Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where Have All The Proofreaders Gone?

I have just finished reading a beautifully packaged limited edition book. It has a slipcase, gold stamping on the cover, nicely creepy artwork in the front, and very cool end papers. All of that is fine. The story was ok. There were some very cool scenes, but, overall, I didn't think it was anything spectacular.

The problem is that the book was FULL of mistakes. Continuity errors, two characters called the wrong names, and a sentance that actually said the OPPOSITE of what it meant to say. (If it meant what it said, then it made absolutely no sense.) Now, I don't expect perfection. Typos slip through, punctuation, well, that's not my strong suite, so there could be many mistakes there that I wouldn't notice.


C'mon. I was reading for enjoyment, not using a critical eye, and I noticed all of these problems. Isn't there someone who should have looked over the manuscript, and caught at least a few of these? And this book isn't the only one with issues. I read a limited edition short story collection that had the same problem. (Three days is 36 hours?!) Is no one checking for these things? How are so many mistakes making it into the final product?

At the beginning of this, I described some of the physical aspects of the book I just read. And I have heard a number of publishers talking about how beautiful their books are. Has style finally won out over substance? Is the LOOK of a book now more important than the story within the fancy covers?

Maybe it's just me. I don't mind these misakes so much, in a cheap paperback (although they still bother me), but when I shell out big bucks for a limited edition, and the story is just "meh", and the whole thing is riddled with errors, well, that kinda ticks me off. I'd rather have a great, well written story, in a cheap(ish) package, then pay more for a nice package that's full of crap.

So, where have all the proofreaders gone?