I must have been involved in the production of dozens of books, but the best bit is always opening the box that the printer sends, and taking a look at the physical artefact. One Wrox colleague of mine would invariably open the volume, press it to his face, and take a deep sniff.
When my glory copy of Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance plopped through the drawbridge of chateau Lawson, the first thing I did was be grateful it didn’t land on my foot. At 630 pages, it’s gigantic (at least 200 pages thicker than its precursor). It’s a fab feeling, holding a wodge of dead tree with your own words on it.
The next thing I did was to open it at a random page in one of my chapters. In publishing superstition, if the first thing you see is a typo, the book will sell well. Immediately, I spotted a typo: I’d written
“accessibility boors” rather than “bores”.
Worse than that, in the introduction I commit a cardinal sin that I only recently berated Andy Budd for:
One of my biggest bugbears, the Accessibility Old Wives’ Tale™, is to be found on page 130:“.. many screenreaders will ignore text between form elements, unless they are enclosed in a label.”So, which screenreaders are those? … So this is a plea to all authors, not just Budd: if you make statements like “some browsers” or “many screenreaders”, please identify the culprits.
And I went and wrote that “some screenreaders” can’t deal with
del, without telling the reader that I was talking about JAWS.
I know it’s only an introduction, and Jim Thatcher goes into great detail comparing screenreaders later on (who knew, for exmple, that implicitly associating an input field and a prompt by enclosing an input field in the
label causes the prompt to be ignored in three of the big four screenreaders?), but I need to apologise, readers, for my sloppy authoring there.
And apologies, Andy Budd.
But does a typo and an Accessibility Old Wives’ Tale™ guarantee doubly good sales?