“And then what happens?”: A rant about defective ebooks

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Seriously, what the hell is going on with my ebooks?

The last three ebooks I have tried to read have all had errors. Whole pages missing. Hitting the next button and inexplicably going from page 204 to 201 (and then you never can find page 205, anyway). Invariably, this happens near the end of the book, just as the plot is reaching the climax. And it is really starting to piss me off.

These books are published by reputable houses. The three I’m speaking of now were published by Algonquin (full disclosure, I used to intern for them), Avon, and Bantam. But I’ve had tons of ebooks with these errors. And I don’t understand it.

You wouldn’t buy a book from a store, find that page 152 is completely missing, and just think, oh well, guess I’ll try to figure out what’s happening and move on. You would return the stupid thing. But once you own an ebook, you’re stuck with it.

I read books on a nook, which means that they are .epub format. Do any of you read on Kindles or tablets? Do your books have missing pages and random errors? [Another favorite of mine- the squares. Where what I assume is punctuation or some sort of accented letter is turned into a blank square.] Is it just that nook is terrible?

When I buy digital editions of magazines like Apex and Lightspeed they are always flawlessly put together, despite, I’m assuming, having fewer resources than major book publishers. I don’t understand where these errors are coming from, and why it seems like there’s no quality control of the products. I wouldn’t think that creating a file to send to the printer and creating a file to send to ebook distributors would be that different, but if there are major differences, why isn’t anyone checking to make sure everything transcribes okay?

This is why I never pay full price for any ebooks, though I have to say, even four or five dollars is starting to seem like a waste of money when I keep coming across these errors. I’ve considered giving up my physical library, but I never will when the quality of ebooks is so shoddy.

Anyone else have these problems? It can’t just be me, right?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to ““And then what happens?”: A rant about defective ebooks

  1. bendingoverbookwards

    I’ve had it a few times, with missing a page, and that’s from major publishing houses. I’m on Kobo, which is big but not Kindle big, and that might explain it. You’re right, though, it’s so annoying!

  2. Amy

    What version of Nook do you have? I’ve had three different ones. Most likely you haven’t turned the thing off and on in a while. I’m talking about a complete shutdown. I had this happen a couple of times. Like a computer sometimes they need to be restarted to install updates. Next time that happens try saving your page and shut down completely and restart. Worked for me.

    • hlmorris85

      Hmm. I shut it down fairly often, but I don’t usually have it connected to the internet. So maybe that’s what’s up.

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