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Re: TLW and JP and the accuracy of authors
Having been on all sides of the publishing biz, I assure you that
conscientious editors, writers et al want their magazine articles, books,
etc., accurate. But checking and doublechecking, like girl dino writer says,
can send schedules into never-never land.
Editors are stuck with space limitations and deadlines that often mean
left-out details that can alter meanings.
And FEW writers are allowed the luxury of "having the final say." Maybe true
in the scientific textbook world, but not very many places. I remember an
editor pulling out her hair because an author had sent back NINE sets of
total galley revisions; on the final one he'd written, "I've really tried to
improve it again, but this time I think I have it right..." To him, galleys
were just another opportunity to tinker with words.
I've seen and heard news media hang up the phone and trash the story when
they were asked if the source could have a look at the article before it
goes to press. Most news media are writing six or eight stories a day every
day and trying to make sure their paper (or news service) is the first one
out there with the news.
At some point you trust the other individual in the transaction in hopes
that they will write the right thing/edit with a modicum of understanding.
You trust because you have no choice.
But the English language has too many variables and nuances, and one word
may mean something totally different to someone else (i.e., our thread on
And so, after recently spending literally hours explaining to a young writer
about the fossils on the hill, I read myself misquoted (not having supposed
to be quoted at all), as saying that we have dug up THREE FULLY ARTICULATED
DINOSAUR FOSSILS on the hill (Warm Springs Ranch) -- and then naming the
specific ones! And of course this is just the kind of thing that is picked
up by headline writers who skim for the sensational.
It's a wonder anything RIGHT gets printed with all the steps involved.
Education Director, Big Horn Basin Foundation
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center
OCTOBER IS NATIONAL DINOSAUR MONTH!
OCTOBER IS WYOMING DINOSAUR MONTH (by governor's proclamation)
Take a dinosaur to lunch!
> ave to be the case.
> > In your contract/letter agreement/whatever, request final approval of
> > any changes to your submitted text. It's done all of the time.
> > You don't have to be Patricia Lauber to get it. If your publisher
> > claims to offer non-fiction, then how can they say no to you with a
> > clear conscience?
> > Take it from someone who has his finger on the pulse of publishing!
> > Larry
> OUCH! Of course Larry didn't mean to slap me in the face and imply my
> decade of experience counts for absolutely nothing. And of course,
> there are houses devoted to accuracy. However, those of us slaving away
> to make a living as writers aren't always able to cling only to those
> better houses.
> But then maybe I don't have my finger on the right pulse.