Emergency Stop …

Pulp Fiction screamed the inevitable headlines as news emerged last week of the pulping of thousands of copies of Omid Scobie’s latest book End Game.

It’s the most recent of his books on the Royal Family and the Dutch edition is already on its way to the shredders.

But it was only once the books had hit the shelves that someone spotted an absolute howler and hit the emergency stop button like their life depended on it.

The consequences of the legal firestorm that would have followed could have been catastrophic for all concerned.

So, no one was about to take any risks.

How big the editorial team at the Dutch publishers is or how many proofreads there may have been no one knows.

But what is certain is that numerous pairs of hawk-like eyes will have pored over every word.

In the field of proofreading, these guys are trained killers and can spot an aberrant apostrophe at 100 metres.

But not this one.

As a result, the compost didn’t hit the air conditioning until the books had been printed and released to a select group of journalists a week ahead of schedule.

There’s a moral in this story and it grieves me to say it but too many typos, misprints and egregious errors go unspotted until it’s too late.


Because most people are not trained proof-readers. The process is rushed and most check their own work when a second, fresh pair of eyes is what is really needed.

The fallout is almost always costly and hugely embarrassing for all concerned.

So, take your time, check the main details such as phone numbers, email, and web addresses, then names, dates, and prices. And then check them again.

And most importantly of all, don’t do it yourself. Get someone else to check it.

Happy hunting.

Until next time.