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5/13/2020 9:05 pm  #1


The Current State of the Publishing Industry

First up, I've titled this topic more broadly than I want at the moment because I think it might be useful in future as a landing place for related discussions.

But what I want to focus on right now is a sub-topic of that - editing and copy-editing.

As part of my research restarting, I've been re-reading CJC titles in various pieces and formats while fact-checking material I've previously collected,  It has been an illuminating experience in some ways and frustrating in others.

Here's an example.  There's a chapter in Merchanter's Luck where Lucy's destination from Pell Station is continually misidentified as Voyager Station, not Venture Station in the Hinder Stars as is clearly intended by the overall plot of the book. It's fixed in the next chapter, but it's still annoying.  It's been there since the original edition, and it has propagated into the ebook version of the Alliance Space paperback omnibus. I can sort of understand that - why re-edit or copy-edit a book again if it's not strictly necessary?

But, between the print version and the ebook version, the word 'occultation', originally used correctly, has mysteriously morphed to 'óccupation' which renders the sentence to meaningless garbage. How does this happen?  Formatting software problems?  Illiterate operators?  Who knows.

I do know I've seen examples of this before, where words are changed between new editions of a book, and the original meaning just goes out the window.  It's frustrating enough as a reader.  I can only imagine what it must be like for the author.
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It's a strange world.  Let's keep it that way.
 

5/14/2020 8:37 am  #2


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

I had similar annoying issues with the Foreigner series on my last reread. There were significant plot issues that were misremembered in the last volume from the immediately prior one, for example. I do see that in a twenty volume series authorial errors can creep in, but I would think that just means it’s all the more important for an editor to focus on exactly that problem, as it is certainly foreseeable (and of course, forgivable in the author). It didn’t really take  me all that long to reread the series upon publication of volume 20, and to spot a number of problems, all of which could have easily been fixed, and it isn’t even my job. I found it very surprising and I would have thought the editor would have brought this to CJC’s attention.
(I hope it’s okay to mention this again, I vented at length in the other place when it first occurred.)

 

5/15/2020 12:51 am  #3


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

Aggravating. But on another note, this is reminiscent to me of academic study of the lineages of various versions of ancient books, especially books like the Koran, the Torah, and early elements of the New Testament. Mistakes that are perpetuated in later editions are descendants of their earlier forbears. In this way sources and origins can be tracked and traced, leading to greater understanding of the origins of these significant works. Very interesting detective work. Less so in regard to the works of CJC

Last edited by starexplorer (5/15/2020 12:52 am)


One world -- or none
 

5/15/2020 7:21 am  #4


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

I would guess that some of those distorting interpretations and translations reflect the subconscious cultural attitudes, biases and assumptions of the times in which they occurred, Star. Fascinating indeed to consider; I am imagining a life equipped to do that work, and spent doing it, as I sit here looking out my window at the groundhogs.....

 

5/15/2020 10:15 am  #5


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

Kokipy wrote:

I would guess that some of those distorting interpretations and translations reflect the subconscious cultural attitudes, biases and assumptions of the times in which they occurred, Star. Fascinating indeed to consider; I am imagining a life equipped to do that work, and spent doing it, as I sit here looking out my window at the groundhogs.....

There might be some of that. But most that I’ve read about are content-neutral errors like single letter substitutions and the like that just serve to flag genetic relationships among texts.


One world -- or none
 

5/15/2020 6:41 pm  #6


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

starexplorer wrote:

[There might be some of that. But most that I’ve read about are content-neutral errors like single letter substitutions and the like that just serve to flag genetic relationships among texts.

That is indeed fascinating, particularly when one blends in changes in language evolution  over time - I'm thinking Latin to Italian, ancient to modern Greek and so forth - as well as contemporary context, common  usage and dialect changes etc.  I ask myself, for example, what would the term 'social distancing' possibly have meant twelve months ago?

 


It's a strange world.  Let's keep it that way.
     Thread Starter
 

5/16/2020 3:19 am  #7


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

Surtac wrote:

starexplorer wrote:

[There might be some of that. But most that I’ve read about are content-neutral errors like single letter substitutions and the like that just serve to flag genetic relationships among texts.

That is indeed fascinating, particularly when one blends in changes in language evolution  over time - I'm thinking Latin to Italian, ancient to modern Greek and so forth - as well as contemporary context, common  usage and dialect changes etc.  I ask myself, for example, what would the term 'social distancing' possibly have meant twelve months ago?

 

i don’t know, but I see a potential game here. Relocating while retaining one’s friendships?
 


One world -- or none
 

5/16/2020 3:33 pm  #8


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

From what I understand publishers are going light on editing and editors these days. Seems like they take every opportunity to make a nickle. There is more pressure to submit something that is finely honed. 

This is a fascinating topic, though.


“The criminal is a creative artist; detectives are just critics.”
― Hannu Rajaniemi, The Quantum Thief
Joined Sep 2, 2009
 
 

5/16/2020 4:18 pm  #9


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

I am blessed (?) to be very insensitive to mistakes in the grammars. Plot holes and such are annoying, but as I get older, no as much. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons2/big-grin.png

 

5/16/2020 6:45 pm  #10


Re: The Current State of the Publishing Industry

The other place I'm noticing it a lot is in the content published on news media websites.  I guess there it's all about speed of publication and getting eyeballs on screens as fast as possible.  Actually having competent sub-editors to get the grammar, spelling and word choice correct seems to have gone by the wayside completely.
 


It's a strange world.  Let's keep it that way.
     Thread Starter
 

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