Saturday, October 25, 2008



On both the Amazon page for my book and on the publisher's page, a new entry has been added under the "praise for this book" section. It's the blurb from my college's alumni magazine, which the bookshelf editor merely took from the jacket copy. While that's bad enough -- since it clearly repeats information that's available in the copy on both of these web pages -- what's really embarrassing are the following two details: 1) Medieval is misspelled. Badly. 2) The "review" is credited to me! (And in a sense, that's true, since I wrote the jacket copy, but I certainly didn't "review" my own book and misspell medieval!!)


I wrote to Amazon when I first noticed it, but it hasn't been removed. And only now did I realize it may originate with my own publisher. D'oh. Should I bother tracking down all manifestations of this and getting them removed? Or is life too short? Will my scholarly reputation survive?


Dr. Crazy said...

I'd probably contact the publisher, and impress upon them that this "blurb" could hurt sales. My hope would be that they would then do all of the necessary tracking down and fixing?

medievalkarl said...

Probably not too late to change your profession to, say, midevilist.

Anonymous said...

But what if you want to be a maximum evilist? They get better uniforms!

Anonymous said...

I second that, tempests--set the controls for Maximum Evil!

...but yeah, a screw-up like this would of course make my head explode instantly, as you well know. But anybody reading is going to care far more about the Real Live favorable reviews than about the poorly-edited jacket copy.

And my instinct is to blame Amazon, not so much the publisher. You see this stuff on there all the time--you know they've gotta have nineteen-year-old interns doing "data entry." Whereas maybe I have an idealized view of university press copy editors, but I've gotta figure they at least know about spell-checking.

Dr. Virago said...

Heh heh. You guys are funny.

Dedalus -- I think you're right that the screw up originated with Amazon. My alumni mag copied the jacket copy (which is error free) correctly in their blurb. Then either the 19 year old interns at Amazon picked it up and then my publisher's 19 year old interns for the marketing division picked that up, or vice versa. Like you, I've gotta think that my publisher has better 19 year interns. Indeed, they probably went to my college.

Wait...Oh no...Now I think it did originate with my publisher. The 19 year old interns were probably reading the alum mag and said, "Oh look, one of our books!" That explains the typo. Someone who picked it up from the web edition would have cut and pasted, wouldn't they?