errors that have not been caught by spell checkers for the reason that they are real words though the wrong ones. Like reading "done" for "clone".
Now, at least these books are free and one cannot complain too much about them.
If you look at the books at PG, you will find a major jump upwards in quality for books produced since Distributed Proofreaders got going. Earlier books (which sadly includes many of the most-used classics) tend to have quite a few errors. Books that have been through DP have between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude fewer typos. There's a study out there somewhere that quantifies this, but I've lost the link.

What DP does is to crowdsource the proofreading, with multiple checks of each page and a reconciliation mechanism.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyglot27 View Post
But when publishers are selling digital versions of their books for real money, often at similar prices to the paper versions, and letting the OCR processed texts go through without a proper check by a real proof reader like for books printed on paper, I begin to wonder.
[SNIP] Is this acceptable?
My personal take is that it is not acceptable. But most publishers treat eBooks produced from old texts as the poor cousin of their main line of print books... which makes sense when you consider the current differences in sales. It's hard to justify major expenditure on something that generates 1% of revenue (if even that). That's a short-term view, of course, and may tend to perpetuate the low sales.

More forward-thinking publishers at least attempt to bring us clean copy. Some even accept typo-notices (and eventually do something about them). This group includes Baen Books/Webscriptions, and may or may not include other publishers.

Xenophon

P.S. Fair disclosure: My sister has been one of the people "running" DP for a number of years (inasmuch as anyone could be said to 'run' a crowd-sourced volunteer organization like that), so I'm not an entirely disinterested observer.

Last edited by Xenophon; 05-06-2009 at 10:58 AM. Reason: fix emphasis
Xenophon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2009, 11:24 AM   #15
netseeker
sleepless reader
netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.netseeker ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
netseeker's Avatar
 
Posts: 4,770
Karma: 615335
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Germany, near Stuttgart
Device: Sony PRS-505, PB 360° & 302, nook wi-fi, Kindle 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by dottedmag View Post
Famous lib.rus.ec library (placed literally in Ecuador to avoid problems with copyright laws) is built on wiki principle (modified: the main idea is to let everyone add and replace books) and grew a community which works on improving books.

Just remove barriers for improvement (either legal, social or technical) and improvement will follow.
I get your idea and i sympathize with such views but i also understand that businesses have to make money to pay their employees (and their shareholders). Businesses have to follow some different rules than communities and have to balance (in their opinion) acceptable error rates against the costs of extended qualitiy tests and product maintenance. As a consumer i don't like such practices but as a employee i can see why it's neccessary. You are a software developer too and i'm sure you know what i mean.

PS: Here at MR any member can upload an ebook or post a newer/other version. But in most cases we uploaders prefer to fix reported errors by ourself.
netseeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Quality of Library Ebooks aquina News 10 06-30-2009 10:33 AM
Ebooks, Quality Assurance, and refunds AlexBell News 22 01-17-2009 10:44 AM
Best quality ebooks? SpiderMatt Amazon Kindle 9 12-08-2008 09:47 AM
Document quality of ebooks sriram News 8 09-07-2008 11:22 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:51 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.