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Discussion Starter #1
This week I bought a series.  The first book is nicely formatted with an active table of contents and the five way controller will jump to the previous or next chapter.  I love books formatted like this.

The rest of the series has no table of contents and the five way controller doesn't jump to the next chapter.  Normally, I would call Amazon and return the books right away, but I have wanted these books for quite awhile.  I'm  really not sure if I should keep them or not.  These are Random House books and if I return them and buy them later, the price will be higher.  On the other hand, I really enjoy jumping around with the five way controller and don't enjoy the eBook experience with books that don't have it. 
 

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I wouldn't bother to return for that reason. . .if it's fiction I tend to read straight through any way so the ToC and chapter navigation is less important to me.

To me, BAD formatting is no paragraph indents, random, non-standard, or inconsistent indents, extra spaces between paragraphs, funny symbols instead of quotation marks. . . .things like that that make it hard to actually read the book.  When I get a book like that I report it for sure.
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
To me, BAD formatting is no paragraph indents, random, non-standard, or inconsistent indents, extra spaces between paragraphs, funny symbols instead of quotation marks. . . .things like that that make it hard to actually read the book. When I get a book like that I report it for sure.
I agree! When I come across bad formatting, I usually type a note at the location and then report all the errors to amazon. I also email the publisher and author - especially if the book is from an Agency publisher. IMO, If they expect readers to pay full price for digital copies, then there had better not be any formatting errors.

Of course, I exceedingly rarely buy Agency books, but I bought many before the Agency model went into effect, and am now coming across lots of errors.
 

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I also enjoy the chapter waypoints (so you can jump between chapters with the 5-way), which I find even more useful than a table of contents. But not many e-books seem to have them. I agree with you, especially for e-books that cost $10+, I would expect them to be there. It's kinda like buying a $50,000 car and it doesn't come with A/C or power door locks.
 

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I've never returned a Kindle book because of bad formatting, although I've seen many examples of it, and not always by indies.

If it's really bad, I mention it in my review of the book.
 

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Definitely notify the publisher and Amazon.  I have had several books replaced by Amazon (for free) when the publisher put up a corrected version.  (Amazon just e-mails you and tells you there's a fixed edition of the book and to let them know if you want to replace it.  The last books I remember that did that with were "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Sunne in Splendour.")
 

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I generally tend to avoid badly formatted books, since i just cant be bothered with the frustration of it all, now if there was some way of putting in the formatting yourself  - that would be cool. But i still doubt id have the patience to do it tho!
 

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DYB said:
Definitely notify the publisher and Amazon. I have had several books replaced by Amazon (for free) when the publisher put up a corrected version. (Amazon just emails you and tells you there's a fixed edition of the book and to let them know if you want to replace it. The last books I remember that did that with were "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Sunne in Splendour.")
DYB is right. I've done it myself a few times. I have also gotten the "update" emails from Amazon a handful of times. Some times I've gotten a $5 credit for a "poor reading experience"...though I hear some people got $10 credit. Though the credit is nice, I am just frustrated about how much they, the publishers charge thru the agency model, and I still find poorly formatted or corrected books. I can over look a few mistakes but when they are all over the place, it makes it very difficult. Take Tom Clancy's book for an example of poor formatting. The spaces between paragraphs are needed as that is how some of the different scenes are broken up. In my copy of "Rainbow Six" it was either all meshed together or SO spaced out you are left wondering what happened and who said what. I also found errors in the last few chapters of "Dragonfly In Amber" (Book #2 of Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander Series') where all of the letter "S" were replaced by "th". It was throughout the entire chapter and I was seriously annoyed...and it was difficult to get thru.

Sometimes I've called Amazon CS to ask if there was an updated version and it just hasn't updated on my K2i. If there is one, they can send the updated version to you, and that has happened with "A Game Of Thrones" book that I had purchased months ago.

So I would definitely hold on to the book, contact Amazon CS and see what they say.

Tris
 

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I contacted Amazon and wrote the publisher...

Like Ann I also don't like things that make books hard to read.  It took me so long to buy this series because there were errors in the samples of two of the books.  I took screenshots and sent those to Amazon and the publisher several times.  (I was never contacted when they were corrected, for what that is worth.)

I've been contacted a number of times by Amazon asking if I would like an updated file for a book I've purchased however there are books that I have bought on Kindle that do not have "you purchased this book on such and such a date".  I asked Amazon about that, and was told those were new files.  I said I had purchased the Kindle book, may I have the new file and was told no.

I'm still deciding if I will keep or return these books.  Being able to easily navigate around an eBook is important to me.
 

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I would love to be notified if there was a problem with my formatting. I have only really been able to truly test out EPUBs on my phone in iBooks. I think it is better to let them know. If the experience is that bad, you should try to get a better copy, especially if you paid a lot of money for it.
 

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I haven't requested a refund for any poorly formatted ebooks, but I was tempted last week. It was a nonfiction book that was so poorly written and formatted that it's almost impossible to read. But the book does have some very useful information in it, so I decided it was worth keeping since I paid only $2.99. If I had paid much more than that, I would've asked for my money back.

There is no excuse for such poor quality. It isn't that difficult to produce a well-formatted book!
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that those chapter breaks came into being AFTER the K2 came out.  Before that we had the scroll wheel and there was no chapter jumping.  So if you are looking at older ebooks, they probably will not have the chapter markers.
I would still contact the publisher with your concerns though.
 

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Poor formatting and gross spell-check-gone-awry errors are annoying and, at times, REALLY distract.  It makes the author look bad, when that may or may not be the case.  I haven't returned any for such errors, but I have been moved to not purchase further books from that author.

 

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I have a book that I bought months ago, and have just now looked at.
It locks up my Kindle then the Kindle restarts and plops me back to the home page.
I bought another version of the book . . . I don’t think I spent much more than $1 or $2 so a refund is not important . . . but how do I take the defective book out of my library.
Obviously I know how to take it off my Kindle, but I don’t want it at all. 
Is this on topic? If not just ignore or delete this and I will find a better place for it.
 

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auge_28 said:
. . . but how do I take the defective book out of my library.
Obviously I know how to take it off my Kindle, but I don't want it at all.
To permanently remove the book, go to Amazon.com and click on "Your Account." Then you'll select "Manage Your Kindle" under Digital Content. Then, scroll down to "Your Orders." Click on the plus sign (+) in front of the title you wish to permanently delete. You can then click on the "Delete this title" button that will be revealed.
 

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Formatting a book for the Kindle is not easy, no matter what anyone says (that is, in my humble opinion  :D)
I thought I would just run my document through one of those html converters and boy was I surprised. I went back and "touched it up" only to find that as you paged backwards the font size changed, along with other problems. I wound up redoing it all by hand. Although the TOC works when you click on the links, I never got it to show up on the Kindle as a TOC. But it did show up on the "virtual Kindle" on the Amazon test page and it showed up when I did a mobicreator conversion on my desktop. I emailed publishing and they gave me a canned answer to do just exactly what I was doing.

There is not much excuse for spelling errors in this day of spellcheckers, but I think people posting around here have hit it on the head that many errors are created by OCR programs where they scan a document instead of typing it in. 

By the time you pay for a cover (if you outsource it) pay someone else to convert the file to Kindle (if you don't do it yourself) the average indie writer doesn't have much hope of paying a good proof reader, doing a little promotion and still making enough to keep the lights on. I think there are a lot of good writers out there that just aren't computer people.  I would like to read their stories too. I know Amazon has made some progress in the publishing process, but there is plenty of room for more.

I don't see why we couldn't have a more copy and paste procedure.

I don't think any authors want to put out a flawed product. Some may not care much or handle the details but overall I think we all want a professional finished product and for the reader to have a good experience.

Scott
 
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