Errors and Omissions Excepted Or Accepted In Ebooks?

Errors and Omissions

Are errors and omissions excepted in ebooks today?

I have read many comments and reviews about errors in ebooks.

Of course, many of these comments relate to self-published books.

But it is worthwhile noting that large and well-known publishers are also guilty of publishing ebooks with errors and omissions.

The ebook rush

It is hardly surprising because the number of traditionally published books re-published in ebook formats from publishers’ backlists must amount to a staggering number.

There is also the rush to get titles available in ebook format to take advantage of trends in the market.

After having had my Kindle for years now, I have probably read about the same number of self-published titles as those from mainstream publishers.

I have to say that I can’t recall a single ebook that was error, typo, or omission-free.

Formatting errors, weird line breaks, and font problems, in particular in ebooks from large publishers, lead me to think that manuscripts that were originally prepared for print were quickly converted for ebook distribution.

But without the painstaking and necessary process of cleaning formatting errors.

Typos, grammar errors, and punctuation problems are probably more prevalent in self-published titles.

But they still occur all too frequently in mainstream titles by large publishers.

However, self-published titles suffer far more often from bad grammar usage and poor spelling.

It is a sure sign of a lack of competent proofreading and editing.

One of the problems with ebooks is that there are firstly so many different formats.

Upon conversion, this can create formatting errors in one format but perhaps not in another.

Word processors are another source of errors.

Style formats, auto text, and spell checkers often working away automatically, happily riddling a manuscript with unnoticed code and errors.

Then, of course, there is the human eye, which we all know is often unreliable when it comes to processing large amounts of text.

 

Ebooks will never be perfect

As with any new technology, it will take time to find its way. But I am not sure ebooks will ever be perfect.

There are simply too many variables along the way, from a word processor to an ebook reader, that are extremely difficult to control and monitor.

It’s also worth considering that the traditional publishing process of a book to print takes about one year.

I doubt that traditional publishers spend anything close to this amount of time in preparing an ebook version.

So will we just have to accept that ebooks will always come with imperfections?

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

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One thought on “Errors and Omissions Excepted Or Accepted In Ebooks?

  • Avatar for C. L. Donley
    April 4, 2018 at 3:41 am
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    Movies are routinely riddled with errors, but with books the errors are a bit more jarring to the eye. I think by and large, everyone will give an error or two the benefit of the doubt, but “riddled” is definitely a bad sign. There are some nazis out there, but I think for the most part when there are a bunch of errors in a book, the reader can feel a bit cheated if they paid even as low as $.99 cents for it. It goes from “you get what you pay for” to, “okay, is this person typing blindfolded and then submitting it with the same blindfold?!?!”

    My manuscript is pretty clean, and that is after multiple multiple readings and combings. I feel like it’s error free, but that probably means there’s one or two errors there. You can tell with some writers that they simply didn’t take the time, or they didn’t want to fork over the big bucks to get a thorough edit and got a sub-par editor, or just did it themselves. Once. With all the tools at the disposal of the big publishers, I still don’t feel that indie authors should be held to the same standard. But at the same time, indie authors should be less concerned with making a buck and more concerned with putting out a quality product. The thought of being able to put out an error-free manuscript as an indie author should give you a boner.

    Reply

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