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January 1st, 2003, 04:50 PM
Okay, I hope this is the right place for this thread...

Whilst reading Memory, Sorrow and Thorn I've have come across numerous spelling errors, missing words, and typos. Is this common for somewhat newly printed books, and as an author how do you avoid this? I mean, I'm sure Tad has enough sense to get an editor, so how are these things overlooked? Are they corrected before printing again?

Sorry if these are ridiculous questions but I've just been very much surprised to find so manprinted errors. :rolleyes:

Hereford Eye
January 1st, 2003, 05:21 PM
The published authors can esily overrule me on this but I attribute it to two factors:
(1) As an author, I can't proof read my own stuff because I automatically see what I think I wrote.
(2) Too much reliance on automation. A speel checker doesn't care if it's the right word, just so it's spelled correctly. A copy editor hits the spell check button, gets no errors and let's it go.
So, the author is at the mercy of the production crew. Even reading the galley proofs brings factor (1) into play.

Roll the drums; clash the cymbals for a dramatic proof of my argument: I obviously think there are words such as esily and speel.

January 1st, 2003, 09:57 PM
Who knows? A manuscript goes through so many stages and processes before the final product - who can say how or why these things happen, or when exactly they occur? I mean, how did an entire chapter of Robin Hobb's book get left out in the first print run? Who overlooked that (obviously not the author)?!

Some would argue it is due to the lack of in-house editors at most publishers these days. Out-sourcing of editing is one factor, including the hesitance of publishing houses to re-use freelance editors that suggest rewrites or time-consuming polish-jobs.

I, Brian
January 2nd, 2003, 04:19 AM
The errors should have been removed during editing at the publishing house.

Gary Wassner
January 2nd, 2003, 01:36 PM
When my first book was published I was really disappointed that a few errors slipped through. I guess it is enevitable. Hereford Eye said it correctly: spell checkers only care if the word exists. That does cause problems for an editor. But it seems to me that a really good copy editor should be reading for those things specifically and therefor should find them.
Sometimes the 'search and replace' feature of a word processor can cause more damage than you might imagine too. If you forget to set the properties on 'whole word' you can make some major errors and you might not even realize it. For example, search for the word 'rob' and replace it with 'steal'. If you did not set your properties right, the word 'problem' will be replaced with the word steal etc. etc.
I am just about to get started working now with a new editor. I told her that I can no longer edit or correct the text myself because I just know it too well. I miss things. She assured me that it is her job to find exactly the kinds of errors that I might miss for that reason and others. I hope so.

I, Brian
January 2nd, 2003, 03:12 PM
When my first book was published I was really disappointed that a few errors slipped through.

I gather it was a self-published work, then? After all, if it were published in the mainstream the word "disappointed" would provide a perverse dichotomy, yes?

Gary Wassner
January 2nd, 2003, 03:18 PM
Yes, the first one was published by iUniverse. Looking back, I do not regret that decision. It allowed me to learn so much in the period between then and now. I have just signed a new contract with a traditional publisher who is going to reprint the first book with a new cover, and publish the second and third in the series simultaneously. I now know what to focus on with my publisher. iUniverse changed their contracts a year or so ago allowing for nonexclusive publication. They recognized that most authors who publish original manuscripts with them (as opposed to reprints of out of print books) ultimately want a different publisher down the line. All I need to do now is advise them of the cancellation of my contract and they will cease publishing it after a short and agreed upon period of time. It will take my new publisher 12 months or so to edit and to get my books into print. So, the timing is good.

January 2nd, 2003, 07:19 PM
There are printed errors in 50% of the published mainstream fantasies I read, it is just a fact that they don't catch all errors, no matter how big the publisher. I just finished JV Jones newest and found a spelling error, and it was not one that a spell checker would miss, but a word simply missing a letter.... making it a complete miss on the editor/publishers part.
It happens, and it is not uncommon.

January 3rd, 2003, 03:55 AM
Jordan's books have a few errors in many chapters - somewhat forgivable considering the size of the books. Martin's first book has almost no errors. Obviously it is possible to almost have an error free book. Another problem might be that the editor is not enjoying the book as they read. A pure edit without enjoyment, and with a time limit, surely leads to errors being missed.

I think it is important for writers to do a good job of the editing themselves first. Then the editor. I think maybe the problem is that they edit manuscripts on the PC. My idea is to print one copy of a book and let and editor read it for the first time like that. Reader find errors, because they are easy to spot in book form.

I, Brian
January 3rd, 2003, 04:37 AM
I have just signed a new contract with a traditional publisher who is going to reprint the first book with a new cover, and publish the second and third in the series simultaneously.

Well done for that - I hope you keep us all informed of your progress - and provide a link when they are first released.