Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh e-books are just marvelous!! Not!!

So I've had my trusty iPad for a while now. I've written on it, played games, browsed the web and generally had a marvelous time.

I do, however, have one major gripe. E-books are still a long way from perfection.

To start, why can't Apple sell me e-books here in Australia? Stupid, ridiculous copyright laws that restrict sales from one area in another, that's why. When will these ridiculous wholesalers (and the just as stupid retailers - yes you, dumb independent bookshops) in the media industry realise they are just hurting themselves? If I can't buy a book, record or movie easily from a local store and the ones I buy from Amazon won't work here in Australia guess what I'll do? I'll just go and pirate it!

Yes folks, I have been known to download a movie, an album or a book off the internet without paying for it. Why? Because stupid DRM and stupid companies wont let me buy it from my local retailer. If I could buy it as easily as I can download it I would.

Then I get onto the quality of the books. I've purchased a number of books through the Amazon Kindle store for my iPad. Most have been good but a couple have been shocking. Most notably "The Dead of Night", the second book in John Marsden's "Tomorrow" series. This book had so many errors in it that I was seriously put off - if the writing had not been so good I would have given up. I suspect that the people who produced the Kindle edition had run a copy through OCR and had then asked an illiterate eight year old to do the copy editing. The errors were typical of OCR errors and the mjost cursory of spelling checking would have found at least half. For example 'spy' was spelt 'spv' at least twice.

So why should I pay close to the paperback cost to buy a Kindle edition with such poor quality control? Shame on you to both Amazon and the publisher. If I was John Marsden I'd be throwing things at various people about now.

It seems a shame that such a good device and publishing method should be marred by stupid flaws like this.