Prepub vs Final Novel
Being new here I’m curious about something. I’ve been reading some of the “catch-ups” for June and now July. Some of them seem to be final copies while others seem to be serious works in progress. Not to pick on a single work, but Orphen Vols 5 and 6 seem particularly bad for spelling, grammar, spacing, and in V6 actually mixing up characters.
So, are the volumes you purchase the ones that have had some professional proof reading and editing? Are the freebies nothing more then the “betas” for the series?
By their very nature the pre-pubs are “pre-publication” drafts.
All the translations and editing is done on the fly to meet release deadlines for members on the site.
After the final part is published there are several weeks where books go through final proofs, and additional quality checks, as well as actual e-book forming, front matter translation, etc.
Also the big thing here is not all corrections done for a final e-book make it back into the pre-pub parts.
So you have this situation where some series look closer to the final product and others do not.
If you read the topics in the Members Only forum, you see that some titles have readers submitting corrections and the editor applying them as they go. That might mean that title has fewer errors in the prepub than in titles where those errors were only fixed for the release version.
Also note that the prepubs never get the premium edition bonus content listed here: https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/305/premium-e-book-bonus-contents-list
To get that content you need to buy the premium edition directly from JNC not from Amazon, etc.
As @Rahul-Balaggan said, the prepubs are basically rough drafts of the final releases before all the final editing is done. Generally the errors that are fixed for the final releases aren't corrected in the prepubs, although sometimes they are depending on the series and various other factors. (I've found that with Wortenia, for example, if I take a while to get to the latest part the errors in @Terabyte's error reports have often already been fixed, but other errors that haven't been reported in the forums haven't been. Meanwhile, for other series errors aren't fixed even if they are reported, so for those I generally check to see if an error's already been reported before putting an entry in my own error report for it.) I imagine not fixing all errors in the prepubs is at least partly to incentivize people to buy the finished volumes, but there might be other reasons too.
That said, there are definitely some pretty big discrepancies between different series (or occasionally different parts of the same series) in regards to how many errors are in the prepubs. For example, lately the prepubs for Bookworm have been extremely clean with very few errors, but there used to be more in the earlier volumes. With Wortenia I sometimes feel like I can't get through more than a few sentences without seeing another error. Most series I've tried are somewhere in-between, with a few errors that catch my attention per part but not enough to really break the flow that much.
Thanks for the info!
Also, when there are colour illustrations, maps and character introductions at the beginning of a book (or manga illustrations at the end for the most recent Bookworm) they tend not to be included in the pre-pubs but are in the e-pubs (with some illustrations and bonus stories/content being only in the premium releases as listed in the relevant thread).
@BwanaJoe Also... Feel free to call those two volumes of Orphan out. The editing on both was certainly very rough, presumably because of a need to meet deadlines.
I dropped Orphen at the end of volume 5, but I do recall the prepub was indeed worse compared to volumes 1-4. I even mentioned it in the topic itself in one of my replies when posting some errors.
Prepub quality varies by part/volume/series, but the prepubs for those Orphen volumes were certainly at the lower end of the distribution. It was a very noticeable difference compared to the earlier Orphen volume prepubs.
Well calling them out now would accomplish nothing; they are already published. I wonder how well the finals came out?
Part of my questioning the differences in pre/post publication is because I’ve only bought one series so far (Werwolf). Although I may buy a couple more in the near future. So, I have very little knowledge of the final products produced by JNovel. The few “free” bits of Werwolf I read didn’t seem much different than the final product.
I’m glad you can preview things like this considering the translations are all over the place.
One set of books flows like it was written by an English speaking author then the next (Middle Aged Businessman for example) not so much; it has a LOT of Japanese left in the text. For me, it’s annoying and jarring when it really isn’t needed for the story. I’m just not that interested in having to head out to duckduckgo and look up terms every other page. (Bummer too, I found the story to be a refreshing change from the constant high-schooler saves the world stuff.)
And at least one series of freebies last month changed translators around V5 and the whole tone changed. More curse words, hasher language, and a generally different feel. It was jarring enough that I actually looked back to check. I’m surprised an editor didn’t slap the guy in the back of the head.
Sorry, that turned out to be kinda long. And thanks for the explanations and replies.
And thanks J-Novel for previews and catch-ups.
On the Orphen books, I believe the translator mentioned recognizing the quality drop as finally hitting too many simultaneous projects. That's why they handed the title over to a new translator.