What Typos Mean to Book Publishing – NYTimes.com

Better and faster (though not exactly). An interesting take on the resurgence of typos as publishers struggle to stay relevant and create product.

There is also “pressure to publish more books more quickly than ever,” an editor at a major publishing house explained. Many publishers now skip steps. “In the past, you really readied the book in several discrete stages,” Paul Elie, a senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, explained. “Manuscript, galley proofs, revised proofs, blue lines. You marked your changes at each stage, and then the compositor incorporated them and sent you the next stage. Now there are intermediate stages; authors will e-mail in ‘one last correction,’ or we’ll produce intermediate stages of proof — the text is fluid, in motion, and this leads to typos.”

And this curious (though not wholly unexpected) tidbit:

“Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales,” said a BBC headline last week. The article cited an analysis of British Web figures that suggested that a single spelling mistake on an e-commerce site can hurt credibility so much that online revenues fall by half.

I’ll admit, I was disgruntled at seeing a typo on the first page (I’m not kidding) of William Vollman’s Imperial. I wish I could remember what the typo was — I think it might have been the word “Imperial”, or something equally ridiculous.

(via NYTimes)