In one of those occurrences which gives hope and encouragement to author/designers everywhere, Jonathan Franzen’s new book had to be pulped when it was found to be full of spelling errors.
What they’d done somehow was to send a previous, uncorrected version of the book to the printers.
There are several great things about this story, the first one being that it didn’t happen to me. Authors are shallow individuals really and, despite the fact that we should be creatures of love and compassion and generosity the one thing we really enjoy is seeing a disaster strike someone much more successful than us.
The second great encouragement is the thought ‘so other writers can’t spell either!’ I thought it was just me who delivered rubbishy punctuated books.
But the interesting thing is whether, with the advent of ebooks, this will all become a thing of the past. I’m currently immersed in finishing a major book and at the moment it’s clocking in at 110,000 words which means a lot of cutting. But then I thought – well, I could always release an expanded ebook version, because page extent doesn’t really matter there. And the same is true of corrections. The fact is that no book is ever as you want it. There are always mistakes in books, things you didn’t spot, facts you got wrong, opinions you changed the moment after the thing was printed.
But in the electronic version, you could release an updated version if necessary. Version 1.0 might be the printed version, but you could release 1.1 (corrects minor spelling mistakes); 1.2 (corrects more minor spelling mistakes and some factual errors); 1.3 (corrects yet more minor spelling mistakes and some wrong dates) and so on, building up to an entirely new version – version 2.0 (corrects the remaining minor spelling mistakes, and changes the main thrust of the argument entirely to fit in with your new opinions.)
In the future, there will be no deadlines. Only revisions…
In the present, however, the are deadlines. And I missed them. So, apologies for the lack of posts recently, but the situation persists. So back to wrok. Sorry, work.