Slingin' Sam by Joe Holley

Slingin' Sam by Joe Holley

Postby Mark » Wed Apr 20, 2022 7:28 pm

I really enjoyed the book https://www.amazon.com/Slingin-Sam-Grea ... op?ie=UTF8 however my enthusiasm was dampened by the number of errors concerning scores, statistics, etc. If a book has things in it that I know are wrong then how much confidence can I have in the things I don't know about? I don't think any of the errors alter the basic narrative of his career but still the correct information is out there in so many sources. As a person who knows next to nothing about the book publishing business I am wondering how does this happen? [the first reviewer on Amazon lists some of the errors but there were others]
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Re: Slingin' Sam by Joe Holley

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Fri May 27, 2022 10:18 am

A few reasons could have contributed to the errors. It's possible that the publisher gave him an aggressive timeline to finish the book and he didn't have time to double triple check a few facts -- specifically stats. The editor(s) usually only check for spelling/grammar errors -- the publisher doesn't hire football stat fact-checkers. University presses work with a tiny fraction of the budgets that Random House and Simon and Schuster have. There likely weren't any "ghost readers" as the reviewer wondered about -- especially at a university press. Texas has a pretty good university press. The reviewer wondered why it wasn't on TCU press, and there are a number of reasons why that may have happened. UT might have asked him to write it, the author might have known somebody, TCU might not publish sports biographies, TCU might not have had the budget for it, a lot of reasons. Maybe the writer went to UT and had a connection there. Maybe he lives in Austin and met the UT Press sports acquisition editor at dinner.

I haven't read the book, but Joe Holley is an experienced writer. There is a ton of work that goes into writing and researching a book and later editing and extra layers of fact-checking. It's virtually impossible to catalog the hours involved. Just because a few things were missed/not corrected in the final stages -- especially stats from 70+ years ago that are a number or two off, that doesn't mean that the entire work is faulty. My guess is the vast majority is likely well done and well researched as most books at the university press level are.
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