A disturbing new development in publishing?

  1. Dennis E. Taylor

    Dennis E. Taylor Formerly Bizmuth. Destroying Worlds Since {mumble}

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    I was going to point that out, but you beat me to it. :D

    It's worth noting that the Legion books got the self-pub-editing by yours truly, then an editing pass by one of Ethan's staff, then a professional edit (books 1 & 2 by Betsy Mitchell, #3 by Kat Howard). Nevertheless, a couple of errors got through and I had readers point them out.

    BTW, I think this type of ASP is going to be a significant force in the future, since you make kilocraptons more money (1 kilocrapton = 1000 craptons) per unit by cutting out the traditional publisher. Whether a trad publisher would have sold more units is speculation.
     
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  2. Biskit

    Biskit Cat whisperer

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    And I missed all of them when I was reading...

    Realistically, your chances of finding every error are small, but if your book hits the reader in the face with error after error, something has gone wrong.

    On a note of personal embarrassment, the day I got my PhD thesis back from the binders, I put the (six?) copies on the bench, opened the top one for that Yay, me! moment and spotted a typo on the first page. A staggeringly large number of people proof-read that manuscript before it went for the final print.
     
  3. HareBrain

    HareBrain Bunny of Wonder Staff Member

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    I might be able to beat that, alas. I gave one of my author copies of Goddess Project to the friend to whom it was dedicated, who promptly opened it at random and read out a line that made no sense. I grabbed it off him and there, in upper case for God's sake (it's a line of shouted dialogue) was the word IT instead of IS. I felt both embarrassed and slightly sick. Fortunately, it seems to be one of only about six typos in the whole thing, but the fact that it was him, and he found it in the first line he read, hit hard.

    (I worked out how it had escaped when it should have been so obvious -- it was a very late overtyping of "all caps" font style with actual upper case in case it didn't translate in the publisher's software. Even so, at least two people missed it afterwards, including me.)
     
  4. Kerrybuchanan

    Kerrybuchanan Delusions of Grammar

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    I emailed the publisher, who came straight back* to me with this:

    Hi Kerry,

    Thank you for the email and and I am sorry the editing in this book affected your enjoyment of the story. The book has now been completely re-prooferad** and the amended version is live on Amazon. Once again, please accept our apologies.

    Kind regards,

    I'm a little disappointed that he didn't offer me the corrected version, or at the very least an explanation of what happened.

    *Within five minutes. On a Sunday morning. That was bloody quick proofreading for an 80k novel....
    **The bold is mine. The error is not. :)
     
  5. Cat's Cradle

    Cat's Cradle Time, now, to read...

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    That's so wonderful that they spelled 'proofread' incorrectly! :)
     
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  6. Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

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    I would assume if the amended version replaced the original your version should update itself if you update your kindle/redownload it? Heck give it a try and see if anything has changed ;)

    That said being re-proofread sounds like whoever replied has either not got a clue or they've had a LOT of complaints and given up making any sane replies (whoever responds to emails might not even be in charge of anything; nothing worse than being in such a position where you've got no support from above and have to deal with legitimate complaints).

    If anything that attitude does them even worse service than the badly produced book.
     
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  7. Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    Prooferad is not an error; it's a neologism: 'to prooferad' means 'to eradicate all signs of something having been proof read'.
     
  8. Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    ^^That. I have downloaded updates to my books from both Amazon and Kobo, so if they have updated Amazon's version you should be able to download the corrected version; one of the benefits of eBooks. However, as I, personally, rarely reread a book I actually very rarely bother to download updated copies.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

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    I just worked it out - maybe to re-proofread they've just run it through spellcheck! That's the only way I can imagine they can run a whole book through in a day.
     
  10. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    On the issue of typos in trad pub - my paperback of Hyperion by Dan Simmons has the title on the spine as "Hyerion".

    I think someone was taking the p. :D
     
  11. Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

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    Least it not as bad as A Darkness at Sethanon which I recall right still has a blurb that's totally wrong.
     
  12. Glitch

    Glitch #452

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    Most spell checkers will ignore all uppercase words by default.

    word-ignore-uppercase.png
     
  13. vonHelldorf

    vonHelldorf One for sorrow...

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    We all know how important editing is, and it's saddening, and a little troubling, to learn that publishers aren't doing their jobs properly. If it's an e-book I suppose it's easier for them to just fix the mistake and update the version. No cost to them, no loss of their time.

    It's unacceptable from the reader's perspective though, particularly as money has been invested
     
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  14. Kerrybuchanan

    Kerrybuchanan Delusions of Grammar

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    An update: After several emails to-and-fro, in which the publisher assured me the mistakes were ALL corrected, I persuaded him to send me the .mobi file of the corrected version on which to base my review. I'd highlighted the worst of the worst issues in my copy, so it was easy enough to scroll through and compare the two versions by location number within the file. Timetaking, though.

    Guess what? I think two or three of the most glaring errors had been addressed, one of these only partially (which almost made it worse!). The rest were still there, including elk (should have been ilk), assume (should have been presume), intimating (should have been intimidating), and all the terrible grammar and punctuation.

    I emailed the publisher one last time, apologised for being such a nuisance on a Sunday, and suggested he should consider replacing his editor and proofreader. Then I went onto Amazon and gave it a 3* review in which I made it clear why I had been unable to award the 4* or 5* I'd have liked to have given it.

    I feel grumpy and frustrated. The writer clearly made all the initial mistakes in the book, but the publisher has a responsibility to ensure the finished product is of sufficient quality. As I said in the OP, this is not a little backstreet publisher, but a fairly well-known company, and well-respected in the genre. I hope the author isn't too upset by my review. I hated doing it, but I really couldn't have given it more than 3*, and it probably didn't even deserve that. Blurgh. :sick:
     
  15. Cat's Cradle

    Cat's Cradle Time, now, to read...

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    I think you did the right thing, Kerry. The way a book is edited does contribute to the overall experience of reading the book. It seems such an easy thing to get right, when there are so many other things that can go wrong with a book (bad dialogue, bad story, bad characterization, etc).

    You at least hope that a work is edited in such a way that a reader isn't constantly taken out of the story by errors. Doesn't seem like too much to ask for, or expect.
     
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  16. Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

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    Look at it this way, if a publishing company keeps getting bad reviews for technical aspects they'll eventually stop signing "serious" authors. Sure they'll still snag a few, but any doing their homework will quickly learn to avoid them. As a result it will harm them but it might take a lot of time.
     
  17. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    Is this really a thing?
     
  18. Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    It will be once I update Wiktionary.... ;):)
     
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