Typos, printing errors and other annoying things in publishing
Yesterday I received one of those dreaded emails. Someone reported a printing error in one of our books. The last 8 pages or so were missing. MISSING!! At the end of a mystery, that is horrendous.
So how does that happen?
Well, something like this, pages printed upside down, or out of order is generally an error made at the printers. A signature (a large chunk of pages) is inserted upside down or out of order. In the picture, that signature was cut improperly and then bound into the book.
When books come into the warehouse, we check them for accuracy. But we do not check EVERY box that comes in. If we get 100 cases of a new book, we will spot check, unfortunately, we may miss a few boxes of misprinted books. When we are made aware of an error, we check our stock and then proceed appropriately. Generally we have to scrap the inventory and the printer reprints.
But in the case yesterday, the problem fell on us. Somehow the formatting on a book we were sending to reprint got all messed up. There were page breaks where we didn't put them and that threw off the flow, therefore cutting off the last eight pages. We pulled our stock and corrected the file. New copies will be in the warehouse in less than a month.
Well, what about typos? yep, mistakes happen. Doesn't mean we have to accept that and publish an inferior product. But at the end of the day, remember that humans work on these treasures we call books. And humans are prone to errors once in a while! Honest!
Back in my bookseller days, I would occasionally hear a customer complain about a typo. Either the author or the publisher was blamed. The customer would proclaim they wouldn't read books by that author again. Really? While a misused word or a typo might bother me, unless the book is riddled with errors, I can forgive that. Afterall, I have probably made several typos in this blog post!
If the book has a printing error, all publishers will replace that book for you free of charge. Take it back to store where you purchased it, and the store will replace it or refund your money. The store then sends the book back to the publisher for full credit. If it's a Midnight Ink book, you can call our customer service line, 1-800-THE-MOON. We'll take care of you!
But if it's an editing error, a typo, etc, what do you do? Do you have an extreme reaction? Does it completely throw you from the book? Or like me, are you a forgiving reader? (well, within reason...)