Back when all my interaction with books was as a reader, I used to tisk and huff when I came across an error on the pages. Misspellings. Incorrect grammar. Missing words. Inconsistent details. I wondered how on earth such a thing could happen in a properly edited book.
Of course that was back before I knew anything of the process. Now that I’ve spent some time on the other side of the publication timeline, I’ve learned not to be so judgmental.
I just spent the past few days going over the page proofs for THE MYTH OF PERPETUAL SUMMER–a manuscript I personally have combed for errors over the past months, my editor has combed for errors, and a copy editor has combed for errors. And still, I used an entire sticky note pad marking newfound errors and changes. Of course, a proofreader is reading at the same time and probably finding many I missed. Because you see, after living in this book for nearly a year, I see what I want to see, I read it as it is in my mind, not as it is on the page–I’ve become error blind.
So now, the book is back at the publisher, where an actual person has to make all of the collective corrections on the page files. So you see, there are many human fingers involved, thus many opportunities for things to slip through the cracks.
I am now a much more forgiving reader. And so, I ask all of you to remember the book writing business is done by fallible humans who are trying our best to offer you a perfectly presented perfect story. Sometimes we reach that goal, and sometimes we fall short. Heck, there are probably errors in this blog post after I read and reread it!