Ebook Suit Article Enlightens Another Problem at PW: Proofreading!

Don and Derek

The Book Kahuna and his Corgi, Derek!

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/56042-indie-booksellers-sue-amazon-big-six-over-e-book-drm.html

The Original Read…

I was going to make this blog post an update of my article from yesterday.  I read the title and thought that this particular PW article Indie Booksellers Sue Amazon, Big Six over E-book DRM by Jim Milliot would be a perfect companion piece to Digital Rights Management: To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question…, but that is not to be the case until a future post later this week.  This post is going to deal with something near and dear to my heart: accurate proofreading.

Now I am sure that Jim Milliot is a professional of the highest order.  I met the man at the PubWest conference in Santa Fe, NM two years ago and had lunch with him.  This is no judgment of his writing or the way that he has constructed his article.  I am sure he is not the person who proofs the article before it is put on the website, but the number of errors in the article was glaring.  There were a good number of word breaks that were missing, where two words are running into each other.

Mom Knows Best…

About 15-20 years ago I was visiting my mother at her home on the East End of Long Island, when she started to complain to me about the quality of the books she was reading.  My mother is an avid reader and even at age 84 today, she still walks over to her local library and fills a bag with books to read.  Her complaint back in the day was that no publishing company seemed to be checking for typos and incorrect grammar before publishing a book.  In other words, there was no one proofreading the title in a word-for-word proofing.  She knew she had a captive audience in me for two very important reasons:

  1.  Working in publishing I have always been tasked with making sure that the titles that get out into the market are of the highest quality.  My mom knew I would make sure that the books I oversaw would be proofed and as free of misspellings and grammatical inconsistencies as possible.
  2. The other reason:  I was a single guy and probably getting a home cooked meal from my mother.  That in and of itself would qualify me as an attentive audience member!

Possible Explanation

I’m pretty sure that I told her about line-scanning, a very rudimentary proofread that will catch only the basic glaring problems.  I cannot say that PW is only doing a line-scan on the electronic articles they are publishing, but all across publishing as a whole, line-scanning is replacing a word-for-word proofread for one very important reason:  It costs a good deal less for the proofreading function when you do a line scan as opposed to a word-for-word proofread.

Conclusion

In going onto the Publishers Weekly website, I was asked if I wanted an electronic subscription for $18.95 per month.  I am really thinking about taking this step because my blogging is dependent on my access to publishing news sites for material to discuss and critique.  That being said, I would really like to have a high-quality experience when I go back and read these articles to draw information for future posts.  I may have stumbled upon an anomaly with this particular article, or this may be a problem that needs some interaction from the editor-in-chief.

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