I love checking galley proofs for typos. No, really. It beats whacking myself on the big toe with a hammer any time. And it beats the sense of mortification that steals over you when you open your latest first edition and realize you've mis-spelled the main protagonist's name in the first paragraph, and your editor, copy editor, and the external proofreader have all missed it. (This hasn't happened to me, yet, but it's happened to other authors I know.) It is, basically, a necessary evil, and part of the job of being a writer.
As Linus Torvalds pointed out in another context, "many eyes make bugs transparent". The more pairs of eyeballs that scan a page, the greater the probability that one pair will stumble over a glitch in the prose. And these days, paperback proofs are prepared by simply re-running the Quark or InDesign files for the hardcover edition, using a different paper size (and tweaking the front matter, and correcting any typos that have been unearthed by the several thousand readers to date).
This is the season of proofreading, and I need to know: if you've spotted any glitches in the hardcover of THE CLAN CORPORATE (Tor, March 2006) you can do your bit to help preserve my sanity (and tidy up the mass-market paperback) by mentioning it in the comment section of this blog entry. And while I'm on the subject, if you spot anything problematic in the hardcover of THE JENNIFER MORGUE, I could do with a heads-up. (GLASSHOUSE is too far on in production — the paperbacks are being printed Real Soon Now.)
Thanks in advance!