Wednesday, November 28, 2012

E-reader Questions

A quick post here for Writing Wednesday. I've got a question for any of you that use some sort of e-reader (Kindle, Nook, iPad, or other).

Have you found many formatting problems? If so, do they affect your enjoyment in reading?

I'm reading a book originally published in 2006 on my Nook. There are a lot of little formatting errors that have started to really distract me. Some of the goofs affect the gap that comes up when the author changes POV characters. It has left me going back on occasion to see which character is speaking, because I missed the change.

I'm wondering if the problem stems from a book from this author's catalog being quickly converted to be purchased on an e-reader. I haven't noticed such a problem on recently released books.

Any Kindle readers out there - have you noticed a similar problem?

Just trying to get a handle on whether this is a common issue or not, and people's feelings on it. If this were a frequent problem, I wouldn't keep buying e-books. So far this book is the worst I've experienced, but I've seen other problems before.

Any other thoughts on e-readers? Please share. We can complain together.


  1. Jason, I have a Kindle. I've noticed several formatting problems from different publishers (recent books). Gaps where there shouldn't be. One novel I read was just horrifically done, but I think the author did it herself. It was like a first draft in every possible way. So many errors it completely distracted me. But I've seen some "credible" errors from establishment publishers in e-books too. Don't know what to make of it.

  2. There are a lot of backlist titles from the, er, "reputable" publishers that are little more than scanned and auto-converted PDF or LaTeX files they had on hand, slapped up to feed the need, so to speak.

    The stuff from primary-epubs is of generally good quality, and the stuff from indies is more likely to be good to decent quality if the rest of the book's aspects are (cover, back blurb, sample, etc).

    Most indies will appreciate a heads-up about format complaints--as much as we check and double-check, there are bound to be glitches in The Matrix, and it can be as simple as a new file upload. Also, indies have the ability to request Amazon notify those who've purchased the book that a new file is available. I'm not sure the big guns will take the time or have the understanding as to how to do that.

  3. Thanks for the feedback Nicole and Athena.

    I have another Nook book that drops the title of the book into random text spots about 4 times overall. It really threw me because the title was used a fair bit anyway.

    I realize electronic glitches are going to exist when physical books still have typos. I guess the lesson for people using epublishing is make sure you're not sabotaging the reader's experience by goobering up the the text.

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