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Perks
10-14-2011, 07:03 PM
So, I'm finishing up Wally Lamb's, She's Come Undone, on my Nook and I'm encountering a problem I've never had before: the formatting is a mess.

There are odd characters inserted and spaces omitted and random italicization. I've just come across a page that's missing at least a few words, hopefully not an entire page of text.

I've been waiting for a while for the e-version of this particular book and, although I'm able to read it, I'm really annoyed.

A) Has this ever happened to you?

and

B) Should I ask for my money back even though I'm getting the book, more or less, into my head through my eyes?

PrincessofPersia
10-14-2011, 07:12 PM
That's bizarre. My mum has read dozens of books on her Nook and has never had that kind of problem. I would definitely report it if you can.

Torgo
10-14-2011, 07:18 PM
So, I'm finishing up Wally Lamb's, She's Come Undone, on my Nook and I'm encountering a problem I've never had before: the formatting is a mess.

There are odd characters inserted and spaces omitted and random italicization. I've just come across a page that's missing at least a few words, hopefully not an entire page of text.

I've been waiting for a while for the e-version of this particular book and, although I'm able to read it, I'm really annoyed.

A) Has this ever happened to you?

and

B) Should I ask for my money back even though I'm getting the book, more or less, into my head through my eyes?

This happens more often than you might think, because publishers are frantically batch-converting their backlist just as fast as they can, doing light quality control, and hoping the output will work on hundreds of different ebook platforms. There are various different ways your particular issues could have come about. It's understandable if you work in ebooks, but still unacceptable; you should definitely complain about it.

Perks
10-14-2011, 07:22 PM
Yeah, it's weird. The beginning of the book was fine, but it all started falling apart about halfway through.

I've bought dozens of books for my Nook and have never seen anything quite like it.

Just now, the word 'Fred' was, for some reason, 'Fired' - italics and all.

Torgo
10-14-2011, 07:27 PM
Yeah, it's weird. The beginning of the book was fine, but it all started falling apart about halfway through.

I've bought dozens of books for my Nook and have never seen anything quite like it.

Just now, the word 'Fred' was, for some reason, 'Fired' - italics and all.

It sounds like the book got prepared from scans. You scan a word like Fred and it goes a bit wonky, skews a bit, and then the OCR software thinks it's 'Fired' in italics. Possibly someone kicked the scanner half-way through capturing the book...

Namatu
10-14-2011, 08:03 PM
I'm with Torgo. Yes, complain, and yes, get your money back. That's a quality control issue. I overlook random hyphens and the occasional missing hard return, but you're describing much more than that.

Soccer Mom
10-14-2011, 08:09 PM
It happens less frequently than it did, but yes, publishers are still scrambling to put out their backlist and they make mistakes.

Definitely complain and get your money back.

Phaeal
10-14-2011, 09:23 PM
Recently I've read a lot of complaints from purchasers of A Dance with Dragons that the maps in the ebook version are messed-up.

Which I would expect more than that the text should be messed up.

I'd want my money back in your case.

Medievalist
10-14-2011, 09:30 PM
Now see, if they did maps properly all the places in the book would link to that specific location on the map, AND you'd be able to turn all links/annotations on and off.

Namatu
10-14-2011, 09:32 PM
Now see, if they did maps properly all the places in the book would link to that specific location on the map, AND you'd be able to turn all links/annotations on and off. :e2arms: Whenever they get around to making this happen in ebooks, it will be awesome.

Medievalist
10-14-2011, 10:19 PM
:e2arms: Whenever they get around to making this happen in ebooks, it will be awesome.

We did that in 1992, and I'm still doing it on ebooks I produce.

Perks
10-14-2011, 10:22 PM
Lol! Well, I'm definitely calling to get a refund. I just ran across the line -

"Dante, I'm toe."

and I can't figure out what it's supposed to say.

Namatu
10-14-2011, 11:02 PM
We did that in 1992, and I'm still doing it on ebooks I produce.Clearly you should be in charge of all ebooks.


Lol! Well, I'm definitely calling to get a refund. I just ran across the line -

"Dante, I'm toe."

and I can't figure out what it's supposed to say.:roll:

Perks
10-15-2011, 09:55 PM
Holy crap, this is really irritating trying to explain this to someone who isn't completely comfortable with English. This is the second customer service rep I've talked to. They can't grasp that I'm not getting any error message but that the errors are in the text.

Aaaarrrrrggghhhh.

They should just make it easy on themselves and give me my refund. Of course, that wouldn't do anything for the other people who get this garbled mess of an ebook.

Torgo
10-15-2011, 10:01 PM
Holy crap, this is really irritating trying to explain this to someone who isn't completely comfortable with English. This is the second customer service rep I've talked to. They can't grasp that I'm not getting any error message but that the errors are in the text.

Aaaarrrrrggghhhh.

They should just make it easy on themselves and give me my refund. Of course, that wouldn't do anything for the other people who get this garbled mess of an ebook.

Oh dear - who are you talking to, the retailer? Try direct to publisher?

Perks
10-15-2011, 10:03 PM
Ah, good. They brought a third person who understood. I'm getting a refund and the Simon & Schuster is getting a note.

Phaeal
10-15-2011, 10:15 PM
"Dante, I'm toe" is a misquote from The Inferno. It should read, "Dante, my toe," and refers to the section in which the poet treads on Virgil's foot. An alternative translation, which I favor, reads, "Dante, you dumbass, my toe!"

Perks
10-15-2011, 10:18 PM
Lol! I'm sure that's it.

Namatu
10-16-2011, 12:08 AM
Glad you finally got it worked out and that the publisher will be informed about the problem.

veinglory
10-16-2011, 12:11 AM
Some books seem to have just been scanned in without someone eye-balling and correcting them....

DreamWeaver
10-16-2011, 12:55 AM
So, I'm finishing up Wally Lamb's, She's Come Undone, on my Nook and I'm encountering a problem I've never had before: the formatting is a mess.

There are odd characters inserted and spaces omitted and random italicization. I've just come across a page that's missing at least a few words, hopefully not an entire page of text.

I've been waiting for a while for the e-version of this particular book and, although I'm able to read it, I'm really annoyed.

A) Has this ever happened to you?

and

B) Should I ask for my money back even though I'm getting the book, more or less, into my head through my eyes?Coming late to the party, but just wanted to note that this happens all the time in Google's free ebooks (the out-of-copyright ones they just scan). It's the main reason I never, ever download Googlebooks, but go to Project Gutenberg instead. At Project Gutenberg, they go through three rounds of proofing, and two or three rounds of formatting. Much nicer product, and same price to the consumer.

For these kind of OCR errors to happen in a paid book is Very Not Good. I'm disappointed to hear it's happening.

Funny side note: am currently reading a free out-of-copyright ebook in French. It was great until about halfway through, when it started showing these types of errors. You think the weirdness is hard to figure out in your native language, try figuring it out in a language you are not *quite* fluent in :D.

DancingMaenid
10-16-2011, 04:14 AM
Yeah, count me in with the people who have encountered stuff like this. I got one book where it seemed like a page/scene break was missing, with the result being that it went from one character's POV to another's in a space of a paragraph. Considering the rest of the book was formatted fine, I doubt it was the author's doing.

Also, for some reason "etc." has been formatted strangely in several of the ebooks I've gotten. I think it shows up as "&c."

I've never tried getting my money back, but I think you're definitely entitled to do so.

Old Hack
10-16-2011, 11:02 AM
"&c" is an alternative, if somewhat archaic, form of "etc." and was used very frequently in years gone by. It's not necessarily a typo or mistake.

Ken
10-17-2011, 03:53 AM
... don't let this one bad experience sour your impression of electronic readers. All in all they are wonderful gadgets and enhance ones reading experience, enabling one to effortlessly scroll through the digital leafs among other things. The text is very readable as well. For any one who has not yet made the purchase I urge them to go out and do so asap. (They're not that expensive either, and most likely will go on sale soon with the holidays coming up and all.) You will not be disappointed. I guarantee it!

Shadow_Ferret
10-17-2011, 03:59 AM
Most of the eBooks I read have awful formatting issues, but then most of them are free old classics. I read "Gladiator" by Philip Wylie and it was totally hosed. It had a lot of odd characters thrown in. At one point it started out regular font, then became italic, then bold. One whole page of several paragraphs were all centered. Just a total mess.