Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Quality of ebooks



I can't help but wonder if ebooks go through the same type of quality inspection as print copies. The majority of books that I read are in ebook format, and I can't help but notice all the formatting issues in ebooks lately. Even with a print book, I expect to see some errors occasionally but I've actually bought a few ebooks that I couldn't read because the quality was so poor. I've noticed sentences being split half way through and placed as another paragraph, font sizes defaulting to a large unreadable size and overall many different quality issues including spacing in the middle of a word.

I was wondering if anyone else has noticed this? I've actually noticed so many issues in one ebook, that I couldn't help but bring it to the publishers attention, and they mentioned that they would have to send a new file to the retailer. These ebooks that I'm talking about are not advanced copies, they are released ebooks that are purchased. 98% of my ebooks are purchased through Kobo.com,  and I don't know if this is a retailer issue or publisher issue.

I'd love to hear what others experiences are with ebooks.

Here is an example of a size small font, that I just couldn't read on my Sony Reader. It was too large, and uncomfortable to read. I would be flipping pages constantly. I read it on my Ipad, through the Kobo App it seemed normal. This may have been an Adobe DRM file issue.

I've also seen fonts default to such a small almost unreadable font, and when expanding- it was too large.


5 comments:

  1. Sarah @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    Some of it is the publisher and whoever makes them. Like some have no idea about inserting pictures and charts into ebooks. I've gotten a few from Sourcebook authors that come with maps in the front since they are historical fiction. When I tried to go to the map, the book has frozen or locked up; when its loads its zoomed into one part of it so it seems like they never resized the pdf they inserted into the front. These are epubs from BN. I've had some trouble with numerous of the small ebooks- most gotten via Smashwords. Occassionally my nook has been in a mood and "repeats" pages too. But it irritates me to no end when they take out breaks between two story ideas in a chapter. Some have just normal spacing so it gets a bit confusing.

    What I don't get is why wouldn't they do all the layouts and proofing, the send it out to the manufacturers.

    Melissa @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I have a Kindle. I've had no issues (at least not major ones) with the formatting of e-books from big name publishers. Like a few others, however, I've come across formatting issues in self-published books.
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    Beth(bookaholicmom) @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I have a Nook and a Fire and haven't had any problems with formatting yet. Maybe I have just been lucky!
    My recent post The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

    Mesa @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I buy ebooks from the kindle store, and I've not had a problem with my kindle. But my sister have Nook and she's been having problem with it though.

    Hannah @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    A few of the self-pubbed ebooks I've read or sampled on the Kindle have had big formatting issues. I even noticed with one book from Harper Collins that there were spacing errors (words would run together, every other paragraph or so) and reported the formatting problem to Amazon. The title was The First Love Cookie Club. I don't know if it's been fixed since then. Errors like this must be harder to prevent and/or fix than it seems if they're occurring with big publishers like Harper Collins.
    Then I noticed a lot of grammatical errors (or maybe just quirks) in the book Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Like she used "could of" instead of "could have" in one instance. There were a few other head-scratchers in that book though I can't remember what they were at the moment. These seemed to be editing issues rather than formatting ones though.

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  2. JJ iReads @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • +1 points
    I usually purchase ebooks from the kindle store and read them on my iPhone/iPad kindle app. Haven't noticed any errors so far. I think it's a device or Adobe DRM issue.
    My recent post Waiting on Wednesday: A Million Suns: An Across the Universe Novel

    @Lit_Explorer @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I've never really had an issue with my ebooks, although most of them come from Netgalley or the publisher, I don't buy a lot.

    blodeuedd @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    It truly is one of the reasons why I do not want an e-reader right now. One i tried could not handle pdf well. First it looks fine but then when you made the font bigger the formatting went crazy.

    When I converted it it was better but still crazy. And that was a pdf friendly device. i just do not know

    zibilee @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    The only time I ever have a problem is with e-galleys and with books in the public domain. Like someone else said, I mostly buy books from Amazon, and I have run into very few problems with them, but it's those free books that give me a lot of trouble. I have just started Middlemarch, and I am noticing a lot of problems with it at this point.

    Jenny @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I haven't had too many issues with purchased ebooks, though I have all sorts of formatting issues with an ebooks that come from NetGalley to my Kindle. Sometimes I can't even read them they're formatted so awkwardly. I buy almost all my ebooks from Amazon and have them on my Kindle or Kindle Fire, and I haven't experienced too many problems like the ones you mentioned above. That font size thing would be really frustrating!
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  3. Kristin @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I've had issues like that as well. I will get the first paragraph in large font and then it will change to regular or the whole thing will be normal font except for the dialogue which will be really large. It distracts you from the story. If I can I try to ignore it but some of the time I end up just changing books and moving on.
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    mrsqbookaddict @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • +1 points
    I was also wondering if it's a device issue. Perhaps the size of the device has an impact on the spacing and formatting issues.
    My recent post The Quality of ebooks


    Jade @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    So far the majority of e-books that I actually pay for don't have too many mistakes or errors. They're probably comparable to a paperback. I do see issues with a lot of self-published e-books though.

    Michelle @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 1 reply • 0 points
    I definitely think formatting is an issue. Most of my ebooks are ARCs so I don't have too much experience with finished ebooks. But i have noticed that the finished ones stlll have some formatting issues. Perhaps it's an issue of making them compatible with every potential device?

    I'm not sure I've noticed more errors though. I seem to find them no matter which format - print or ebook - I read.
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  4. Yvonne @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I have only noticed the odd one or two problems with formating issues, both on kindle and as PDF's for the PC.
    An author has recently gifted me a copy from Smashwords and although I haven't actually started reading yet, I can see that it is going to be problem, right fom the outset.
    On a slightly different note .. is anyone else noticing the decline in editing and proof reading standards, now that so much of the market is drifting towards self-publishing? The spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are really starting to get to me big time, almost to the point where I am tempted to refuse to read the book.

    Jen-Devourerofbooks @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I've never had a problem with font size, except when the ebook in question is a pdf, but those are never purchased, only review copies. The epub files all seem fine in that regard. There are definitely formatting snafus sometimes, though, with line breaks, spacing, or punctuation. These happen when the publisher runs the conversion and unfortunately it doesn't seem like they're always checked after that happens.
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    mrsqbookaddict @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • +1 points
    I usually buy my books from Kobo, but when I use my Sony Reader- I use their Adobe DRM file. I've seen the Adobe DRM file have HUGE font, and while reading the book on the Kobo app, it was fine.

    Strange...
    My recent post The Quality of Ebook's

    mrsqbookaddict @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • +1 points
    Normally, the size is not a problem. The default "small' is perfect however, I've seen the default small as large text (Very Large), and I'm not able to resize it to smaller.
    My recent post The Quality of Ebook's

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  5. bermudaonion @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 6 days ago • 0 replies • +1 points
    Most of the members of my book club have eReaders - Kindles, nooks and iPads - and they've all commented on formatting issues at one time or another. It's almost like the finished copy is never made into an eBook.

    Jenny Q @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 1 week ago • 1 reply • 0 points
    The only time I experience problems like those is with pdfs, and those are eARCs. If a published ebook is only available in pdf format, I won't buy it. Are you having problems with epubs? I wonder if it's the Kobo?

    Caitie F @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 1 week ago • 1 reply • +1 points
    I am not surprised you have seen formatting issues and there is a very simple reason for that: People can change the size of the type. So much of book design is about flow from one page to the next and formatting is done on a pica scale. But once people can increase of decrease the size, there is no way the designer can format the book. Once you format it perfectly for one size, the second someone changes it everything is messed up. If they did as much design as they do on regular books, anytime someone changed the font at all, the entire ebook would be a disaster. Hoep that exaplins a little of why there are issues!

    Sarah @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 1 week ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I tend to only buy Kindle books from the major publishing houses (Harper, Macmillan, Penguin, Random House, S&S), so I haven't encountered many problems with those books. I think S&S does the best job out of all publishers because they always provide the cover image, book jacket flap images, real page numbers enabled, etc., so it feels like I have the actual book.

    The only time I've really noticed formatting problems have been with e-galleys, and of course, I don't mind at all because errors are expected (there is even a disclaimer) and I'm so grateful when a publisher allows me to read something early through Netgalley.
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    anne @ http://www.mrsqbookadd... - The Quality of Ebook\'s 1 week ago • 0 replies • 0 points
    I have had issues with ebooks as well. I have a Kindle and most books I read on it are fine but there have been a few where I have had trouble reading because of the poor quality.
    My recent post Top Ten Tuesday- Books I am excited to read in 2012

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