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At the Sign (Sound?) of Triumph

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
At the Sign (Sound?) of Triumph
Post by ggunn   » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:48 pm

ggunn
Midshipman

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:35 pm

Which is it? My copy has "sign" but the release notes say "sound".

I am a huge fan of the Safehold books, and this one is great as well, but there are some issues. What has prompted me to post is the relaxed proofreading that has apparently been exercised with this installment. At nearly every sitting I find a misspelled word, or a syntax disagreement, or something like "to" when it obviously should be "too", or a name spelled differently ((transposed letters) so that I am not sure if it's the same guy or not. What's up with that?

Gordon
Austin, TX
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Re: At the Sign (Sound?) of Triumph
Post by Louis R   » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:12 pm

Louis R
Commodore

Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:25 pm

The characteristic signs of a rush job. Which this was, in spades.

Himself got the manuscript turned in about 3 weeks after the drop-dead date for getting it to the typesetter.

One sometimes wonders if this hasn't become SOP in the industry.

ggunn wrote:Which is it? My copy has "sign" but the release notes say "sound".

I am a huge fan of the Safehold books, and this one is great as well, but there are some issues. What has prompted me to post is the relaxed proofreading that has apparently been exercised with this installment. At nearly every sitting I find a misspelled word, or a syntax disagreement, or something like "to" when it obviously should be "too", or a name spelled differently ((transposed letters) so that I am not sure if it's the same guy or not. What's up with that?

Gordon
Austin, TX
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Re: At the Sign (Sound?) of Triumph
Post by DMcCunney   » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:37 pm

DMcCunney
Commander

Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:49 am

Louis R wrote:The characteristic signs of a rush job. Which this was, in spades.

Himself got the manuscript turned in about 3 weeks after the drop-dead date for getting it to the typesetter.

One sometimes wonders if this hasn't become SOP in the industry.

Which? Bad proofreading, or turning in the book three weeks after drop dead date?

We hope the latter isn't SOP. The former, alas, increasingly is.

Years back, a poster on a mailing list I'm on regretted the increasing trend in the industry to forgo proofreading. She was VP of an editorial production contractor that provided services like proofreading to publishers. Another list member, who was an editor at Tor, replied "But copy editing and proofreading are part of the book's budget, and always done!" "Maybe they still are in your house", was the reply, "but I'm the one at my shop dealing with publishers who used to pay us to do it and don't anymore!"

Publishing has been in trouble for years. The problem for publishing has always been "Too many books chasing too few readers". The problem for bookstores has been "Too many bookstores chasing too few customers."

The result has been wrenching rounds of consolidation, as publishers merge or go out of business, and bookstores close because they can't generate the revenue to stay in business. (If you can select it from an Amazon catalog, buy, and have it delivered, why go to a bookstore? Increasing numbers of folks don't.)

And the majority of trade books published don't earn out. They don't find an audience, and don't make enough sales to cover the cost of producing them or the author's advance. They get returned for credit. Publishers all cross appendages that enough of their titles will sell to cover the losses on the one that tank and make them enough money to stay in business. And as part of the effort to survive, they look to cut costs, and things like copy editing and proofreading are costs they see to cut. It's more likely to occur in fiction, which will be seen as disposable with doubts the reader will even notice, but it's inevitable given the changes in the market place.

Tor is one of the outfits that does still try to maintain production quality. The problems for ATSOT are consequences of beyond the last minute manuscript delivery. Things are worse elsewhere.
______
Dennis
Last edited by DMcCunney on Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: At the Sign (Sound?) of Triumph
Post by Louis R   » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:01 pm

Louis R
Commodore

Posts: 960
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:25 pm

Turning the book in late. I've lost track of the number of writers admitting to that recently.

And it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that publishers are quite right about proofing being disposable - despite all the whinging going on here. In fact, the apparent success of KDP goes a long way to confirming it. Jim Baen was probably getting rather tired of pointing out that even _lurking_ on a site like this is atypical. Active participants on Baen's Bar, whatever delusions they may have on the subject, were according to him about as far from the 'normal' customer profile as you are likely to get. Which is why he would bounce ideas off us, but didn't put a lot of stock in things like enthusiastic recommendations of brilliant new authors or resounding condemnations of bestsellers who'd 'jumped the shark' :P

DMcCunney wrote:
Louis R wrote:The characteristic signs of a rush job. Which this was, in spades.

Himself got the manuscript turned in about 3 weeks after the drop-dead date for getting it to the typesetter.

One sometimes wonders if this hasn't become SOP in the industry.

Which? Bad proofreading, or turning in the book three weeks after drop dead date?

We hope the latter isn't SOP. The former, alas, increasingly is.

Years back, a poster on a mailing list I'm on regretted the increasing trend in the industry to forgo proofreading. She was VP of an editorial production contractor that provided services like proofreading to publishers. Another list member, who was an editor at Tor, replied "But copy editing and proofreading are part of the book's budget, and always done!" "Maybe they still are in your house", was the reply, "but I'm the one at my shop dealing with publishers who used to pay us to do it and don't anymore!"

Publishing has been in trouble for years. The problem for publishing has always been "Too many books chasing too few readers". The problem for bookstores has been "Too many bookstores chasing too few customers."

The result has been wrenching rounds of consolidation, as publishers merge or go out of business, and bookstores close because they can't generate the revenue to stay in business. (If you can select it from an Amazon catalog, but, and have to delivered, why go to a bookstore? Increasing numbers of folks don't.)

And the majority of trade books published don't earn out. They don't find an audience, and don't make enough sales to cover the cost of producing them or the author's advance. They get returned for credit. Publishers all cross appendages that enough of their titles will sell to cover the losses on the one that tank and make them enough money to stay in business. And as part of the effort to survive, they look to cut costs, and things like copy editing and proofreading are costs they see to cut. It's more likely to occur in fiction, which will be seen as disposable with doubts the reader will even notice, but it's inevitable given the changes in the market place.

Tor is one of the outfits that does still try to maintain production quality. The problems for ATSOT are consequences of beyond the last minute manuscript delivery. Things are worse elsewhere.
______
Dennis
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Re: At the Sign (Sound?) of Triumph
Post by DMcCunney   » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:39 pm

DMcCunney
Commander

Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:49 am

Louis R wrote:Turning the book in late. I've lost track of the number of writers admitting to that recently.
It's regrettably common, and publishers expect it to happen. But there are cases where the book simply arrives too late, well after production schedules have been set, and all must do the best they can.

And it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that publishers are quite right about proofing being disposable - despite all the whinging going on here.
Disposable in fiction, at any rate. Less disposable on non-fiction. Fiction will be assumed to be "read once". Non-fiction may be "Read more than once, and keep on the shelf for reference."

In fact, the apparent success of KDP goes a long way to confirming it.
Amazon is a Worst Offender. If an electronic versions of a title doesn't exist (because it was written before such things were possible) and enough folks click the "I'd like to read this in a Kindle Edition" button, a print copy of the book is sent to an operation in Hyderabad who scans and runs OCR on the title. The result of that is what gets wrapped in a Mobi container and released as a Kindle edition. Copy editing and proofreading are unlikely to occur. They cost money.

Jim Baen was probably getting rather tired of pointing out that even _lurking_ on a site like this is atypical. Active participants on Baen's Bar, whatever delusions they may have on the subject, were according to him about as far from the 'normal' customer profile as you are likely to get. Which is why he would bounce ideas off us, but didn't put a lot of stock in things like enthusiastic recommendations of brilliant new authors or resounding condemnations of bestsellers who'd 'jumped the shark' :P
And he was right.

A long time ago, I attended an SF fanclub meeting, where Tor Editor in Chief Beth Meachum was a guest speaker. She talked about Piers Anthony's Xanth series, got a chorus of groans, and said "Don't groan people! That stuff sells!" A new Xanth novel might get a print run of 250,000 copies. A new novel by a first author might get one a tenth of that if it was lucky. She made it quite plain that we as the audience for her talk represented a tiny fraction of the total market, and if Tor published only what we liked, they'd be belly up in a heartbeat.
______
Dennis
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