Sunday, August 08, 2010

iBooks Story Comes to an End

The Story So Far:
 I'd like to officially close this sordid tale with a happy ending. My OCD fixation with eBook OCR errors has been sated. When compared to man's struggle against the cosmos, my battle here has been a small insignificant thing. Yet, as silly as it has seemed at times, I like to get what I pay for. On Thursday, August 5th, Apple contacted me via email with instructions on how to redownload the corrected version. A reader let me know they had received that email, too, so I know that others with the corrupted text received their corrected versions. It all took place within iBooks and couldn't have been simpler. I deleted the corrupted eBook, went into the "Purchases" page of iBooks' store, and selected "Redownload" next to "Ender's Game". If you recall, when I tried this before it gave me errors. Can I say that my blog prompted Apple into action? I suppose I could. Having the story picked up by Teleread caught the attention of an editor at Tor. He showed genuine concern for my problem, and he contacted Apple on my, and others', behalf. In fact, the only information I received on the progress of this incident was from the Tor editor. Apple was silent as usual—likely a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Still, it was frustrating. Even Scott Card failed to send any form of notification to me. On the other hand, this issue's resolution could have been a coincidence. I could have merely brought this issue to a head around the same time Apple finally took action on it. I imagine that in the future, iBooks will allow publisher updates. It only makes sense from a logistical standpoint. Instead of emails from me to Tor, and Tor to Apple, then Apple to me, a publisher such as Tor could just update their eBook in the iBooks store. Then iBooks would have an update badge much like the Appstore does to let customers know of any changes. This will also allow publishers to tack on additions to the text, such as announcements for the next books in the series as they are written. All without incident. Ideally, at least. I am still disappointed with how Apple tech support handled this issue. So many unanswered emails. No feedback except empty headed polite-speak as they denied my claim. Tor, on the other hand, has pleased me to the point that I will seek out more of their publications. On an upside, my new copy of "Ender's Game" appears to be completely recopyedited and typeset. The look and layout of the book is different and looks cleaner and tighter now. My bookmarks from the previous edition highlight new passages because of the reformat, but I don't mind. I spent a few minutes searching and couldn't find any of the errors I had found before. I am satisfied and look forward to reading the story again, this time sans typos. My thanks to Paul Biba of Teleread for carrying the original story and to Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Tor for excellent customer service.    Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing project over at @DouglasCootey. And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well.