From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 04 Feb 2003

John Williams noted he:
> Recently had an uncorrected proof of
> Crais' Hostage - obviously not a finished book as it was clearly
> photocopied form the author's manuscript - including a chapter in which
> incautious use of the old 'find and replace' function - presumably to
> a character's name from Don to Larry - resulted in people saying to each
> other things like 'I larry't believe you.'

As a copyeditor, I see this a lot and try not to commit it myself. [Note to authors: Do not double space between sentences. Somebody's got to go through the manuscript and delete all those extra spaces and may, in the process, make a mess.]

Al Guthrie wrote:
>Depends, as John says. When I first started >working in the book trade six
>years ago, proofs were very popular, and >very badly constructed. There
>no cover art, poor quality paper, etc. You >could tell there were going to
>be errors. And, my goodness, there were. >Nowadays, proofs tend to look
>more like the final book version, with >"uncorrected proof copy" written in
>place of a barcode, and, in my experience, >there are fewer errors. ARCs
>these days tend to be the finished product >with an indelible sticker
>on the barcode to stop it being sold. Some >publishers (Headline, I think)
>write "advanced reading copy" in place of >the barcode instead of
>"uncorrected proof copy", because it >sounds better. Having said all that,
>errors in proof copies are usually spotted >before final print. If you
>an ARC with a sticker covering the barcode, >it's probably too late.

No, there's no bar code on it. The exterior looks like a trade paperback, although it's to be published as a hardback, and printed on the front is
"Advance reading copy. Not for sale." It's supposed to go on sale in March, so it's too late for me to stop the presses, but from what you're saying some proofreader has seen the same copy I have and will have changed "sight" to "site" and so on. (I used to love working with those huge galley proofs, but they're pretty rare these days.)

And then Bill Crider reassured:
>The ARC is usually printed from the uncorrected proof
>copy. So it should all be cleaned up before the book

Good. Then I'll just try to ignore all the misspellings and infelicities and concentrate on the plot and the characters. And vow never again to try to review an ARC.
    Thanks, guys, Joy

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