Jan 5, 2012

Should eBook editing be allowed post-game?

A Forbes piece written yesterday has raised some interesting points regarding editing of eBooks. We're not talking about the process before an eBook gets published, but editing after it's on the market.

The article brings up a point that eBooks can be changed within days if the author wanted.

As a reporter who started in print and worked her way onto the web, the idea of making changes didn't start out easy. A mistake required a correction to run next day in the paper. Mulling over sentences not really allowed much either because of strict deadlines.

But now if something comes to me hours after the article is already handed in or there is mistake that needs to be changed, it can happen within minutes. Not saying changes always happen, but in essence, they could.

Here's an excerpt from the piece
“For example, a book that doesn’t do as well as expected by its publisher may be changed according to consumer feedback. Chapters might be added or deleted, or an unpleasing ending could be modified. If a book can be continuously changed, it isn’t really ever complete, and may not be a reliable reference.

Nicholas) Carr also points out that school boards and other authoritative bodies could abuse such capabilities, manipulating textbook content to reflect specific political or religious agendas, ultimately wielding a greater influence over what students or citizens are allowed to read.

But perhaps what’s most at stake is the definition of what a work of literature is, or should be. “What will be lost, or at least diminished, is the sense of a book as a finished and complete object, a self-contained work of art,” said Carr.”

When should the editing process end for eBooks once they make it to the web? Should there be a section in front of the eBook to say how many times it's been revised from the original?

1 comment:

  1. I'm alright with it, as long as the e-book denotes that changes had been made from the original. Think of all the movies we watch that have scenes cut out or removed ... Publishing a book online is an important benchmark in the process, but it doesn't necessarily need to be the final step.