Even though it’s been a few days since it published and was thoroughly chewed over by the digerati, I couldn’t help but write about Virginia Heffernan’s NYT blog post “The Price of Typos.”
I have honest-to-goodness nightmares about typos. The book-making process on children’s side of the business hasn’t gotten as compromised it has on the grownup side, so we still do faithfully copyedit and proofread and have multiple sets of eyes read each book many times, but sometimes we don’t live up to our goal of publishing typo-free books. All we can do is dust ourselves off and try to do better on the next one.
Heffernan thinks that typos offer a window into an author’s personality. I think it’s more interesting to consider the “personality” of the typos themselves: is there some shared characteristic that helps them evade detection? The number of letters they contain, perhaps, or where they happen to fall in a sentence or on the page? Tell us your secrets, typos!
One final thought: if you do spot a typo in one of our books, please, please, please write to us and let us know about it. At a minimum, we will send you a letter or e-mail thanking you for contacting us, and we’ll send you a corrected edition when the title reprints.
No, wait, one more final thought: please don’t judge the quality of our product by what you read in a bound galley or ARC. All those disclaimers are there for a reason!