I’m going out on a limb here to say that the “perfect” computer book has yet to be published. Code errors, incorrect steps, typos, etc., somehow manage to infiltrate the book no matter how meticulous the development editor, copy editor and tech editor are. Everyone involved in the project generally works hard to eliminate the problems. It’s human nature to want to do a good job, right? It’s also human nature to make mistakes.
Some publishers don’t like to promote the fact that errata exist – they feel it’s an unnecessary admission of a less than perfect system. I don’t like to see errors in my books any more than the next publisher, but:
- I’m willing to admit they happen,
- I want to get corrections to customers as quickly/easily as possible, and, most importantly,
- I want to continue looking for ways to improve the system.
I think every book page on a publisher’s website should have an errata link. Shouldn’t we go further though and offer errata via RSS feeds so that customers won’t have to hunt for the corrections? Is this something you would like to see? What other suggestions do you have?