Publishers have stuffed up ebooks

Publishers are stuffing up ebooks by handing them over to programmers rather than editors and layout artists.

Ebook designer Chris Stephens, who created Alice iPad app, said that publishers are tossing years of layout and editing skills in the bin when it comes to making ebooks.

He told Toronto Review of Books  that he was desperate for the book industry to produce some work that blows him away, but this is not happening.

He said that major publishers have completely abdicated responsibility for producing the digital versions of their catalogues and it is all handed over to amateurs.

Stephens said that ebooks were typographical horrors. Most publishers don’t care about the iPad or ebooks very much.

He believes most publishers are handing their major titles over to app developers who are ruining these titles with rushed, unprofessional layouts and designs.

Programmers are suddenly being given free rein to design books and the complete lack of care and attention paid to the production of digital books is mystifying, Stephens said.