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Customer Review

605 of 661 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Check the Publisher carefully before you place your order because...., July 8, 2010
By 
One of the versions listed is published by "General Books LLC." Another reader complained about the tiny and almost unreadable font - you probably bought the version published by General Books LLC - and here's the reason.

General Books LLC is an imprint of VDM Publishing, (google them and take a look at the Wikipedia article on them) and they specialise in publishing books that are free of copyright without doing any editing or quality control. A few quotes from the publishers website will explain more:

"We created your book using OCR software that includes an automated spell check. Our OCR software is 99 percent accurate if the book is in good condition. However, with up to 3,500 characters per page, even one percent can be an annoying number of typos....

After we re-typeset and designed your book, the page numbers change so the old index and table of contents no longer work. Therefore, we usually remove them. Since many of our books only sell a couple of copies, manually creating a new index and table of contents could add more than a hundred dollars to the cover price....

Our OCR software can't distinguish between an illustration and a smudge or library stamp so it ignores everything except type. We would really like to manually scan and add the illustrations. But many of our books only sell a couple of copies....

We created your book using a robot who turned and photographed each page. Our robot is 99 percent accurate. But sometimes two pages stick together. And sometimes a page may even be missing from our copy of the book. We would really like to manually scan each page and buy multiple copies of each original. But many of our books only sell a couple of copies..... "

So what you're getting if you buy the version published by General Books LLC is a scanned in, unedited, low quality (and with an almost unreadable font from the sounds of it) unindexed / No table of contents book at a higher price than many of the good quality imprints available. Basically, VDM Publishing is flooding Amazon with these low quality prints (450,000 of them are listed now) and, unfortunately, many of them have the reviews associated with better quality imprints associated with them. The product description is insufficient for the buyer that's not aware of this publisher.

Totally unethical marketing.

A reader,Scott Hannigan has commented: "What you have given us is feedback - not a review. There is an appropriate forum for your complaints. You should delete it as it brings down the average score of a classic." In response, I have to say that Amazon does not provide a forum for complaints and has been remarkably resistant to taking on board criticism from many customers over the books published by General Books LLC. In addition, Amazon is the Printer of these POD books and makes a substantial cut from them. Sadly, given that the General Books LLC version is lumped in with other imprints from genuine publishers, there is no real way of making potential buyers aware of the problems with this particular version of the book without inflicting it on all the other versions available. C'est la vie.

Scott - apologies for replying like this but Amazon removed my ability to comment some time ago - I broke ze commenting guidelines. Re "Amazon does provide a feedback section. You will find it under 'My Account', 'Personalization', 'Leave Seller Feedback'" - yes, they do indeed but the response to myself and many others has been uniformly that it's not their problem. Look up the discussion forum on Alphascript Books for a very enlightening backgrounder on this one. That said, if you bought a book from General Books LLC and saw what it was like, you'd be highly annoyed - as most buyers have been - and even if you returned it to Amazon for a refund, you'd be out of pocket for the postage.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 27, 2010 6:48:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2010 6:50:13 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 3:43:53 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 16, 2010 9:51:04 PM PST
Lesley says:
Thanks for the warning.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 4:48:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2010 4:49:11 PM PST
Thank you for this information - this was exactly what I was looking for in the comments.
In response to the other commentor - the reviews posted are for that particular release of the book, not for every 'Pride and Prejudice' ever released. So if that release has problems that other releases may not, I would be pretty disapointed if they were not detailed in the customer reviews - of the particular product I am interested in purchasing. What use is the 'Leave Seller Feedback' to me?

Posted on May 20, 2011 6:01:24 PM PDT
Eliza says:
I appreciate your feedback as this is a classic that I want to enjoy holding in my hands and reading. The quality of the book is very poor - and your post explains why. Very disappointed in it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2011 6:35:38 PM PDT
HyperChicken says:
How is this NOT a review Scott? This in an incredibly useful review of a unique version of the book. Thanks to the reviewer for educating me on these free "classics". You get what you pay for!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 1:21:43 AM PDT
M. E. Hunt says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 11:29:32 AM PST
When I come to Amazon.com to read a review of a literary classic, I want to know whether it has been reproduced well as an ebook. "Pride and Prejudice" --- like "A Room with a View," like the Sherlock Holmes series --- is a classic. I don't need anybody to tell me that Jane Austen is a good writer. But I DO need someone to advise me on the best version of "Pride and Prejudice" to buy. And now I know that the best version isn't by General Books. Thank you! I will call upon this information any time I want to add a classic to my collection.

Posted on Feb 4, 2012 11:12:02 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2012 11:13:40 AM PST
equinelover says:
This was exactly what I needed to know. As another reviewer commented, we already know that Jane Austen is a wonderful writer and that P&P is a respected and beloved classic work. What I needed to know pertained to the quality of this particular edition, which sadly, is sub-par. I'll take a guess that it was probably printed in China, too. Thank you for the heads-up.

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 9:58:16 AM PST
This is the appropriate forum for such a complaint. The complaint is about this product on this page. You are not limited to reviewing the art of a product, but also the product itself-- for example, if a boxed DVD set of The Wire, which may or may not be the best show on television, is terribly made and falls apart, you can review the PRODUCT negatively for that reason. The OP has chosen exactly the right medium for his/her information.
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