why it is hard to publish a book with zero errata

As Scott and are finishing up on Z0-815 book, I want to share an example of an error’s progress through the editing process.

We have a method. Pay careful attention to the name of the method:

public void requiresAssistance() { }

Then we reference the method: new MoreHelp().requireAssistance();.It’s an error. Let’s see what happens to it as the editing process proceeds:

  • Scott and I read each other’s chapter.
  • Our Tech Editor reads the Word document and runs all the examples. In theory it should get caught here. And most things do. But I’ve tech edited. There’s a lot to see and a ton of detail.
  • We reply to our tech editors comments.
  • The book gets turned into a PDF.
  • Our Tech Proofer reads the PDF. Excellent it got caught at this phase.
  • We submitted the request to change “requireAssistance” to “requiresAssistance”. Scott and I proofread each other’s change requests to ensure we don’t introduce more errors.
  • We got the final PDF back for review. (I’m not sure if this is part of the process, but we ask for them anyway). It says “requiresAssistence”.

We submitted a request to get this fixed before the book prints. But this shows how hard it is to get all the errors out of book. “Assistance” was spelled correclty in every draft and revision except the final one.

If you followed that process closely, the Tech Editor and Tech Proofer didn’t even have the opportunity to catch this. And it wasn’t created by the authors.

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  1. Pingback: Java Annotated Monthly – November 2019 | IntelliJ IDEA Blog

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