4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2010 8:30 AM by Sigma2398

    Correction Thread Correction

      I don't think anyone can deny that the number of typos in eBooks is shameful compared to DTBs.  So there's a burgeoning thread of corrections started by and supported by B&N.  Input from us, the readers, is passed up the chain through B&N to the publisher.  Its great that we have a way to pass these errors along.

      But the idea that eBooks are second-class afterthoughts is wrong (especially since they are often priced similarly or higher than the paper version).  The reader is expected to just gloss over these typos and continue on.  Or, if they are sufficiently annoyed, provide feedback so a correction can be made.

      If the publishers are content using the reader as editors, a compensation system should be put in place.  I propose something simple - a few cents per typo toward your next book.  Obviously this would be a huge undertaking - providing a traceable way to submit typos, and managing the payments.  Or perhaps the publisher could employ a select number of readers who would provide typos in exchange for a discount on the book.

        • Re: Correction Thread Correction


          Not to mention the number of people that would be needed to sift through all of the correction emails (if that is how it would be handled) to find the one with the oldest time stamp and declare him or her the discoverer of the typo.  They wouldn't want to pay multiple times for the same discovery.  You can probably handle it by automating that process, but you would need to purchase or write software to do the sifting.
          The other problem is that people (the readers) are not going to craft the email the same way for the same discovery.  Now you have to put a process in place for the people sending in the discoveries so there will be consistency in their submissions that the software can handle, and do an accurate job identifying the first person that submitted an email for a specific problem.
          Not insurmountable problems, but they would cost money to solve.  I also realize that I'm not being fair in my initial assessment of your post, because it would need a lot more thought than will probably occur in this thread.  It is an interesting thought however, and I agree that if we are going to pay the price for any book, digital or legacy, the quality should be, shall we say, not a distraction?


          • Re: Correction Thread Correction

            I still don't understand why there are so many typos in an ebook compared to the paper copy.  I thought they would use the same source.  I'm sorry if this is naive; I'm still fairly new to this whole ebook thing.  I agree with you regarding the pricing issue.  I find it frustrating to see an ebook priced higher than the paperback version (especially considering a lack of printing and shipping costs). 

              • Re: Correction Thread Correction

                I don't have access to the inner workings of the publishing industry, but here are two conspiracy theories:

                1. OCR.  In some cases, it may be easier for the publisher to scan and use OCR than to dig up the electronic copy of the book.  This would lead to simple misspellings and bad punctuation.

                2. Bad conversion software.  The most common issue I've seen is words broken into two words, or unnecessarily hyphenated.  This could be an artifact from the conversion software when in the electronic version a word is broken at the end of a line onto the next line.

                The fact that a simple spell check would catch the majority of errors makes it doubly maddening.