From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes this news, shocking in the publishing industry:
Princeton University Press has recalled all copies of one of its spring titles after discovering more than 90 spelling and grammar errors in the 245-page work. The book, Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore’s Eastern District, by Peter Moskos, was published on Thursday in an initial press run of 4,000 copies.University presses have a reputation for paying freelancers, both copyeditors and proofreaders, very little, and back when I was closer to being a greenhorn, a few university presses proved that reputation correct by balking at the amounts on invoices I sent them for my editing services. I quickly dropped such presses from my clientele because strangely, I'm fond of being able to afford shelter, food, and living and business expenses.
In what appears to be a first, the press plans to reprint the book and have it back in stores later this month, after the errors have been corrected. ...
"I was flabbergasted and embarrassed," said Peter Dougherty, the press's director. "This is a terribly embarrassing matter for Princeton University Press." ...
He said that Mr. Moskos's manuscript had been given to an inexperienced copy editor who failed to do the job properly. "We take a lot of pride in the quality of our copy editing," he said, citing the publisher's 103-year track record. "In this case, we messed up very, very badly." ...
The thought that comes to mind with the Princeton debacle is that you get what you pay for. But did the author, who has blogged about the mess, not review the copyedited manuscript or page proofs—or was the last time he saw his manuscript the day he handed it, unedited, over to the press at the beginning of the production process? He doesn't say. Did the press's in-house production editors not do any kind of review at any stage? Did the press not bother with a proofreader after page makeup? Is the press's budget so small that it can pay for only one set of editorial eyes per manuscript?
Princeton just can't blame this whole embarrassing spectacle solely on the copyeditor. Publishing a high-quality book takes a whole chain of professionals in various subspecialties.
*If the manuscript for the soon-to-be redone book was edited on hard copy (paper), the copyeditor would likely have used some kind of colored pencil. It if was edited onscreen, the copyeditor would probably have used Microsoft Word's "track changes" function to show edits.
copyeditor copyediting editor editing publishing Princeton University Press EditorMom