Being a first-time author is full of surprises, some good and some...not so much. An example of the former would be my first 5-star review on Amazon, about a month after The Job To Be Done was published (thank you Dave!). An example of the latter would no doubt be my first email pointing out a factual error in the text. Oh boy, that stung! The manuscript went through multiple rounds of editing, fact checking and proof reading, but somehow some clangers got through. I was so proud of all the meticulous research I had done, checking and rechecking my facts, but you know what they say about pride, and where it goeth....
The first mistake that was pointed out to me is on page 74 of the hardcover edition – the first 1,000 bomber raid of the war was, of course, in 1942 not 1943. A few more rolled in over the course of the next few months, as more people read the book. My eagle-eyed brother Stu pointed out that my story of Bob McWhirter’s trip home after his time overseas contained some sloppy geography. On page 211 I relate that Bob arrived in Montreal and then took a train East home to Prince Albert – he, of course, travelled west. I tried to fake my older brother out by replying that Prince Albert was moved to it’s present location in the 1950’s, but he didn’t fall for it....
Another error is repeated twice (on page 43 and 44), where I label the Personnel Reception Centre in Bournemouth a “receiving centre” by mistake.
I have saved the worst and most embarrassing for last. A kind reader recently contacted me via this website to tactfully point out that the Prime Minister of Canada during the Second World War was William Lyon McKenzie King, not Lester Pearson (page 10)! Ouch.
I have gathered all the errors, tiny and not so tiny, on an errata sheet that at present totals ten items. When I am sure I have them all, I hope to publish a second edition of the book, with the corrections made. And my advice to any aspiring non-fiction writers out there is that you can never do too much fact-checking, preferably before publishing!