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Posts tagged proofreading

Morning Roundup: Tips for proofreaders; Chinese piracy; public domain artwork; and more
August 23, 2013 | 9:09 am

The Floating MouthProofreaders-to-Be: Loving Books Isn't Enough (Louise Harnby) I recently received a phone call from someone thinking about a career in proofreading. “I just wondered if you could spare five minutes to tell me how to go about starting a proofreading business.” * * * Piracy a Major Threat to Digital Publishers in China (Good e-Reader) As it has been the case anywhere else in the world, publishers in China too are waking up to the impact that digital publishing is expected to have in the domestic publishing industry in future. However, publishers fear the rampant piracy prevalent in the country could cast a pall...

What Are Your Book Dealbreakers?
July 31, 2013 | 8:49 am

book The always-fun folks at Book Riot have done another great poll—this time on book 'dealbreakers.' As the article explains: "Let’s say you’re reading a book. It’s pretty good. You’re basking in that glowy feeling that comes when you find something new to read that you think you might be able to love. Then something happens. It might happen all of a sudden or gradually, but at some point you realize that the book has done something you don’t like." They go on to list the top dealbreakers submitted by their poll respondents, which include casual treatment of sex and rape, stereotyped depcitions of...

Morning Links — Proofreading tips for self-publishers
February 27, 2013 | 9:15 am

proofreading Ten Proofreading Tips for Self-Publishers (Media Shift) McGraw-Hill Digital Learning Tools Released for Canadian Students (Good e-Reader) Buy a Nook HD+, Get a $50 Gift Card (The Digital Reader) How Some Authors Buy Spots on Bestseller Lists (Media Bistro) Kindle Daily Deals: Dead Asleep by Jaime Freveletti (and 3 others)  ...

The 5 Steps of Intelligent Proofreading
December 21, 2012 | 10:07 pm

Over the years I’ve scanned and OCR’ed many printed books into electronic form for Gutenberg Australia—most of the Edgar Wallace collection there is my work, for instance—and during that time it’s become clear that not all typos are equal. After awhile, in fact, it became possible for me to divide typos into categories, as follows: Category 1: Typos due to English orthography Some letter sequences in English serif text happen to resemble others. The sequence ‘of her’, for instance, looks very much like ‘other’, and ‘thing’ looks very much like ‘tiling’. Every second or third book I scanned had these mistakes in it...

The changing face of editing
August 1, 2011 | 10:56 am

At one time in my career as an editor my function was crystal clear: everyone understood and agreed on the role a copyeditor played in the publishing business. But as the years have passed and the traditional publishing industry has consolidated into six megacorporations whose decisions are made based on bean counting, what was once clearcut has become fogged. (For an overview of the various editorial roles, see Editor, Editor, Everywhere an Editor.) This was brought to mind the other day when I was contacted by a client to copyedit a new medical book. The client's inquiry included these points: has recommended...

Ebook error problem: just how bad is it?
July 28, 2011 | 11:06 am

I posted earlier about some problems I have been having recently with error-filled ebooks---I am not talking about major editing-process errors, rather, I am talking about typos and formatting glitches resulting from unproofed conversions. People used to complain about these at times before ebooks 'hit it big,' but now that we e-reading customers are a more mainstream group, the complaints are getting increasingly vociferous and this has been the first year where I have really noticed a widespread problem myself. But just how widespread is this problem? Is my feeling that these days, I am becoming more of a copy-editor...

Why ebooks are riddled with typos
July 18, 2011 | 10:01 am

The short (somewhat obvious) answer, aside from errors introduced by OCR: because publishers cut corners by laying off proofreaders and copy editors, then rush the manuscripts out too quickly for their skeleton crews to catch gaffes. At least that's what one editor confessed to Virginia Heffernan at the New York Times. Another editor, however, says in the era of word processors authors have gotten lazier and stupider: "It is amazing how little review seems to have occurred before the text is sent to the editor. Seriously, you have no idea how sloppy some of these things are." Still, if you've...

On Words & eBooks: Will We Never Learn?
July 12, 2011 | 10:14 am

I no sooner published On Words & eBooks: What Does It Take?, my last article lamenting authors ignoring the need for professional editing before offering their ebooks for sale to the reading public, when, lo and behold, along comes yet another glaring example of poor editing: Walker’s Revenge by Brad Chambers. Unlike some other ebooks, Chambers at least got the title right. Unfortunately, that is all he got right. Consider his description of the book — the text that is supposed to induce a reader to plunk down his or her $2.99, which will cause, if enough people plunk, Walker’s Revenge...

Zappos uses Mechanical Turk to proofread five million product reviews
April 28, 2011 | 12:51 am

zappos-logoI’ve talked about scan-induced typo problems in e-books before. For whatever reason, a lot of publishers don’t seem to have the manpower to devote to making sure their scanned e-books properly mirror the quality of their printed books. But they could take a lesson from on-line retailer Zappos, who determined that having higher-quality reviews of products on their site led to more sales of those products. So Zappos used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk system of distributed low-cost labor to examine and edit five million reviews on their site, having the Turk workers correct spelling and grammar errors they found while...

Young Wizards e-book errors to be fixed by publisher, thanks to reader feedback
March 30, 2011 | 12:26 pm

Diane Duane has posted an update to her blog on the error correction issue with Young Wizards e-books. She contacted her editor, who contacted the digital editions department at her publisher, and she’s received a response from them that they have developed a new error-correction process that looks specifically for commonly-occurring OCR errors and eliminates them at the XML level (so that corrected e-books can be generated in multiple formats from the new source material.). They would like to run the books through this process. Then, Diane can go back through and look to see what errors still exist, which...

Diane Duane on e-book self-publishing and quality
March 15, 2011 | 12:04 pm

dianeduaneOn her blog “Out of Ambit”, Diane Duane has written a post partly in response to my e-book quality rant of the other day, talking about her own experiences preparing new editions of some of her e-books. Duane had been using Smashwords to distribute her Middle Kingdoms series, and had no complaints. However, she found that if she wanted to do something about the territorial restrictions preventing most of the world from buying her Young Wizards books without violating her contract terms with the publishers (who own the US and Canada e-book rights), she was going to have...

Ongoing publisher inattention to e-book quality is highly annoying
March 13, 2011 | 8:35 pm

NookReview 012 Update: Diane Duane has written an interesting piece in response, that I will cover in full when I have time. I was going to bring this up in my review of the Nook Reader app, but realized that doing so would be putting the blame in the wrong place. When I was reading the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane on the Nook Reader, I ran into this particularly egregious typo in the first chapter of So You Want to Be a Wizard. “The reader is invited to examine the next Jew chapters…” And it was not the last. Characters might enjoy meals...