Thursday, January 31, 2013

Don't judge a book by its publisher

Don't Judge A Book By Its Publisher  by Maree Anderson  (for Writers Gone Wild)

Hi y'all,

I've spent far too many hours today (and yesterday!) crafting a post on my personal website, aiming for the right tone -- strong but not too preachy or confrontational, not too serious... or too lighthearted, for fear the point would be lost. And then, because I'm never particularly confident in my ability to get it right, I had to wait for DH to get home so he could take a squiz at it -- just to make sure I wasn't kidding myself that I'd achieved all the aforementioned. Yeah, I needed reassurance from my significant other that the damn post was "good" enough to publish. And I've just recently turned 48. Sad, huh?

Anyhow, the upshot is I have completely run out of time to come up with a dedicated Writers Gone Wild post before my Thursday slot rolls over to Friday, and for that, please accept my sincere apologies. So rather than not post at all, I'm going to commit the cardinal sin of pasting a snippet of this rather long post from my personal website here, followed by a link for you click to read the full post if you feel so inclined:

Don't Judge A Book By Its Publisher
If I was a picky reader who jotted down every instance of poor grammar and editing, wonky formatting, and just plain weird-ass WTF? stuff I’ve spotted in books, that notebook would be chock-full. In fact, it’d be a whole shelf or two full of neatly stacked notebooks. And the jotting down of weird-ass stuff wouldn’t only be from self-published books. It’d also include a heap of traditionally published books (both print books and electronic books) published by large, well-respected publishers — books that have been through the editing wringer and then some, and yet mistakes have still crept in throughout the publishing process.
And you know what? There will always be mistakes that aren’t corrected before a book goes to print or is published in electronic form.
Numerous hands are involved when publishing a print book. Converting print books to all the various electronic formats that have become the norm today can be a nightmare no matter how pristine the original file, resulting in all sorts of illogical weird-ass formatting stuff cropping up out of the blue. So it’s, like, an immutable law of the universe that mistakes will either slip through or be created during the publishing process — whether that process produces a print book or an electronic book. And yet, when it comes to these kinds of errors in traditionally published books, unless it’s a really big glaring error of the ZOMG I can’t ignore this! kind, readers are generally forgiving and let them slide. Because it’s, you know, a traditionally published book! And we paid $$ for it! And we know enough about publishing to be aware it’s been through numerous editors — acquiring, content, line, copy, and a few we’ve never heard of probably! And we all know how hard it is to put out a perfect book with no errors! Right?
We all “get it”. We all know that no matter how hard everyone involved in the process tries, no published book will be perfect. And more often than not we will make allowances for this, and everything is peachy.
BTW, I’m not talking about missing pages or out-of-order chapters or totally screwed up electronic files etc. that make it impossible to read a book at all, coz those sort of issues are so not peachy. I’m talking about this sort of stuff *points to the next paragraph*:
Here are some examples of weird stuff I’ve come across in traditionally published books, both print and electronic. (Just for fun, you might like to guess which issues were found exclusively in print books. The answers may surprise you.)

Read the full post on Maree's website by clicking this link

See you in another fortnight!



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