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Why Are E-Books So Poorly Proofed?

As well as being handy and portable for consumers, e-books should be easy for publishers to produce: after all, there’s no physical copies to worry about. However, it seems that in some cases, major errors are being introduced in the process of e-book production.

The MacOldie blog discusses how a recently-published e-book edition of Ruth Rendell‘s The Monster In The Box is absolutely littered with typos and mistakes. While Rendell is a UK author, meaning some spellings are likely to get changed in the production of a US edition, that seems no excuse for the litany of errors found in the Kindle version:

A keen US Rendell fan might be tempted to pay a visit to some of the locations mentioned in the book. Arrival at Stinted Airport (Stansted) is essential, followed by a visit to the nearby and much-oppressed town of Taxed (Thaxted). Further afield, he might be tempted to visit New Quay or Dollish (Dawlish), Lime Regis (Lyme Regis), or Sutton Cold Field (Sutton Coldfield), one of the pushest (poshest) parts of Birmingham. While in London, a visit to Wands Worth or Kingsbury, NEW (NW9) could be worthwhile. For transport, he could use a German car such as a VOW or a Mercy and should certainly remember to park close to the kern at all times

In an ideal world, producing an e-book should require little more than slight reprocessing of existing digital files, but that’s clearly not what’s happened here. Have you encountered similar problems in your own e-book adventures? Tell all in the comments.

Random House of Horrors: another disgusting ebook [MacOldie]


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