Fixing a mistake in our book. Our apologies!

And, some thoughts on how easy it is to make mistakes and continue to be blind to them.

Writing a book is an ultra-challenging mission.  It is far more than finding the most effective way to express what you have in your mind.  It certainly involves the especially difficult task of putting yourself in the shoes of the reader wondering whether the text is clear enough, and interesting enough to motivate the reader to continue.

There is much more.  You need to look for mistakes.

Having spent twelve years of my life in programming I know what every code writer knows so well:  it is damn easy to produce bugs!  It is so common that no programmer in the world claims that he/she has learned to write code that works right first time.  A positive side in the programming culture is that programmers are not blamed for bugs, as long as they are quick to fix them.

Writing a book is not so different from writing code, just much more challenging.  This means we are constantly introducing mistakes into our writing.  Reading back what we wrote isn’t good enough.  When you have the meaning of the sentence in your mind, you may fail to see that what appears on the page isn’t what you meant.  Thus, publishing houses employ editors trained to read text with the purpose of discovering some of the writer mistakes.  My assumption is that many mistakes still exist in any book.

We refer to the following book, which has been published and printed after all the careful editing that we have done:

Cover (1)

So, there we were, preparing for the webinar “Building a Bridge of Understanding,” when we suddenly discovered that the following table from our book does not represent the specific case.  Here is the table that looks quite normal:

Table 7‑3:  Alternative Accounting Treatments

table 1

The problem is that the real cost of Materials and Freight is not $300,000, which is based on 10,000 sold units with a materials cost per unit of $30.  While 10,000 units were sold, the company actually produced 14,286 units.  So, the real cost of materials purchased and used in production is 428,580.  The correct table should be:

Table 7‑3:  Alternative Accounting Treatments

table 2

It is particularly difficult to fix finished books.  We delivered the corrected table to the publishers but what has been printed contains the mistaken table.  Here is a link that allows you to download a PDF file where you can easily print the fixed table, cut the margins, and put it onto the flawed table in the book: https://www.dropbox.com/s/699x01nqouibaeq/Table%207.3%20corrections%20with%20Border%20Cut%20Guide.pdf?dl=0

Let me emphasize, we have found a mistake only in the table, not in the text itself.  As we mentioned, we still might have made other mistakes here and there.

So, readers of the book, be aware of the mistake and the fixed table.  Please let us know if you find one!

For all others who do not have the book, but the topic seems interesting, have a look at the page in my blog describing the need and the key questions answered by the content of the book.  Here is the link to this page: https://elischragenheim.com/toc-economics-top-management-decision-support/

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Eli Schragenheim

My love for challenges makes my life interesting. I'm concerned when I see organizations ignore uncertainty and I cannot understand people blindly following their leader.

4 thoughts on “Fixing a mistake in our book. Our apologies!”

  1. Dear Eli,

    This makes you unique.

    Normally, people copy-paste for training.

    A lesson gor all of us..

    Also, it takes courage to admit it.

    I salute you, Eli!

    With best regards
    M G Agarwal

    Like

  2. Thanks Eli for the explanation of the bug, but i can’t print the table because I bought an eBook not a printed version 🙂

    Regards,
    Luis Cristovao

    Like

  3. Some studies place the error rate in scientific peer-reviewed papers at about one per page. And some errors matter more than others. Fortunately, yours does not alter your conclusions. There are plenty of authors who deny obvious errors or staunchly defend conclusions rendered questionable by errors. Thus, you’ve done us readers a service by issuing an honest correction. Don’t beat yourself up. Despite due diligence, some errors are inevitable. Move on…
    https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/115/11/2563.full.pdf

    Like

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