Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Very expensive typo

As a reader, writer and publisher, I know very well that no book is perfect -- no matter how many times it has been edited, proofread and examined.

When I'm reading books published by others, errors can be annoying or funny or both. When I read my own books, they're never funny. As I get close to a pre-announced "pub date," I have to decide if an error is bad enough to need correcting, which would delay publication. I also know that every time I make a correction, I risk creating more errors.

The first batch of each new books has undesirable but acceptable errors. I usually send them to friends with a sticker to let them know that I know that the books are imperfect (but free).

I've never printed books with an error in information, spelling, grammar or typography that was so bad that a batch of books had to be destroyed.

The publisher of the Pasta Bible in Australia was not so fortunate.

Penguin Group Australia decided to reduce 7,000 copies to paper pulp that will become the main ingredient for other books, and the "Bible" was reprinted.

What was the sin in the "Bible?"

The final proofreader did not notice that a recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto called for "freshly ground black people."

The ingredient was supposed to be black pepper.

Reprinting will cost Penguin nearly $20,000. Books already in stores will not be recalled because doing so would be "extremely hard," according to a Penguin spokesman. (info from The Sydney Morning Herald)


1 comment:

  1. STOP copying me, or I'm going to go tell my teacher!

    Ah, you're right... great minds DO think alike.