Wednesday, 21 August 2013

09:41 – I shipped the first half of the virtual school AP Chemistry kit order this morning, a week before the promised ship date. That was 40 kits for the lab component of their AP Chemistry A course. Now we need to get 40 AP Chemistry B kits built and shipped. I gave them an estimated ship date for those of 6 September, but we’re going to try to beat that by at least a week as well.

Abby is stopping over today to show me some sketches of ideas for a logo and handout sheet. Of course, Colin will think she’s come to visit him.


12:58 – I download a lot of free Kindle books from Amazon, who frequently sends me emails like this:

Hello Robert B Thompson,

An updated version of your past Kindle purchase of Misplaced Loyalty (Meredith & Hodge Novels) by Marcia Turner is now available.

The updated version contains the following changes:

–Improved formatting for readability.
–Significant editorial changes have been made.

You can receive the improved versions of all your books by opting in to receive book updates automatically. You can do this by going to Manage Your Kindle at http://amazon.com/MYKupdate and clicking on the Manage Your Devices section. You will find the option labeled Automatic Book Update.

Alternatively, you can get the updated version of this book by going to Manage Your Kindle. Find the book in your Kindle Library, click on the “Update Available” link next to the book’s title, and then follow the update prompts. All your devices that have the eBook currently downloaded will be updated automatically the next time they connect to wireless.

Amazon is missing the point. I don’t want an option to auto-update titles like this; I want the option to auto-delete them from my Amazon library, along with everything else by that author. If the author didn’t care enough to get it right in the first place, I have no desire to read an updated version of the book, or indeed anything else by that author. There is no excuse for publishing a book riddled with typos, formatting issues, poor grammar, nonsensical plots, and other errors. If the author is too lazy or too sloppy to get it right prior to pushing the Publish button, why would I waste any time on anything else that author has done?

A few typos, sure. I’d bet there’s never been a book-length manuscript published that didn’t have at least one error. But that’s not what Amazon is talking about here. Many free books, and not a few of the commercially-published ones, are rampant with typos, horrendous formatting problems, and other errors. Several I’ve seen are so bad that it’s almost certain that neither the author nor anyone else ever even bothered to load the book on a Kindle and page through it.