Baerbel Haddrell wrote:
I don`t know if that would help but why not start each description in this catalogue with something like “This is a preliminary description and subject to change”.
Because the people that the catalog is meant
to be read by already know that -- and so should any reader who's ever read one of those descriptions and then found the final book to be different from what it claimed. And because it would be annoying and redundant to put the same disclaimer at the start of every one of the dozens and dozens of entries in the catalog.
Ultimately, it's caveat emptor
. Individuals should be capable of applying skepticism as a matter of course, without needing constant disclaimers to remind them of what should be common sense. People who just uncritically swallow what they hear have only themselves to blame when they get it wrong.
The problem is, when people look at descriptions for example at Amazon they read the text and it does not even occur to them that this is not necessarily the final version. Without reading the Trek BBS and Psi Phi, I wouldn`t even know that such catalogues exist.
Yes, of course, you can see the real version after you bought the book. But I think you should not underestimate how important first impressions can be. An interesting, appealing cover is no less important than a backcover description that grabs people`s attention. I pre-order most of my books on the Internet instead of waiting until I can read the real back cover text in a bookshop before buying it.