I received an email from Amazon Kindle several days ago saying that a reader had reported “T’on Ma” for a typo. Would I please correct it.
What? I mean…what??
Being reported for spewing racial hatred, or depraved sexual content, or even for being lethally boring – sure. But a typo?
What was the typo, one might wonder. Guilelessly was spelled “guilessly”. After several read-throughs by my editor and myself, we both missed it.
At a book fair years ago, I had one author tell me he spent an inordinate amount of time hunting those little buggers down. He even read the sentences backwards so what he meant to say wouldn’t cloud what was actually typed. Sure enough, when he got his first order of paperbacks in, what was the first thing his wife saw? A *#*^@ typo.
I discussed this problem with my best friend shortly after the release of my western “Tascosa”. She commiserated with me and said, “I know what you mean. In your book, the first thing I saw was that you had typed ‘road’ when you meant ‘rode’.” I think I whimpered.
This leads me to a firm belief rooted in years of experience and observation. Editors and proofreaders are like a powerful disinfectant. They can kill 99.9% of typos and homonym hiccups, but there will be a stubborn remnant that WILL get through.
Now, to the readers who find these rare gems in our tomes, please understand the amount of work it takes to get a book to press. The attention to detail is enormous and time-consuming. When you discover a typo, it shouldn’t reduce our work by two stars. It doesn’t make the book “horribly written,” (as I had one reviewer complain).
Please understand – typos happen.