Missing Glyphs in Kindle E-Book

A Kindle e-book shows some missing glypths, I tried to get it fixed.

Although I loathe DRM protected e-books, as described earlier, I bought a book from Amazon. It is the Kindle edition of Reinforcement Learning, second edition. The version is mostly fine, except that a few glyphs are missing:

This isn't the first time that an electronic book doesn't work. When I download free e-books from Project Gutenberg, I don't expect them to be perfect. Also they come as EPUB, and I need to convert them to MOBI using Amazon's tool. But this is a book I bought from Amazon to read on the Kindle, so it better be perfect.

Amazon Support

I have contacted the Amazon support. It turned out to be more complicated than I thought. Instead of calling, I tried to use the chat. And it doesn't work online, so I downloaded the Android application and set it up. There I was able to start a “chat”. But it was more of an automated menu. After a while I actually got to a human operator.

There I was told that there was nothing that they could do, except waiting for the publisher to publish an updated version. But it didn't sound like they would forward that to the publisher.

Contacting the publisher

It seems that Bradford Books is MIT publishing. So I tried to send them an e-mail via their contact form:

E-Mail to MIT publishing, 2021-06-15

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have bought “Reinforcement Learning” by Sutton and Barto via Amazon in the Kindle edition (https://www.amazon.de/Reinforcement-Learning-second-Introduction-Computation-ebook/dp/B08BSYL7R1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1622102381&sr=8-1). I read it on my Kindle 4. Some mathematical glyphs seem to be missing, see photo (/posts/missing-glyphs-in-kindle-e-book/missing-glyphs.jpg).

Amazon support told me, that they cannot do anything about it. They referred me to the publisher, which is you. Could you please upload a revised Kindle edition of the book where these glyphs are fixed?

Yours faithfully,

Martin Ueding

On 2021-06-17 I got a reply. As you can see in the above e-mail, I copied the localhost URL and not the online one. Therefore they could not open the URL and asked me to send it with the e-mail.

They also said that the Kindle 4 is a rather old device, so perhaps it wasn't an issue with the file but with the device. I can very well see that my Kindle might lack a font and cannot display all the math symbols.

Whatever it may be, they have forwarded that internally to the people producing the files and they will have a look. That's great!

I haven't heard anything new, it either takes times or cannot be resolved on that particular device.