Is it just me or am I starting to find typos more frequently than ever before? I’m not a copy-editor or a proofreader, so I don’t go looking for them. Unfortunately they find me.
My wife finds them regularly in the sports section of our daily newspaper (The Arizona Republic owned by the same people who own USA Today). It is embarrassing. I suspect budget cuts eliminated an extra set of eyes before going to press.
Last week I found one on someone’s business card…in their email address. (It changed the spelling of their name from a female name to a masculine name!)
I get it. “Fat Finger” typing on your phone, in concert with the nefarious “auto-complete” can make for some very odd emails or texts.
But what about your book proposal? I received one the other day that said, “I going to use this in a blob.” Another proposal pitched a book titled “8 Secrete Ways to Unleash….”
I’m glad those two weren’t for the same book. I don’t even want to think about a secreted blob… Especially eight of them.
A Couple Tips
Don’t be in a hurry. If it takes a few extra days to make sure everything is correct, it’s okay.
Read your work out loud. Even better, have someone else read it out loud to you.
Consider hiring a professional. In The Christian Writers Market Guide there are 70 pages of freelance editors who want to serve you.
Typos are part and parcel of the publishing experience. Recently one of our clients found 31 typos in her published book. After her multiple readings, after the substantive edit, after the copy edit, and after the proofreader. It happens. What we don’t know is how many they caught!
We have another client who found over 150 errors in her Advance Reader Copy (ARC). Apparently the editor pulled the wrong file to send to the typesetter and that version was printed and sent out to reviewers. Fortunately all were caught before the final edition went to press.
If we see them in your proposal we do tend to look past it. It is a “red” check mark in the mind, but we can be a forgiving lot. (See Tamela’s post on typos here) But it is better if we don’t find them.
If you are an indie author and typos are found you know you can update your ebook file fairly quickly. The print edition can be fixed as well. If you use print-on-demand uploading the new file will fix it all immediately. If you have remaining inventory, you have to decide if the typo(s) are egregious enough to mulch that inventory or try and sell them first before reprinting. I know of a major publisher that destroyed and reprinted an entire print run when a typo was found in the title, on the spine of the printed book.