Friday, July 17, 2009
The left at last
Woo hoo! I mailed my galleys back to NYU Press yesterday—and sure enough, caught a typo late last night. So I tossed and turned all night, dreaming of an eerie copyeditor who appears at my door saying, room for one more.... Did I mention that this will be my first book that includes a Tom Tomorrow cartoon? And that the cartoon was placed on the wrong page of the galleys? Fixing that little mistake will probably cost me as much as the reprint free I offered to Mr. Tomorrow. But at least I have my very own page at the NYUP website, with all the critical book-related information:
Release Date: 11/01/2009
352 pages, 1 illustrations
The 1 illustrations are just great. Thanks again, Mr. Tomorrow! And I think 978081479984 is just about my favorite ISBN number ever. I note with chagrin, however, that I am listed as “Michael F. Berube,” even though I last used my middle initial in 1974, sometime around the night Chicago died and Billy was advised not to be a hero. On the plus side, the cover is going to be Teh R0XX0r, with no ginormous ghostly looming heads or preternaturally large pieces of chalk.
So now I can finally answer Flavia’s question: If your book manuscript (or dissertation, or latest research project) were a piece of furniture, what would it be? Mine is a big, creaky old armoire I’ve been stuffing things into for the past five or six years. Last winter, when I finally finished stuffing things into it, I decided to paint some fire on the side and then hit it with a sledgehammer repeatedly—to make it look mean.
Also, I edited the index, which was done by a professional indexer who knew what he was doing. The subject listings and cross-referencings were intense. I did catch one curious mistake, though: my discussions of “class-first” leftists in chapter 5 were indexed as discussions of “first-class” leftists. As you might imagine, I was sorely tempted to go back into the manuscript and change “class-first” to “first-class,” since that would certainly put a fresh spin on the cultural left vs. reformist left debates of 1990s. That Gitlin fellow—he was one first-class leftist, he was. When I hit the road with Mike Tomasky, lemme tell ya, we always went first class.
Well, since Flavia has the manuscript-as-furniture question covered, my Arbitrary question for this Friday is this: what’s your very favorite typo in a published book or essay?