Monday, March 12, 2012

BLOG 3. An apology, by Cliff Jacobson

As a writer, I try to get things right. But occasionally, there are mistakes. More often than not, the author gets things right but the publisher doesn’t. Art errors (technical illustrations and maps) are the major culprits. As publication time approaches, things become frenetic and sometimes something falls through the cracks. For example, when my book, CANOEING WILD RIVERS appeared in 1984, I counted 144 errors. Some were simple typos; others were repeat sentences or omissions. None were my fault. But those were the old days when computers and electronic editing procedures were new. The author received paper proofs, made pencil changes and sent the corrected manuscript back to the printer. The errors would usually be fixed but in the process others would be made. It was quite frustrating.

Now, with the electronic printing and editing process firmly established, errors are rare. Still, stuff happens. My book, BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE CAMPING, 3rd Edition, was released on February 15, 2012. With over 100 color photos, a new chapter and some 6000 added words, it’s a knockout. However, there is an error for which I feel compelled to apologize. It appears on page 40 where I have explained the UTM system of using a GPS to locate points on a map. The over-printed lines labeled 750 and 800 make no sense at all. The junction isn’t even in the right place. You are actually located at the campsite just to the east of the crossed lines. Fortunately, the text description is correct, as is the sample problem which follows. I take no credit for this map error. What I submitted to my publisher was correct. The art department just drew it wrong and somehow it passed through final editing.

It brings me no pleasure to tell you about this error in this gorgeous new edition. My hope is that my readers will forgive and understand. My publisher says that this error will be corrected in the next printing, which we hope will be soon. My humble apologies to my readers and a thank you for your understanding. Oh, I almost forgot to say that the rest of the book is perfect!


1 comment:

Tim Stouffer said...

Cliff, thanks for the public note. You are attentive to detail, that is what makes your insights so valuable. I can relate, having authored, detailed, laid out, designed and published a catalog twice a year since the late nineties. Things somehow slip by. Apology gladly accepted. Keep up the good blogs!