About Me

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heartsick About a Typo

This early view of Marks Run displays the natural beauty of Rock Springs Park prior to commercial development.
Authoring a book is often a lonely task. I spent many, many hours poring over news articles, emailing those who knew the park firsthand, analyzing images and documents, and researching in libraries, and often my “little” victories had to be celebrated alone and in silence.

For example, I was given one week to review the final page proofs of the book and then was contacted one last time by a proofreader for any changes before the book was sent to the printer. I read and reread the book text over and over again, looking for any corrections that I needed to make. I found a couple of possible grammatical errors and changed a couple of overused “This picture clearly illustrates.” With my proofreader’s help, I thought I had fixed everything that needed to be fixed. The book text and images were then sent to the printer in Charleston, South Carolina, just before Easter recess.

Then, stupidly, I decided to look at everything again over the holiday weekend, just in case, and of course I found one more error. My second editor, had changed all the “World’s Greatest” and “World’s Largest” to the lowercase “world.”I’m not sure why he did this, but thought I had caught them all. I was kicking myself wondering why I didn't think to search the text for all the “worlds” using Microsoft Word’s “Find” feature. None-the-less on page 23 my text read, “Today, the Smith House overlooks The world’s Largest Teapot.” My heart sank. I knew I had to find some way to correct this or my perfectionist tendencies would focus on this one tiny spelling error and drive me slowly insane until the book came out and, most especially, after it was in print. So in a last ditch effort I sent off an email to my proofreader:

Me: I imagine it is too late to make text changes to Images of America: Rock Springs Park, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I was looking over the text and noticed that I missed one capitalization error on page 23. If there is any way to change it; the "world's Largest Teapot" on page 23 should read "World's Largest Teapot."

Proofreader: Joe, it would be too late to make the change, but fortunately I caught the lowercase “world” and fixed it.

Me: I know it is only a small thing, but you finding and correcting my capitalization error means the "world" to me! Seriously, I put so much time into this project, and unfortunately am such a perfectionist, that a little thing like that would have bugged me no end. Now, I know why editors are often referred to as an author's "other eyes." You're the best!

So, dear readers, if you see any typos in my book, please don’t tell me. I need to keep my sanity for my children’s sake.

Update: Okay, I must admit there is a typo on page 10. “dislays” instead of “displays.” Doh! This happened after the proofreading process was completely out of my hands, and yes, I am heartsick about it.

(Photo Courtesy of Dick Bowker)

1 comment:

Joseph A. Comm said...

Great News!!! Images of America: Rock Springs Park is being sent for a second printing and the dreaded typo will be corrected! Yay!