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Thread: A question about Advance Uncorrected Proofs

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    Senior Member Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... srboone's Avatar
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    A question about Advance Uncorrected Proofs

    Two of these that I have recently received from CD had glaring editing errors in them (at least they were to me) and when I looked at the corresponding S/Ls printed from them, the errors were uncorrected. In Burkes's Kin, twice in the openning section, the protagonist was haid to have shifted her eyes in a certain direction when she clearly only had one. In Little's The Mailman, Doug's wife Trish was identified as "Tritia" (I havn't read much of the book, so that may trun out to be the actual name or a pet name).

    So here is my question?

    What is the realtionship between the Uncorrected Proof and the final product? Is it uncorrected in the sense that it hasn't been edited and that process is still ongoing; is the editing done in house or is it outsourced? Or is it uncorrected in the sense that the format and design hasn't been oked? In the case of Kin, it was a new book and the eye/eyes faux pas really stands out; The Mailman, on the other hand, is a reprint of an 20-yearold text. Perhaps that error appeared in the original printing and textual integrity was being maintained.....that sounded like a plausible idea when it occurred to me, but seems ludicrous as i write. I ask this a READER and not a collector, since that is what I condsider myself. As a reader, it's really annoying to have to back track in a book to see if I missed someting vital. And the point is, I had to stop reading. I only got to page 13 in The Mailman before I stopped. I'll probably try to pick it back up tomorrow.

    CD does a great job and many books hve such glaring errors in them. But it's brings the pleasure I get from reading a book to a grinding halt. In the case of The Mailman, I never even got started.

    EDIT***EDIT*** Now that I think about it, "Tritia" would he pronounced "Trisha." I never had seen that spelling. My bad. But the question still remains. What is therealtionship between the proof and the final product?
    Last edited by srboone; 05-07-2012 at 08:37 PM.
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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement peteOcha's Avatar
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    I noticed the "eye deal" in Kin as well. But sometimes things like that slip by, even if five or ten people proofread the book. I do some proofing at work (we have 2-3 people who do it as well) and sometimes we miss something very obvious that is spotted by someone else completely not involved.

    On a side note, I'll gladly accept ARC's if CD needs some extra proofing.

  3. #3
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    It really depends on the ARC. Sometimes the ARC really is corrected and is really just produced because we need something to send to reviewers before the book is actually published. In most cases it falls after the book was designed, but before the design is proof read.

    We typically have different 3 different phases of proof reading. Phase 1 is where we have the un-designed manuscript proof read. This can happen several times before we move onto the next phase, depending how "clean" the manuscript is. Phase 2 is after the book has been designed. We usually only do one or two pass's at this phase as the hope is that most of the problems where fixed in phase 1, and phase 2 is to catch any problems that happened during design and make sure TOC's / page numbers match what they're supposed to. Phase 3 is what the "Bluelines" are for, they come from the printer and problems can be fixed here, though we usually are only looking for major problems at this point not really proof reading. Sometimes problems just slip through sadly.
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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteOcha View Post
    I noticed the "eye deal" in Kin as well. But sometimes things like that slip by, even if five or ten people proofread the book. I do some proofing at work (we have 2-3 people who do it as well) and sometimes we miss something very obvious that is spotted by someone else completely not involved.

    On a side note, I'll gladly accept ARC's if CD needs some extra proofing.
    Heh, ARC's are never really produced for proof reading. With the exception of some of the King ARC's we've made. They're usually printed too late in the process to be of much use for proof reading.
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    Senior Member Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... srboone's Avatar
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    I was just wondering and I realize nobody's perfect (least of all me), but things like that jump out at me. There was also one in Hell Hollow ("Chuck" was spelled "Chick"), though I never saw an ARC of it...Thanks for answering.
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    Senior Member Inmate Xiabei's Avatar
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    I'm the same way. Not intentionally; it's just something I tend to notice. Happens a lot from the "big houses" too. Typos always throw off my rhythm, because when I read one I'm like, What was that? And then I reread it to make sure I'm not missing something or perhaps misread something. And when it's an honest-to-goodness typo, my mind then starts to wander... How did they miss that? All it takes is a cursory glance to see it's not right!... Why didn't I become a proofreader?

  7. #7
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Personally I'd be an awful proofreader. I read too quickly to catch most things.
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    Senior Member 2nd Rubber Room Confinement peteOcha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    Heh, ARC's are never really produced for proof reading. With the exception of some of the King ARC's we've made. They're usually printed too late in the process to be of much use for proof reading.
    That's ok Dan. I'll still gladly accept the ARC's anyway.

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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication
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    Quote Originally Posted by srboone View Post
    I was just wondering and I realize nobody's perfect (least of all me), but things like that jump out at me. There was also one in Hell Hollow ("Chuck" was spelled "Chick"), though I never saw an ARC of it...Thanks for answering.
    I just read Hell Hollow, and one that jumped out at me was the horses "reigns" instead of reins.

    I've noticed a lot more of these errors since spellcheckers became widely used.

    I like Stuart Woods' take on this issue:

    Q. A lot of readers want to know why there are so many errors in a published book.
    A. There are two kinds of errors — those of spelling, punctuation, etc. and those that the writer makes in plotting or in fact. The publisher employs, in addition to the book’s editor, a copy editor, whose job it is to deal with the minute details of the book, correct mistakes of both kinds, and make sure the plot and timeline track well. By the time the book goes into production, it should have been read by several people, but, unfortunately, errors still slip through. I know that errors annoy readers, but there does not seem to be any economic way to avoid all of them.
    Q. Why do you ask, in the introduction to the email function on your website, that readers not write to you with corrections?
    A. Because, by the time the readers read the book and write to me, the process is already out of my hands, and I will already know about it. If you find some large, important error and send it to my publishers, perhaps a correction can be made for the next printing, but that doesn’t often happen. The book is going to remain pretty much as it’s first published, errors and all. Also, readers who like to report errors to me always seem to think they’re the first to notice, when, in fact, I may have already heard from hundreds of others on the same subject. ( I must have had a hundred emails from helicopter pilots, commenting on my description of Stone’s helicopter flying in Two-Dollar Bill. My point was, Stone knows nothing about flying helicopters.) I sometimes make errors such as changing a character’s name from book to book, something which no one needs to point out to me, since that has been done many times already. God help me if I make a mistake about a firearm. I’ll get a ton of email from gun folks about it, and most of them volunteer to be my firearms consultant. Too many readers seem to belong to the AHA! Police. In short, save time for yourself and me, and PLEASE DO NOT write to me about errors and corrections. If you do, I’ll simply refer you back to this interview, and I’ll probably yell at you..

  10. #10
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    That's pretty much right on the money for the big publishers. I'm pretty sure with us small publishers (and I could be wrong as I'm not really involved in the process and am just speculating) we don't really do "editing" with plotting or facts. That's typically done by the author / author's editor. To my knowledge we don't typically make changes of that nature to the stories. Again I'm really just speculating here as that's way outside my department.
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    Senior Member Inmate Xiabei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1442397 View Post
    I just read Hell Hollow, and one that jumped out at me was the horses "reigns" instead of reins.

    I've noticed a lot more of these errors since spellcheckers became widely used.

    I like Stuart Woods' take on this issue:

    Q. A lot of readers want to know why there are so many errors in a published book.
    A. There are two kinds of errors — those of spelling, punctuation, etc. and those that the writer makes in plotting or in fact. The publisher employs, in addition to the book’s editor, a copy editor, whose job it is to deal with the minute details of the book, correct mistakes of both kinds, and make sure the plot and timeline track well. By the time the book goes into production, it should have been read by several people, but, unfortunately, errors still slip through. I know that errors annoy readers, but there does not seem to be any economic way to avoid all of them.
    .
    Sure there is - hire somebody good enough to find them! :-) Typos, that is.

    What he addresses in the second question has never been a concern of mine; I wouldn't, for example, complain about a firearm being described incorrectly. But those damn typos!

    But his response made me think: who is a good writer? Is it really that prevalent? "Ok, you wrote a story, but now I need to go through it and make sure everything works." It seems odd to me that a person who writes for a living isn't in a position to know if it makes sense or not! I would hate that - "You wrote it, now I have to see if you wrote it correctly."

  12. #12
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiabei View Post
    Sure there is - hire somebody good enough to find them! :-) Typos, that is.

    What he addresses in the second question has never been a concern of mine; I wouldn't, for example, complain about a firearm being described incorrectly. But those damn typos!

    But his response made me think: who is a good writer? Is it really that prevalent? "Ok, you wrote a story, but now I need to go through it and make sure everything works." It seems odd to me that a person who writes for a living isn't in a position to know if it makes sense or not! I would hate that - "You wrote it, now I have to see if you wrote it correctly."
    With the New York publishers, it's usually not about if you wrote it correctly, it's more about did you write it in a way that we can sell it.
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    Senior Member Receiving Daily Medication
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    I can deal with most of it, but the errors that really bump me out of a story are things like silencers being put on pistols, or in one case an author turning a revolver into an automatic and back again more than once in the same book.

    Another memorable one was in one of Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels where a passenger rolls down the rear window of a Ford Probe to shoot at a car behind them. There are only two doors and two roll-down windows on a Probe, and you sure as hell can't roll down a window if you're sitting in the back.

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    I have no problem with inaccurate facts. I have no problem with an author messing with reality. Typos generally do not bug me too much, an example is the recently finished Buffalo Hunter. The character Marty was referred to as Mary once, it did give me pause to ensure I had the correct person in mind but it did not bother me too much. The continuity issues that cause me to leave the story to figure thing out do bug me.

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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    I have no problem with inaccurate facts. I have no problem with an author messing with reality. Typos generally do not bug me too much, an example is the recently finished Buffalo Hunter. The character Marty was referred to as Mary once, it did give me pause to ensure I had the correct person in mind but it did not bother me too much. The continuity issues that cause me to leave the story to figure thing out do bug me.
    Hey Martin, where was that error in Buffalo Hunter? Since that one hasn't been announced officially yet I don't think it's in production yet, so we can probably get that one fixed. Thanks!
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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    I will try to remember to look for it when I get home tonight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    Hey Martin, where was that error in Buffalo Hunter? Since that one hasn't been announced officially yet I don't think it's in production yet, so we can probably get that one fixed. Thanks!

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    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    The error is in the last paragraph of page 110. Marty is referred to as Marry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    Hey Martin, where was that error in Buffalo Hunter? Since that one hasn't been announced officially yet I don't think it's in production yet, so we can probably get that one fixed. Thanks!

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    Administrator Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... Brian James Freeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srboone View Post
    In Burkes's Kin, twice in the openning section, the protagonist was haid to have shifted her eyes in a certain direction when she clearly only had one. In Little's The Mailman, Doug's wife Trish was identified as "Tritia" (I havn't read much of the book, so that may trun out to be the actual name or a pet name).
    For The Mailman, that is how the name appeared in the original edition and it did seem odd to us so we asked Bentley to confirm that it was right and he confirmed it was, so... there you go.

    As a reader, when you find a typo in the middle of the page and you think, "How could they miss that?!" what you're not seeing are the five other typos that were caught by proofreaders during production. What happens is, as a proofreader, you focus in on the error you have found -- you circle it, make your notes, etc -- and sometimes you then miss an error right next to it.

    Some authors turn in nearly perfect copy and our production team loves them to death. But errors slip through on just about every book, unfortunately.

    As Dan mentioned above, we go through several phases of proofreading to try to get everything as correct as we can. Some books have gone through 10 rounds of proofreading, using every proofreader we have, and the last person still found things that slipped through. You'd be surprised at how "rough" some of the manuscripts are when they arrive. One book that's in production right now arrived absolutely drowning in problems. Obviously a first draft that didn't even get a second read by the author. The copyeditor had to make 600 corrections on the 180 manuscript pages. That's insane. She wrote me when she was done and said, "Was he DRUNK when he wrote this?" The author is not anyone mentioned in this thread, by the way, and I won't ever share who it was.

    To answer your original question, the relationship between the Uncorrected Proof and the final product varies from book to book. If we have to rush the ARCs so the reviewers will have time to review them, sometimes we have to use the very first designed file we have. Other times, when we have more time, it'll be closer to the final file or the final file itself. We don't change the wording because changes could happen all of the way to the bluelines, as Dan noted in his post.

    We try VERY hard to find all of the typos in the 30+ books a year we publish but we harbor no illusions that it'll ever be completely perfect.

    Hope this info is helpful!

    Brian
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    Administrator Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... Brian James Freeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiabei View Post
    But his response made me think: who is a good writer? Is it really that prevalent? "Ok, you wrote a story, but now I need to go through it and make sure everything works." It seems odd to me that a person who writes for a living isn't in a position to know if it makes sense or not! I would hate that - "You wrote it, now I have to see if you wrote it correctly."
    I think I actually touched on this a little in my response before I saw your post!

    Some authors turn in amazing stories that need a lot of help in the typo/proofreading department.

    Some authors turn in okay stories with few typos, but with a little help on the editing front ("what was this character's motivation"), the stories become very good.

    Some authors turn in really well-written stories with few typos and little need of help in the story department.

    It varies from author to author. Either way, our goal is to put together the best collectible, the best product, and the best edited text we can. Sometimes errors slip through, which always sucks and, trust me, I'm more annoyed than you when I find a mistake in a finished book of ours.

    Brian
    Brian James Freeman
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    Administrator Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... Brian James Freeman's Avatar
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    By the way, I'm always looking for good proofreaders, but I will tell you upfront: I hear from someone nearly every week who says "I catch errors in everything I read!" who I send something to proofread and they don't find nearly enough of the mistakes. That's just because proofreading well is simply harder than most people think.

    If you have the skills and want to give proofreading a try (or if you're already proofreading for someone else and are looking for more work), drop me a line via email and we can discuss it! My goal is to catch all of the errors we can, so another good reader will only make my job a little easier.

    Brian
    Brian James Freeman
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