Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The problem with ebooks

The main problem with ebooks I find is that there is no quality control.

Would a publishing house release a paper book with over 100 typos?  Certainly not.  But with ebooks, it seems to be de-rigeur.  I particularly don't understand as it's so easy for the companies to correct the errors and send the better copies out to the public.  It's much harder to correct paper mistakes.

So why is no one correcting these errors?  I think part of the problem is that there is no reporting method to report the errors.  I've been putting them at the end of my reviews, but it doesn't seem like any one is paying attention, or cares.

For example, I recently read Going Down in La-La Land by Andy Zeffer. There- were superfluous hyphens in - nearly every- line.  Why? I don't - know.  But to say- it was distracting would - be an understatement. I mentioned this in my- amazon review - and someone wrote me - to say they would- get it fixed.  Nothing yet.

Then there's people just looking for a quick buck.  I had considered briefly scanning a version of City of Night by John Rechy, the gay classic, for my own use only of course. The book however is known for it's lack of punctuation and would be a nightmare to proof, and I saw a version on amazon which I bought.  Looking through it yesterday, I noticed the retail copy was a poor scan with many errors left in.  For example "I" became "1", "I'll" became "111", "75¢" became "751", "I'm" became "I'rn". How hard would it have been to do a search and replace to change all 1's to I's?

This hit a high point today with The Golden Age of Gay Fiction by Drewey Wayne Gunn, which I actually returned.  It was a disgrace, my review is below.  This needs to be fixed.  Even on Girl Gone, a New York Times bestseller I recently noticed more than an acceptable number of errors.

To say this Kindle edition of this book has poor formatting is to grossly understate the word "poor".

I own the paperback and bought the Kindle edition to read on the go, but the way it's set up, it's unreadable. For example, the paperback opens with the quote "The Golden Age was first..." in the paperback edition. In the Kindle edition, it is changed to "The Golden Age was rst...rst..."

The pages in the paperback are divided into columns and in the Kindle Edition the columns sometimes run together.
For example:

These books                    Some of
are good books                these books
to read.                          are expensive.

This becomes, in the Kindle version "These books Some of are good books these books to read. are expensive."

Try making sense of that on your Kindle.

The page numbers and the page borders are still included in the Kindle version, even though they no longer correspond to the end of pages or to the right numbers.

A book cover will be shown and then two or three paragraphs later the title reference shows up.

The chapters are not divided, the chapter headings appear at the bottom of the first page of the chapter. This would be like me putting the title of this review down here. POOR FORMATTING!

Sections of the
text have too
many paragraph
breaks and leave
all the text on
one side, like this.

Need I go on? I am amazed that anyone would even consider selling this as a finished product, let alone charging what they are.


Anonymous said...


I'm sorry if I've left this comment multiple times. I don't use blogger much, it's giving me a hard time, and I'm a little drunk.

Are you, perhaps, the same guy who used to post gay books on Demonoid? If so, are you still posting books elsewhere since demonoid demise? I hope so.

Best wishes.

dunnadam said...

I am that guy. I having been posting a bit on My Anonomouse, but really the site kind of stinks. I always post my gay books on