Questionable quality of books converted to E-book



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  1. #1
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    I'm pretty new to the nook. About 2 months in, I've bought and read about 7 books. Some of them are new to me and some of them are ones I've owned/read before. All of them have horrible spelling and spacing errors make me CRAZY! I don't know about the ones I haven't read before but the ones I have, I know that these errors weren't in the original DTB. Has anyone else noticed this or am I actually going crazy. Is it that hard to copy a book over to E-book formats? I can understand some spacing errors but I would think the spelling should already be done in a computer file. What do you guys think?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    It depends on where you get your books sometimes, and the spacing errors and bad formatting usually are PDFs, EPUBS generally are the optimum formatting for nooks. Even though PDFs are fully supported, they just don't come out as nice on the nook screen.

    I haven't noticed a lot of spelling errors in the books I've read. Only occasionally there have been a couple books that have "???" in the middle of a sentence or something, completely out of place, but since it only happened a couple times in the book, it didn't bother me too much and I was able to ignore it.

    If you are buying books that are really hard to read, with horrible formatting and text errors, maybe you should ask for a refund.

    Can I ask the format you are buying your books in and where you've been getting them? I've noticed that usually the worst formatting and stuff comes from free books I've gotten off of Smashwords (sorry, I know I love indie author and supporting the website too, but it's true). I haven't bought ebooks from anywhere else other than B&N, since I usually download free stuff from other websites, but the free stuff usually has more errors and formatting problems then the stuff I buy.
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  4. #3
    Super Moderator sunshinejenn03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    The only formatting issues I've run into have been with PDF books from the library. Everything else I get is EPUB.

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  6. #4
    Mr. Darcy
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    All the books I've bought have been from Barnes and Noble website. Not sure what format that is. They are all purchased. I downloaded a bunch of freebies in the 10 free classics per week thing but haven't read them yet. The mistakes also seem to come in groups. I'll go a while with no problems then all of a sudden, there's a page with like 10 misspellings on it. A lot of the time it's the same word over and over also. Almost like a scanner reads it and doesn't understand that word. Another thing I noticed is a dash between words where is wasn't intended. I don't have an example of this but when I come across it next time, I'll copy it over.

  7. #5
    Puck
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    I've seen a lot of poor formatting on a lot of ebooks. I've gotten a few ePubs from the library recently that were just deplorable.

  8. #6
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    It depends on the publisher. If you are reading a lot of indie authors you better get used to it.

    However, traditional publishers and more professional indie authors do take the time usually to properly format their texts. Having said that, I have seen shoddy books from major publishers also, which is a shame, though fortunately in their cases typos are usually not a problem.

    eBooks are still new to most publishers and as such these are growing pains. Even though the creation and formatting of eBooks is a trivial task, many people do not take the time to properly understand the process and simply use inadequate and unsuitable tools to get their results. Over time all this will get less and less of an issue as people get more familiar with their tools and understand how to properly create eBooks.

  9. #7
    Puck
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Henkel

    eBooks are still new to most publishers and as such these are growing pains. Even though the creation and formatting of eBooks is a trivial task, many people do not take the time to properly understand the process and simply use inadequate and unsuitable tools to get their results. Over time all this will get less and less of an issue as people get more familiar with their tools and understand how to properly create eBooks.
    Plenty of major publishers are producing books with issues... for instance, recently downloaded J. A. Jance's Hour of the Hunter free from BN.com. There was CLEARLY some find/replace sort of errors going on, I think nearly half the book had "mat" instead of "that". There were also other mispellings and typos. I'll probably at some point email the publisher, which is really what we should all do when we find this kind of shoddy publishing. Unless the buying public TELLS them, they may never realize that people care or are annoyed by this sort of thing.

    I think some publishers are just pumping out cookie cutter ebooks and not checking things very carefully. Other ebooks, like the two Laurie R King books I recently borrowed from the library were beautifully done, with attention to making them like the physical books.

  10. #8
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    I agree, that many publisher do not pay proper attention - in part, as I said, because they do not really understand the process yet - but in your case, at least you got "Hour of the Hunter" for free as you say, so there's not a lot you can complain about, really. Now, if I bought the Kindle version for $8.99 and would find those kinds of issues I would certainly take exception with it.

  11. #9
    Puck
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido Henkel
    I agree, that many publisher do not pay proper attention - in part ,as I said, because they do not really understand the process yet - but in your case, at least you got "Hour of the Hunter" for free as you say, so there's not a lot you can complain about, really. Now, if I bought the Kindle version for $8.99 and would find those kinds of issues I would certainly take exception with it.
    True, for free, can't complain too much. However, I'll still probably let them know in a nice way, because a) having a poor quality ebook out there could hurt sales, i.e. I'd certainly be wary of purchasing another from the same publisher and b) I'm sure if the author knew, they'd want it cleaned up as representing their work, even if it is a backlist and currently free book.

  12. #10
    Tom Sawyer
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    Default Re: Questionable quality of books converted to E-book

    I understand completely where you're coming from. Naturally, it's just the fact that it has not been done properly that is upsetting, regardless of the price.
    I usually take notes of these things when I encounter them and send notes to the author. you have to be careful, though, because some authors who lack maturity do not take kindly to other people's comments, even if all you're doing is pointing out blatant spelling errors.

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