Wednesday, December 28, 2005


The email below came to me today. 

Attention Sandra Scoppettone

I don't know if it is bad etiquette, but I have to draw your attention on a "faute de fran�ais" in your book "This Dame for hire" on page 91. It should read "ma�tre d'" with the "accent circonflexe" on the i and not on the a. Since the mistake is repeated four times (pages 91, 92, 93 and 97) the honneur of France is of course at stake. "Ma�tre d'h�tel" is a French name. You may want those mistakes to be corrected in the additional prints which this very good novel will surely have.
Please disregard the above if it has already been pointed out to you.
Sincerely, Jean-Fran�ois Landeau
I’m sure that’s the way I wrote it, but shouldn’t someone have caught this mistake?  Someone like a copy-editor?  A proof reader?  The writer of the email is kind to think there’ll be further printings.  There won’t.  Except for the paperback.  Should I send this email to my new editor and be considered a pain in the ass, or should I let it go and continue to appear uneducated to readers?
Fifteen years ago this would never have happened.  That is why I’m less than happy about some of the things that now go on in publishing.
I hope no one suggests that I should be so grateful to be published that I shouldn’t  care about so small an error.

1 comment:

the determined dieter said...

My advice is to just let it go. I know it's annoying to have mistakes in your work. Believe me, I know. I've had editors PUT in errors where none existed. But unless you are writing for a Web site, where changes can be easily made, editors are going to be reluctant to make the change. It's also not such a big error. I've seen much worse in books today, though that doesn't say much for the publishing industry. It's hard. You are only one person, and as much as you try, mistakes will come through. It would be good if a copyeditor could eliminate them, but they're only human too. As long as it does not affect plot, I would let it go. You may or may not be seen as a pain to your editors if you bring it up. Do you want to take the risk?

And I'd be annoyed at the "fan" who wrote that letter. Geez. Did she have a microscope out or something?