Are You More Forgiving of Errors in E-books?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

If e-books feel more ephemeral than print books, are the mistakes therein less alarming?

By Edward Nawotka

hand on keyboard

In today’s feature story about errors in e-books Olivia Snaije describes how she was so frustrated with the mistakes in one of her digital editions that she demanded a refund from Amazon — one that they granted. Do you find yourself wanting to do the same when you run across a particularly egregious series of errors?

I’ve found that the more I read digitally, I note errors and mistakes, but have a tendency to scan over them. For example, when using the NetGalley service to read pre-pub copies of books for review, I like to have the titles sent to my Kindle and often this means Amazon is converting a PDF copy of a book to the Kindle format. This is, I assume, done automatically and without human intervention. The formatting is often somewhat scrambled with odd line breaks, broken or even missing words. Still, my eye tends to travel over the text, filling in the details. I do notice, but I’m less bothered by them than I might be in print.

Perhaps this is because e-books feel more ephemeral than print books, making the presence of errors less alarming.

Are you more forgiving of errors in e-books than print books? Have you ever been motivated to ask for a refund on an e-book?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.