Nov 19th, 2012, 10:28 pm
Ranking version quality of eBook formats (primarily, ePUB and MOBI) seems to confuse many people. The objective ranking system below, widely accepted, should help end the confusion...
    * Retail: Source file is from a commercial or retail venue (e.g., iTunes for ePUB format, Amazon for MOBI/AZW3 format). Includes Table of Contents, copyright page, and various frontis pages (blurbs, dedication, acknowledgements, etc)
    * v5.1: Changes imposed on a retail file by calibre (or similar software) to convert source file to other formats (ePUB to MOBI, MOBI to ePUB, etc); the converted file becomes v5.1

All other versions share a scanned copy as their source file (for purposes of maximum clarity, I ignore the many gradations)...
    * v5: Converted retail
    * v4: Proofread; a few minor errors remain
    * v3: Proofread; many errors (formatting, spelling, etc) remain
    * v2: Lightly edited; not proofread
    * v1: Scanned only; not proofread

Please review the scale above to determine whether your version fulfills the request before posting. Or be ultra-clear in your reply. btw, requests for "clean" versions mean... Well, your guess is as good as mine. :-)
Nov 19th, 2012, 10:28 pm

Reading now...

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Jan 1st, 2013, 4:57 am
there is no official entity that defines these naming conventions , because
they aren't used by publishers - they are used by us (those who share
)

There really isn't one system & I think most people do consider 5.0 to be a
retail version (or at least a conversion of a retail version).

Here is something I follow so my V5 posts are retail or books converted from retail

v0.0/UC ==> This is a book that that's been scanned, OCR'd and converted
into HTML or EPUB. It is completely raw and uncorrected. I do essentially
no text editing within the OCR software itself, other than to make sure that
every page has captured the appropriate scanning area, and recognized it as
the element (text, picture, table, etc.) that it should be.
v1.0 ==> All special style and paragraph formatting from the OCR product
is removed, except for italics and small-caps (where they are being used
materially, and not as first-line-of-a-new-chapter eye-candy). Unstyled,
chapter & sub-chapter headings are applied. ~35 search templates (which
use Regular Expressions; see Notes below for more info) have been applied
to correct common transcription errors: faulty character replacement like
"die" instead of "the", "comer" instead of "corner", "1" instead of "I";
misplaced punctuation marks; missing quotation marks; rejoining broken
lines; breaking run-on dialogue, etc.
v2.0 ==> Page-by-page comparison against the original scan/physical
book, to format scenebreaks (the blank space between paragraph denoting
an in-chapter break), blockquotes, chapter heading, and all other special
formatting. This also includes re-breaking some lines (generally from
poetry or song lyrics that have been blockquoted in the original book) that
were incorrectly joined during the v1 general correction process.
v3.0 ==> Spellchecked in Sigil (an epub editor Of books that I've seen through the whole process (starting with the
original scan or physical book),. My basic goal in this version is to catch most non-words, and
all indecipherable words (i.e., those that would require the original text in
order to properly interpret). Also, I try to add in diacritics whenever
appropriate. In other words, I want to get the book in shape so that
someone who wants to make full readthrough corrections will be able to do
so without access to the original physical book. In my experience, my v3s
can be marginally better than a retail ebook or marginally worse. So,
basically, at the margins, it's comparable to the the retail ebooks books I've
read.
v4.0 ==> I've done a complete readthrough of the book, and have made any
corrections to errors caught in the process. This version level is probably
comparable to a physical retail book (distinct from a digital retail
book).
v5.0 ==> This is an ebook that I've bought directly from a retailer. As I
explained , this version designation says essentially nothing
at all about the level of polish you can actually expect when you open it up
and start reading.

For books I find, I use these rules:
v0.0 or UC, uncorrected but better than nothing
v1.0 readable except by the perfectionists amongst us. Probably lots of the
standard OCR errors still in the book. possibly forced line breaks at 70
characters or so (I still consider these readable).
v2.0 very very clean, like the v1 but lacking italics
and a toc, and maybe clearly not a commercial version since it has a
proofing history in it.
v3.0 looks like a v5 but no italics or toc
v4.0 as good as retail with an embedded cover, toc, and italics. Nearly
anyone should be happy with this ebook and should not feel the need to
buy a retail version unless they are collecting that author in v5 or
something like that.
v4.9 better than retail (a not uncommon occurrence)
v5.0 retail ebook
v5.1 upgraded retail ebook with spelling errors corrected (carefully as they
may be intended, especially in SF), added embedded cover, toc, images,
whatever it takes to make it really good.
nothing higher.

I follow these views
Jan 1st, 2013, 4:57 am
Last edited by kartpai on Jan 1st, 2013, 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jan 1st, 2013, 5:48 am
It's NOT a v5.1 if it's a Calibre conversion. It's not even a v5.0.

A v5.0 is a retail copy that has had the DRM removed and no other changes made.
A v5.1 is a changed v5.0 but if Calibre made the changes such as adding a cover (without using the modify_ePub plugin), then you've just screwed it up so it cannot be a v5.1.

You increase the .xx version as you make changes/corrections. When I make changes on a retail copy, I do not use Calibre to convert in my changes. That then make the eBook ineligible to be v5.x.

v4.0 was originally supposed to be a double compare to the pBook version by two different people. But it's been changed to be a full read and any errors caught. But you do have to make sure section breaks, italics, smallcaps, em dashes, and any other proper formatting is there.
Jan 1st, 2013, 5:48 am
Last edited by qwertyuiop123456789 on Jun 5th, 2014, 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

I do accept WRZ$ donations for any posted eBooks!
Jan 1st, 2013, 6:26 pm
Hey there, for those of us who confuse easily... :-)

Most of the books I've posted and others that I'm waiting for time to post, are retail mobi with a Calibre-converted epub file. (I buy primarily at Amazon, but don't use a Kindle.) Instead of identifying them as (.ePUB) (.MOBI), would (.ePUB v5.1) (.MOBI v5), or even just (.MOBI v5) in the interest of space, be better? Or is this discussion not meant to impact on posting beyond knowing what other people may consider a quality or non-quality file?

Thanks & happy new year!!!
Jan 1st, 2013, 6:26 pm

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Jan 1st, 2013, 7:13 pm
I'm not sure we would be allowed to put in version numbers in the topic. But you could put version numbers and/or quality information in the description of the eBook(s).
Jan 1st, 2013, 7:13 pm

I do accept WRZ$ donations for any posted eBooks!
Jan 1st, 2013, 8:04 pm
Honestly quality shouldn't be much of a question anymore because if you look at the state of things retail copies are more readily available and if you nit pick about a conversion on Calibre from kindle to ePub then clearly you have problems with the definition of retail.

I mean yes, I'd like to know the quality BUT it helps to open the packaging so to speak to find out for yourself. What if I posted a "1.0" and claimed it as 5.0 in the post? The mods can't verify the quality of every post and then again quality is in the eye of the beholder.

We are seriously need to get over our demand for perfection and live with what is available at hand. But don't get the wrong idea that ill take anything. I want retail over the best OCR anyways but it takes time to make that happen.
Jan 1st, 2013, 8:04 pm

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Jan 1st, 2013, 9:22 pm
I do have some OCR/scans that I would put up against the retail version. These have been read, checked for proper formatting (against a pBook), and any errors found while reading have been corrected.

As for conversions, there are cases where a conversion from AZW3 (KF8) (not done correctly using the MobiUnpack plugin) or Mobipocket can be worse then the retail ePub. For example, The Lord of the Rings eBooks. The ePub has higher quality images then the Mobipocket. So when converted, in most cases, the images might be resized based Calibre's settings. But in any case, you get an ePub that no matter how well formatted the conversion is, it's not as good as the retail ePub. The KF8 version should have good quality images but due to the possible resizing/recompressing may not be as good.

And then there are embedded fonts. Mobipocket has none so if the ePub should have such, the conversion won't. The ePub of 11/22/63 has a number of embedded fonts and no Mobi > ePub will fix that. Also, when an AZW3 with embedded fonts is converted (even using MobiUnpack) the fonts become obfuscated. But to fix that, you have to pull out the fonts from the AZW3 using Tweak Books and copy them to the ePub after dumping the fonts there. So unless you actually know what you are doing, the conversion will not be nearly as good as the retail ePub.

This is why it's a good idea to post the original AZW3 (KF8) or Mobi or ePub without Calibre having done any converting other then stripping the DRM. I know how to convert and fix the formatting. I can take an AZW3 and make an ePub out of it that's of retail quality. I can take most Mobipocket and convert it and make it be of retail quality. But for Mobipocket, not all can be converted to make a retail quality ePub.

So when you have a conversion, don't call it retail/v5.0 (unless you are sure) as changes are it's not even close.
Jan 1st, 2013, 9:22 pm

I do accept WRZ$ donations for any posted eBooks!
Jan 1st, 2013, 9:48 pm
It's funny since I have a true retail copy of the last man which you were most upset about the copy here. And it has a nice output still after being run through calibre because there are embedded fonts for the chapter, location (when it varies from dc or pakistan) and where they embedded the first few word of the chapter and I have no issue with conversions. Clearly if your as good as you say you are then I invite you to show off your books. If you have issue with quality or what's being posted the best thing is to put your money where your mouth is and I mean that in a polite manner.

I use calibre and Sigil on a regular basis and I too check my books for any errors. I rarely find them when I convert from kf8 to ePub. In fact I keep the original and convert to ePub and mobi from the azw3 I receive from amazon before removing the azw3 from my hard drive.

To gripe about eBook "versions" is rather childish. You need to support the author instead of insulting the people who release books here for YOUR entertainment to read at no cost.
Jan 1st, 2013, 9:48 pm

Check ALL links before PMing me.
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Jan 1st, 2013, 11:11 pm
I'm working on a set of books I plan to post soon. So you'll get to see. They are retail and I am making sure the formatting is good. The smallcaps are even real ones, not simulated.
Jan 1st, 2013, 11:11 pm

I do accept WRZ$ donations for any posted eBooks!
Jan 2nd, 2013, 7:40 am
All this over "Is it retail or not!" What a joke! :lol:

I have seen "Retail" books that were in worse shape than one which was worked over by someone before they posted it. It really doesn't matter if it is retail or not if the author doesn't know the difference between words like "waste" and "waist" - "lose" and "loose' - "they're", "there", "their" - and yes, I HAVE seen "Retail" books with these kind of errors. I can think of at least two right off the top of my head. :?

Personally, I'm more concerned whether it is readable or not (correct formatting, correct spelling and use of words (See above), etc). The Table of Contents being there or not does not make the book unreadable as far as I am concerned.

This demand for "Only retail-quality books" is only going to result in fewer people posting what books they DO have. While I like a "perfect" book as well as anyone, as long as it is complete and readable, I'm happy. If you HAVE to have a "Retail" version, well, you know where the high-priced "Retail" versions are sold. Knock yourself out. :lol:
Jan 2nd, 2013, 7:40 am

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Jan 2nd, 2013, 8:11 pm
kartpai wrote:there is no official entity that defines these naming conventions

Actually yes, there is. It is called the A.B.E-Book Versioning System and it has been used by scanners and proofreaders since 2002:

http://sno2.iwarp.com/ebook-faq/documen ... oning.html

Alternative site: http://read.freeforum.ca/vp1580.html
Download the file: https://app.box.com/s/a3zahpxecefpshhme3bdgmeyfxr93xsk

Notice that v5 and all its sub-versions are left out of the scanned versions system, I don't think you need me to elaborate.
Jan 2nd, 2013, 8:11 pm
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Jan 3rd, 2013, 2:13 am
merry60 wrote:
kartpai wrote:there is no official entity that defines these naming conventions

Actually yes, there is. It is called the A.B.E-Book Versioning System and it has been used by scanners and proofreaders since 2002:

http://sno2.iwarp.com/ebook-faq/documen ... oning.html

Notice that v5 and all its sub-versions are left out of the scanned versions system, I don't think you need me to elaborate.


The A.B.E-Book Versioning System leaves out any mention of retail eBooks. That's where v5.x came in to address this.


merry60 wrote:What part of "notice that v5 is left out of the scanned versions...." don't you understand?
Jan 3rd, 2013, 2:13 am

I do accept WRZ$ donations for any posted eBooks!
Jan 3rd, 2013, 2:25 am
Bohica60 wrote:All this over "Is it retail or not!" What a joke! :lol:

I have seen "Retail" books that were in worse shape than one which was worked over by someone before they posted it. It really doesn't matter if it is retail or not if the author doesn't know the difference between words like "waste" and "waist" - "lose" and "loose' - "they're", "there", "their" - and yes, I HAVE seen "Retail" books with these kind of errors. I can think of at least two right off the top of my head. :?

Personally, I'm more concerned whether it is readable or not (correct formatting, correct spelling and use of words (See above), etc). The Table of Contents being there or not does not make the book unreadable as far as I am concerned.

This demand for "Only retail-quality books" is only going to result in fewer people posting what books they DO have. While I like a "perfect" book as well as anyone, as long as it is complete and readable, I'm happy. If you HAVE to have a "Retail" version, well, you know where the high-priced "Retail" versions are sold. Knock yourself out. :lol:


I've seen non-retail eBooks where they looked like they may have been complete with all the italics, em dash, section breaks, etc. but when you compare to the pBook, it's not complete. If it's not from a retail source, then we don't know what could be missing. Sure, it could be complete but how do we know?

I only send out a non-retail that I have read/had a go at. Then I know that the eBook is in good condition. The formatting is good, the italics, em dashes, section breaks, etc. are there and correct and any errors found while reading correct.

Retail backlist eBooks can be a problem with OCR errors. I've seen that too many times.

When I read an eBook, I mark any found errors and after I am done, I correct the errors. I am not saying I caught 100% of the errors, but I probably caught the more obvious errors.

What I would like to see when someone posts an eBook is information on the condition. It's an unknown when there is no information and these could be very poor copies. I'd like to know if these have been proofed, read, error corrected, etc. I'm not out for only retail, but retail is a known entity.
Jan 3rd, 2013, 2:25 am

I do accept WRZ$ donations for any posted eBooks!
Jan 3rd, 2013, 6:45 am
qwertyuiop123456789 wrote: but retail is a known entity.

Ah, but it is not. That is MY point. :lol:

Ok, I wasn't going to name names, but ... the two books that readily come to mind were:

1) Dead Mech by Jake Bible
2) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Dead Mech is so full of the incorrect word usage (as mentioned above) as to slow down, if not constantly stop, your reading of the story, just so you can try to figure out what the author actually meant at that point. He, at one point, mentions the character being hit in the waste (somebody hit him in the butt?), and another time he has the character coming down a cliff on a rope by "repelling" (driving away?) down the cliffside ("rappelling" was what was meant). The whole book is like this. Personally, I would rather have a cleaned up version than the "Retail" version. It's MUCH easier to read!

Ready Player One - I actually posted a version of this I had cleaned up (lost it in a computer crash - need to redo this one - DONE. New links posted. :D ). It was a lot easier to read than the "Retail" version which

had paragraphs

broken up like this all through-out the book. I got several PMs from people thanking me for my version because they had gone out and purchased the retail version and found my edited version to be the easier of the two to read.

It also had probably 50-75 % of the italics screwed up. Words that had no reason to be were italicized, apparently at random, through-out the book. Many times the words that WERE supposed to be italicized were not, or were only partially italicized. (this paragraph is an example. :lol: )

Please keep in mind that both examples I cite are for the "RETAIL" versions. So saying that "retail is a known entity" is not exactly 100% true. Granted, it is true for most books, but not all.

Yes, there are a great many books posted here (and other places) that are less than ideal (I'm cleaning up one set now where someone has edited them before who thinks that the word "shockwave" must, for some reason, ALWAYS be capitalized - no matter where it is located), but in many cases, that is the only version that poster has available.

Personally, if you have a better copy of ANY book that I have posted, send it to me and I will replace my copy with the better one in my post. I would rather have the best version available that I can find. But sometimes, all I have is what I was able to find at the time of posting.

So why post it then, you say? Because even as a poor copy, it is the only one available to share at that time. I can tell you right now that you will NEVER see the day when EVERY single book here is a "Retail" book. It's an admirable goal to aim for, but it isn't going to actually happen.
Jan 3rd, 2013, 6:45 am

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Jan 16th, 2013, 3:50 pm
Just noticed this
merry60 wrote:
kartpai wrote:there is no official entity that defines these naming conventions

Actually yes, there is. It is called the A.B.E-Book Versioning System and it has been used by scanners and proofreaders since 2002:

http://sno2.iwarp.com/ebook-faq/documen ... oning.html

Notice that v5 and all its sub-versions are left out of the scanned versions system, I don't think you need me to elaborate.


Exactly my point (I fear I hadn't even heard of A.B.E )there is no "official entity" as in recognized by amazon,kindle etc something which can be accepted universally .The books posted here, at least the majority are converted so many times that they don't belong to any specific version so you can't tell this is V3,V4 etc etc. All I am saying is everyone has a different grading system and that one cannot claim his ' versioning 'is correct while others are wrong .My uploads(I nearly only fulfill requests ) are mostly retail or converted from unpopular retail formats to ePUB or scanned & corrected to resemble retail books as the books may not be available in e-book form.
Jan 16th, 2013, 3:50 pm