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Posted by: ph page 14 photograph: von Falkenhausen?
Posted on: 08/10/2017 19:37:34

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Posted by: ph
Total Posts: 8
Joined Date: Friday, 12 February 2016

Hi, reading the book, in page 14 the photograph that is supossed to be of von Falkenhausen is of von Falkenhayn (German Army Chief of Staff 1914-1916). Dioes Osprey have a photograph of von Falkenhausen during his China years?

Thank you

Posted on: 08/10/2017 19:37:35
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 285
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

Osprey's proof-reading and editorial policies continue to be of very low standard. It frequently appears that they throw the entire effort to check facts on the shoulders of the author and no attempt is made to make sure of anything before publishing, so if the author slips up the buyer is left with a faulty product. Even such obvious steps as adding errata to subsequent editions is frequently ignored. Frankly mistaking Von Falkenhausen for Von Falkenhyn is laughable and brings the whole company into poor repute.  

Posted on: 09/10/2017 10:54:33
Posted by: KenA
Total Posts: 104
Joined Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ah yes, I know, and we’ve heard it all before - “All dem von Germans look the same”.  Admittedly mistakes will happen from time to time but all material (including photos) for inclusion in a book should be checked and if possible cross-checked to ensure mistakes do not arise.  In this particular instance the misidentification of the photo could lie with either the author, Benjamin Lai, or the source, Getty Images.  In either event it was obviously a First World War photo and was not an image from around the period covered by the book.  So, why include such a photo in the first place?

Painty raises a very good point about the standard of Osprey proof-reading and editing.  From where I sit Osprey seems more concerned about book format and word count than it is about book content.  Things like proof-reading seem to be left largely to the author and, as anyone who has done any amount of writing knows, the last person who should do the final proof-reading is the author because he/she reads what should be there rather than what is there.  Osprey is notorious for producing paperback books littered with errors that any decent proof-reader would have picked up.  I have given up trying to get Osprey to change its policy on proof-reading.  Osprey seems quite content with mediocrity.

Posted on: 09/10/2017 21:55:07
Posted by: OspreyRich
Total Posts: 21
Joined Date: Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Thank you PH for flagging up the error in this title and I’m sorry it happened. It will be corrected in the ebook and in subsequent print editions as we always do.

We’ve investigated how the error happened and it does start with an incorrectly labelled photograph from Getty Images that we missed.

All of our books are independently copyedited and the proofread by two different publishing professionals, either internally or externally. We put a significant amount of time and money into bringing the book to print. What we don’t, and can’t do, is fact check every title nor is there any general peer review or academic read process which would add cost, labour and time to a tightly managed and budgeted process.

With subjects ranging from the Ancient Near East to technical histories of 21st century weaponry we cannot expect editors to be experts in all things, we need to rely on the authors to have the expert knowledge and the editor’s role is more to flag up inconsistencies, point out where elements are not properly explained and highlight where things do not feel right. Often our editor’s do more than that where they do pick up on historical errors but ultimately we don’t ask this of them. They are incredibly committed and hardworking people, managing a process that keeps a constant supply of books coming through year after year.

Mistakes will inevitably be made, both by authors and editors, but we do try as much as we can to eliminate them. We are sorry about this one. We’ll correct it and learn from it.

 

 

Posted on: 10/10/2017 10:47:48
Posted by: ph
Total Posts: 8
Joined Date: Friday, 12 February 2016

Thank you for your answer Rich,

mistakes happen (there is a misspelling in my initial post). One issue, will Osprey share the new photograph with people that have already bought the book?. Just showing it in the forum would be enough for me.

Regards

Posted on: 11/10/2017 17:17:59
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 170
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

Nice response rich. I for one don't find the books mediocre and if I did it wouldn't pay for membership. As phone says mistakes do happen, it's just a fact of life.

Posted on: 31/10/2017 14:14:37
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 285
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

I'm sorry Paul, but "mistakes do happen" is hardly an acceptable attitude to take when publishing a book that is expected to taken as an accurate reference. Osprey have been in this business for a very long time and should have some sort of routine in place for checking what they publish so that howlers like this do not occur.

 

 I did not call their book mediocre, but I do approach some of their authors with great caution.

 

 

Posted on: 03/11/2017 08:01:15
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 170
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

Painty it appears you've made a couple of mistakes yourself. Firstly it was ph who put mistakes happen not me and secondly I didn't say you called the book mediocre it was KenA that used that phrase. So I suppose mistakes do happen!

Posted on: 03/11/2017 14:07:33
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 285
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

Paul W, my appologies for misatributing you. But I still feel that "mistakes do happen" can never be considered acceptable in any attempt to publish history.

Posted on: 03/11/2017 14:23:55
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 170
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

I may be a bit more forgiving than you then painty. My original comment was to thank rich for what I thought was a honest and informative response. The fact that they do publish approximately a dozen or so books a month on average on a massive range of topics at a relatively reasonable price, does seem to explain why mistakes do happen from time to time. I'd prefer that they continue what they are doing currently (and as rich says they are proofread twice and editored) rather than have one or two books at a much higher price that have been checked by an expert in that particular field, if one could be found, that has already written on the subject themselves.

Posted on: 03/11/2017 18:17:07
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 285
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

Your points are well made, Paul W. And I accept that the affordability of Ospreys may go some way towards compensating for the ocassional lapse in details. However I have to say that I found Ospreyrich's expanation slightly disingenuous. On the one hand he said: "...All our books are independantly copyedited and proofread by two diferent publishing professionals..." But then he says: "... but what we don't, and can't, do is fact-check every title..." So as I said in my first post this throws all the responsibilty for turning in an accurate narrative onto the author. And inevitably not all authors are rigorous to the same degree.

Posted on: 03/11/2017 18:49:57
Posted by: ph
Total Posts: 8
Joined Date: Friday, 12 February 2016

Hi Paul W, Painty,

just to give my opinion on my "mistakes happen" comment: I was just trying to look for a solution for people like me that had already bought the book and would like to have the correct photograph, no need to pour scorn on past deeds after Rich's explanation.I guess we are all mostly satisfied core clients of Osprey, so just flagging issues here.

Actually, the photograph wrongly included in the book is a very famous one, the official photo of Von Falkenhayn as Prussian War Minister and then Chief of the General Staff (photoshop á la WW I). I cannot believe any author would have overlooked it Painty, this is most probably an intern's mistake. Anyway, a pretty embarrasing one, if it had been me doing the mistake.

Posted on: 03/11/2017 22:21:50
Posted by: KenA
Total Posts: 104
Joined Date: Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Oh dear me.  Paul W, if you are going to attribute things to me then perhaps you might try and do me the honour of keeping things in context.  When I used the word ‘mediocrity’ I used it in relation to the errors in Osprey paperbacks and the need for proper proof-reading.  So the mediocrity refers to the standard of proof-reading and editing; nothing more.

I would also make the point that it doesn’t require an expert in the field to proof-read a book prior to publication.  Electronic spell checkers of course should be used where possible but the best human proof-readers are often people who don’t know a great deal about the subject and are, therefore, prepared to question anything that ‘sticks out’.  Such people would need to have a reasonable grasp of English grammar, a good general knowledge, sound common sense, a keen eye, and be thorough and methodical.  It has been my experience (and it has been fairly extensive) over the years that, in general, women (and I don’t mean young women) make far better proof-readers than men.

Leaving aside the major errors like the one ph has raised here, there are still a lot of elementary spelling errors slipping through the system and getting into final print in Osprey books.  This is despite the copyediting and proof-reading efforts of OspreyRich’s two publishing professionals.  You told a great story OspreyRich but it doesn’t hold up too well.  I suggest you sack your two professionals and hire a couple of intelligent women to do the job instead.

Posted on: 04/11/2017 00:55:21
Posted by: PAUL W
Total Posts: 170
Joined Date: Sunday, 4 January 2015

KenA I'm just glad I don't have the misfortune to work for you. Also I hope for the sake of most of the osprey staff you're not likely to be taking over in the foreseeable future!

Posted on: 04/11/2017 14:46:04
Posted by: OspreyRich
Total Posts: 21
Joined Date: Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I’m also glad you are not taking over soon KenA! Although if you did you may find a greater appreciation for the work that the women and men (of all ages) of Osprey do to keep this show on the road and to keep providing the number of books per year that we do. Publishing is not a business in which anyone gets rich, the people who work here, work hard with enthusiasm and commitment and they bring out some brilliant books, on time, on budget and covering topics which simply wouldn’t get published elsewhere.

I should say that I’m not being complacent about mistakes being made. They do happen, in every walk of life, including those where the consequences are far, far greater than a typo in a book but that doesn’t stop us striving for better. We’ve spent time looking at this mistake and trying to prevent it happening in the future.

I would ask you to remember that we are all less temperate in print than we are face to face and that words sting. That accusations of ‘mediocrity’ and suggestions of sacking are neither helpful nor positive. We want to hear about our mistakes so we can do our best to correct them. Ultimately we are all here because we enjoy (to some level or another) Osprey books. If we don’t we should be someplace else.

Posted on: 06/11/2017 09:38:34

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