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Old 04-04-2010, 10:11 AM   #16
HarryT
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
I am reading 'Ceremony in Death' by J.D. Robb right now and there are random spaces in the middle of words.
That sounds like an issue with "soft hyphens". Unfortunately it's all too common.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Vince Flynn's books do seem to have a particularly horrible problem. I bought one not so long ago for my Kindle, and it was missing all the quotation marks, dashes, and full stops. I kept it, because it was a good story, but the almost complete lack of punctuation made it a "challenge" to read, especially the dialogue parts of it.
Wow. That's... special. I could understand the problems with the quotes or dashes, if the book's doing something strange like requesting high-Unicode versions of those characters that aren't supported by your device (haven't looked at the source file for your book, naturally, so I don't know if that applies ).

But missing periods? That takes talent.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:13 AM   #18
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Yes, I'm talking about commercial books including new titles.
I'm currently reading "A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty." from Amazon. This book has just come out on hardback. Yesterday I was reading a section involving coin flips and randomness. Half way through the page, I find this:
"... When you Hip a coin a million times, you'll very likely Hip heads... ...If Louie and Dave Hip..." (location 1106)

And earlier in the book:
"Much like a pot of water, a particular can bubble into the vacuum, with the caveat that it doesn't last very long." (location 845) I assume they mean a "particle"

There are other mistakes, I've just not made notes of them. The first set (flips => Dips) looks like an OCR error. WTF are they doing with OCR on a new book?

I read the whole Narnia series from Amazon and found minor mistakes in most books, particularly in The Last Battle. In Dr. Golem from the Sony book store there were several typos and the text was badly formatted.

How do we go about setting up a Hall of Shame?
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ATimson View Post
Wow. That's... special. I could understand the problems with the quotes or dashes, if the book's doing something strange like requesting high-Unicode versions of those characters that aren't supported by your device (haven't looked at the source file for your book, naturally, so I don't know if that applies ).

But missing periods? That takes talent.
It was one of his first books, so had almost certainly been OCR'd. The strange thing was, though, that it wasn't just some of the quotation marks that were missing - it was every single one, and the same with the dashes and full stops. As you say, something had evidently gone very seriously wrong during the process of eBook creation.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:01 AM   #20
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There are lots of shades of gray that raise their head when it comes to typos. Some are a result of shoddy conversion; most, I think, are a result of lack of editing. I particularly find this to be true in self-published ebooks and in ebooks from very small publishers. Some examples of what I have seen in ebooks I have bought are found in On Words & eBooks: Give Me a Brake! The problem is likely to increase as anyone with a computer, a word processing program, and a yen to write publishes their work through outfits like Smashwords and Manybooks. I suspect that this is the curse of the Internet Age and a symptom of the decline in education standards, along with publishers OCRing but not proofreading.
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Old 04-04-2010, 12:01 PM   #21
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Having heard about Steven Saylor's mysteries set in ancient Rome, I recently bought the first in the series, Roman Blood, from Amazon. Alas, it turned out to be a Topaz-formatted book. Very ugly and with slow-turning pages, but obviously had been scanned and the errors were legion. Especially hyphenated words that had come at the end of a line in the printed text, but were inappropriate if they came anywhere else, which they did in the ebook. I could only read it for 3 or 4 chapters, then stopped and asked Customer Service to refund my money, which they obligingly did.

Normally, I'd be on the lookout for Topaz books, but this one snuck in on me. Looking at the rest of the series, I see they're all formatted the same way. I wonder if the author knows/cares that they're so poorly produced?

Jim
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:38 PM   #22
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My wife is a freelance proofreader, and she gets pretty much all books as pdf's these days and makes corrections to them.

If they have the book as a digital copy, and they proof it as a digital copy, why should there be major errors in the digital version?
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:12 PM   #23
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I have contacted Amazon. They accepted details of the errors and say that they will get the publisher to correct them. They offered to either give a $5 voucher and I keep the book, or allow me to return the book for a full refund.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:44 PM   #24
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The first ebook I bought for my new Sony 600 was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It had many typos. The most annoying was that every word that had a "ff" in it, the first f was replaced with a space. E fective, e fort, e ficient throughout the whole book. Great story, lousy ebook.

On the other side, I want to praise George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire ebooks. They had almost no errors.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Vince Flynn's books do seem to have a particularly horrible problem. I bought one not so long ago for my Kindle, and it was missing all the quotation marks, dashes, and full stops. I kept it, because it was a good story, but the almost complete lack of punctuation made it a "challenge" to read, especially the dialogue parts of it.
Yes, I did end up having to return that book to Kobo because of all the errors. I did manage to get a Mobipocket edition that seems to be OK enough that I can convert it to ePub. But it should never have been released with all those errors. The problem I had was trying to decide if I should have a go at buying it again in ePub someplace else or trying a different format.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:58 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by DJHARKAVY View Post
My wife is a freelance proofreader, and she gets pretty much all books as pdf's these days and makes corrections to them.

If they have the book as a digital copy, and they proof it as a digital copy, why should there be major errors in the digital version?
I hate to say this, but the PDF is sometimes used as for the print version and then the PDF is given out to the eBook department to create the various versions from. And we all know that a novel length PDF cannot be converted to any other format without errors. So, then we get shoddy proofreading of this PDF conversion and it goes out with errors that need not be there.

What needs to be done with new eBooks is to keep the book in electronic format and keep that up-to-date with all edits/changes/etc. but in a format that can easily be used to make different eBooks formats out of. That way, we get the same text that goes to the print edition.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:59 PM   #27
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On the other side, I want to praise George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire ebooks. They had almost no errors.
But, the errors in the eBook, are they also in the paperback? If they are not, then you cannot commend it at all.
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:26 PM   #28
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I'm beginning to feel as if I'm the only one who doesn't mind the typos!
I wonder if there is something wrong with me?!?

When I read a book on my reader, it's for the pleasure of reading a story, not to correct student's term papers. If there is a mistake I just read past it and pay it no mind.

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Old 04-04-2010, 07:56 PM   #29
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I don't mind the occasional error, but some eBooks get ridiculous. One of the characters in a book I read was named $Acute;ibhear evereywhere in at least 2 books. Not sure how to pronounce that one. And The Hobbit was horrible when it first came out. There were multiple errors on every page. (That was an iPod Touch sized page not a hardcover sized one.) Fortunately Fictionwise had a corrected version later.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:19 PM   #30
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I bought my first ebook from Waterstones UK, Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson. It came across as something someone had QUICKLY scanned in on their computer and tossed out for free. Only what I paid wasn't free. My complaint email was never answered.


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Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
I'm beginning to feel as if I'm the only one who doesn't mind the typos!
I wonder if there is something wrong with me?!?

When I read a book on my reader, it's for the pleasure of reading a story, not to correct student's term papers. If there is a mistake I just read past it and pay it no mind.

Stitchawl
That is like saying you can enjoy playing tennis with a racket with some broken strings and just "imagining" the boundary lines.
A smooth flow, a correct flow, is a VERY important part of the reading experience. You can survive without it, but you can survive without deodorant too
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