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Tsk, tsk Triskelion

Dear Triskelion,

Earlier I wrote about the bad experience I had buying 2 ebooks from you. Now I’m sorry to say but the reading experience for one of them has been less than wonderful and it’s not due to the author’s voice or style. It’s due to your poor editing.

I was reading the first book on my IPAQ and all of a sudden — the font totally changed. Different size, different style and for no apparent reason. Then it happened two more times.
At first I thought maybe there was a blip during the file transfer so I pulled the file up on my pc and discovered that it was even worse there. Not only did the font change but the lines didn’t wrap and I had to scroll waaaaaaaaaaaay across the screen to read the entire lines.

Then I began to notice the editing errors. “Red made it to a tree and almost over when he lifted his leg.” Did the dog almost fall over, tip over, sprawl over, crash over, jitterbug over? What?

Then Kat is described as knowing in her got that something was wrong. I’ve been a health care professional for over 19 years and I never knew I had a got. I wonder what kind of doctor specializes in the human got?

I know that this author didn’t submit her MS with these errors in it and please note authors that I am in no way blaming her for any of this. I lay the blame squarely on Triskelion.

I’ve got one more contest book from your publishing house to read and I hope that your batting average improves because right now it’s 0 for 3.

~Jayne

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

20 Comments

  1. Jayne
    May 12, 2006 @ 22:00:44

    OK, let’s say I would guess that she didn’t. Perhaps she can check her .doc and tell us.

  2. AngieW
    May 12, 2006 @ 22:14:18

    I’m not sure I understand, I guess. So you think the errors got in there because the editor and/or copy editor wrote the sentences that way?

    Which, since I don’t know Trisks procedures on edits or how they edit, is possible, if for instance, the editor makes changes in the manuscript and rewrites sentences herself. But it confuses me, why you’re so sure the author didn’t write it that way?

  3. AngieW
    May 12, 2006 @ 21:55:27

    I know that this author didn’t submit her MS with these errors in it

    How do you know? Certainly, I’m not defending typos or poor editing, but how do you know they weren’t there in the original document? Clearly you’ve never seen some of the manuscripts submitted in their original form. I think I can be fairly confident in saying that even the authors who read your blog will agree with me–it’s just as possible that’s how the author wrote it. Yep, it’s the editors responsibility to catch it, but you can’t assume that the author didn’t write it in there to begin with. If they submitted perfect manuscripts with no errors, they wouldn’t need editors, lol!

  4. Jay
    May 13, 2006 @ 00:26:18

    Maybe it’s less that Jayne’s sure and more that she’s trying to give the author the benefit of the doubt.

    Not that I care either way, since got for gut isn’t acceptable in a finished copy, regardless of when it got there. Just saying.

  5. Jayne
    May 13, 2006 @ 04:41:59

    Yes, Jay. That’s what I was inadequately trying to convey. Thanks for phrasing it so much better than I did.

    Angie, perhaps you can tell me where most mistakes that end up in the final product come from. Is there still a typesetter for ebooks? Or is everything handled electronically today? Can mistakes creep into ebooks as well as be edited out of them? I open myself to your expertise.

  6. Pam Champagne
    May 13, 2006 @ 06:26:01

    Here I am in an attempt to get at the truth. I didn’t save all the edited versions that went back and forth with the editor. The final ARC reads as Jayne as written. . The sentence in the my original manuscript read, “Red made it to a tree, almost falling over when he lifted his leg.” How did this glaring error happen? I can only surmise that with all the back and forth edits, the editor suggested I change the sentence structure and a word (or words) got left out. Or perhaps in rereading the manuscript during editing, I decided I could make the sentence better and instead turned it into a glaring error.

    I accept full responsibility. As a writer it is my responsibility to make sure the final product is error free. I’m new at writing, Ribbon of Rain was my first book. I’m constantly learning. I’ve definitely learned a valuable lesson here, and I thank you, Jayne.

    I don’t think that e-publishing should be singled out for this type of error. I’ve found typos in many print books. Not even Nora Roberts and her editor are perfect. They confused peak/peek in Northern Lights.

  7. Cece
    May 13, 2006 @ 07:30:32

    Unfortunately errors where one real word is replaced with another are probably the hardest to catch.

  8. Jayne
    May 13, 2006 @ 07:42:57

    Do publishing houses not have copyeditors who sit down and read the final product anymore? Is everything dependent upon an electronic spellchecker?

  9. Cece
    May 13, 2006 @ 07:56:32

    Jayne FWIW I’ve had an epublished friend of mine rant repeatedly about the editing process of some of her publishers–as in BAD, as in editing stuff in that has no place there, etc.

    I don’t get it. I don’t think it’s left completely up to spell checkers, but like I think someone said earlier (or maybe in the AA thread), five people can read something and a typo can still slip by. A book by a bestselling author recently had the hero stepping out of the shower with a towel wrapped around his lips….On the upside it’s much easier to correct a typo in an ebook than a print book (and we’ve been told at LSB to let them know and they WILL fix typos).

  10. Fiona
    May 13, 2006 @ 07:58:07

    I agree Jayne. Mistakes are not acceptable. They are a sign of shoddy workmanship. I don’t know who to lay the blame on but I do know that a correction to the problem is to not buy the next book from said publisher or author, depending on how strongly you feel.

    However, major props to Ms. Champagne for posting.

    …Fiona…

  11. AngieW
    May 13, 2006 @ 08:04:13

    Okay Jayne, I’m actually going to write a post about the process, from the e-publishing standpoint, because I think that might clear up some things. I’m also going to address your question about copyeditors there, because my response is really lengthy, too long for the comments.

    As for Cece’s comment, I would agree. Those are probably the typos missed most often. The best example I can give of this. Have you ever seen the paragraph/sentence that gets passed around the internet, where it’s a mess of misspelled words, with the letters out of order, etc. And the point of the paragraph is that you can still read it despite the craziness of how it’s written?

    That’s what happens with the real word being replaced with one that’s very similar. As an editor, I go over a book, three, four, five times. But the brain is a tricky thing and some things your eye might skip over, despite your best attempts to read every word, look at every punctuation mark. After a certain number of times reading, the people working on the book see what should be there, not what’s actually there.

    That’s why it’s easier for readers to pick out the typos–because they’re looking at it with fresh eyes.

    Now, this is meant to be a brief explanation and please, don’t think I’m saying a book riddled with typos and errors is acceptable, because I don’t think that at all. I work very hard to produce a clean book, as do the authors I know. But I also know that the books I’ve worked on may have typos. Not because we didn’t work our asses off on the book, but because ten people can look at a book and still there will be errors. It’s a frustrating fact.

  12. Cece
    May 13, 2006 @ 08:10:17

    PS I don’t think you picked books to review from any of her publishers (she’s got like four)….FWIW again

  13. Jayne
    May 13, 2006 @ 10:16:22

    Thanks Angie, I do appreciate the time you have taken to answer my question.

    And Fiona, I agree that it was nice to hear from Pam about her book.

    Pam I didn’t mean to try and make you look bad here. My main frustration is directed at the publisher.

  14. Dear Author.Com »Blog Archive » The Truth About Ebooks
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 07:46:04

    […] Today’s article is just a list of all the ebook vendors we can find and links to their pages. On each Sunday, no matter what the ebook topic we cover, we’ll profile an ebook store and let you know what we like and we what don’t like about the store (kind of like we did here). In the end, we’ll make an exhaustive comparison chart available for download. Next Sunday’s article will be about formats and what it all means. Stay tuned and let us know what topics you want to hear about. […]

  15. Gail
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 14:50:48

    While finding errors in a manuscript can be frustrating, I think it’s extreme to condemn an entire publishing house or to boycott all other books. Lord, if I refused to buy another book from a publisher because I found errors… well, I’d have no place left to purchase. That would be like saying you won’t buy another book because you didn’t enjoy one you recently read.

    I am an avid reader… and I’ve found errors in probably 80% of all books I’ve read for pleasure. I usually tend to laugh them off … and move on. What good does it do to do anything else? Bad mouth the publisher… the author… the editor? It’s unproductive.

    And ultimately, you… the reader who has deemed herself far too good to be lowered to reading something less than perfect… who will suffer. Because of a blanket decision, you may have just excluded the possibility of enjoying another truly wonderful story.

    To err is human… to really mess up requires a computer. Such is the nature of the world today… almost everything we do involves technology. And technology messes up.

    Let she who has never made a typo publish the first perfect novel…

  16. Valerie Bongards
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 15:08:41

    When reading, I always chuckle when seeing a typo, and believe me, I see a lot. In ebooks, major NY pubs, non-fiction books, everywhere!! So, what is the lesson here?

    Nobody is perfect!!

  17. Jayne
    Jun 04, 2006 @ 19:22:09

    Gail, there’s making mistakes occasionally and there’s making mistakes all the time. Of course I’ve read books with errors. As you say, we all have. But I have to think twice before buying from a source which I know from my own experience has more than the average. And my experience has been backed up by just about everyone who’s contacted me about Triskelion.

  18. Jayne
    Jun 14, 2006 @ 09:41:53

    Seems I’m not alone in taking this publisher to task for sloppy editing. AAR just posted a review of a Triskelion anthology and mentioned how bad the editing is and how bad it makes epublishers look.

  19. AngieW
    Jun 14, 2006 @ 09:53:04

    Sad thing is, the reviewer lumps all e-pubs in that one review. It’s hard to fight against that thinking :(

  20. S. One
    May 17, 2007 @ 18:14:01

    Jayne,

    Curious to follow your example about what you deem bad editing, I followed your link to the review of a Triskelion anthology. The review in itself is based on what the reviewer thought of the story lines. Would it alter my decision to purchase the book? No. What one person loves another person hates. It is that reviewer’s POV, and she is welcome to it.

    But tell me, how much do you know about the reviewer? Well, let me answer that for you. At one time Kate Cuthbert was Chief Editor for a rival e-publishing house. I have seen the books that she has edited, and my opinion of her editorial skills are less than savory. Editing is a beast that cannot be caged. What one editor thinks is right, another editor will come up with arguments explaining why it isn’t. Editing should be done from the editor’s AND author’s POV. That is, they collaborate together to come up with a final product they both believe shows the book in its best light.

    Because of Ms. Cuthbert’s status as an editor, she should have backed up her claims of poor editing with examples, otherwise she simply comes across as someone trying to sabotage the sales of a rival publishing house.

    Now, I made an assumption here. I am not so naive to believe there is only one Kate Cuthbert in this world, so if this is a case of mistaken identity, I readily offer my apologies. Having said that, if a good reviewer is going to make claims of poor editing, she must, IMO, provide examples so that the buyer can properly be aware.

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