What do you mean the typos aren’t your fault?

I’m currently reading the last book in a series recommended to me by a friend who shares some of the same reading interests as me. I say “some” of the same reading interests because some of what he reads either would make me laugh when it was meant to make me cry or it would bore me to eleven pieces. Sorry Donald, to each their own dear. Anyway, I wasn’t going to disclose the author at first, but I’m not saying anything overtly negative (in fact, I’m enjoying the series very much), so here goes. I’m reading the Pine Deep Series (Ghost Road Blues, Dead Man’s Song, & Bad Moon Rising) by the quite well known Jonathan Maberry. I’ll post full reviews on my Books I’ve Read In Bed page as soon as I finish reading the last book, but for right now I want to talk about something else that’s troubling me: TYPOS.

I read a lot of Indie books and sadly they contain more than their fair share of typos because a lot of new authors are A. Super eager to get their work out there and B. Super broke and can’t afford an editor. But Mr Maberry is not an Indie Author. His books have won awards and stuff. He has a publisher. A pretty big one (Pinnacle Books via Kensington Publishing). Yet, throughout the series I found misspelled and missing words. What gives, Maberry?

Get this: it’s not his fault. To my surprise, when I was facebooking with my friend who recommended the series (because facebooking is the new phone call/email/text message), he mentioned that he read the books in paperback and didn’t recall any typos. Why should I take his word for it, you ask? Umm, only because he’s currently penning a non-fiction book on how to write better, that’s why. I would imagine that a person setting out to help writers write better would remember phantom words and grievous  misspellings. So am I to believe that during the process of digitizing a novel, typos just appear out of thin, digital air? Has anyone else heard of or encountered this? I’ll tell you one thing, if — I’m sorry, WHEN–I self-publish my novel, if I get one fricking review that cries foul over typos that aren’t in my manuscript or in the print version of the book, heads will roll ladies and gents. Heads. Will. Roll.



**I wish I could say heads will roll if you guys don’t follow me on Twitter & Facebook, but I don’t have that kind of reach. But feel free to follow me anyway.**

26 thoughts on “What do you mean the typos aren’t your fault?

  1. You have such a charming writing style. Um, bore you to eleven pieces? That’s a very specific number of pieces.

    In answer to your question, ideally, you would use the same file in a hardcover and paperback version. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if they had slightly modified versions, as they format to fit the different print templates. Plus, given paperbacks often come last, they could have finally gotten around to hire a proofreader.

    The sad reality even with big publishers is that almost every book they publish wil lose money, with just a few making all the profits. They usually have no clue which ones will be the money makers, so these days, some skimp on the editing for the fingers-crossed-please-let-us-make-some-cash books.

    • Thank you! FYI the number of pieces is directly proportionate to how much I would be bored. For example, golf bores me to 23 pieces and football bores me to zero pieces. Go Giants!

      In response to your answer, I’m dumbfounded. More and more I find I was completely disillusioned by what the supposed perks were of traditional publishing. The bastards. So, if I self-publish a well edited work, is it safe to say that the ebook and paperback versions would be typo free?

      • I wonder if typo-free is an illusion, like a soda machine in the middle of the desert. However, if you self-publish, you are in control of who does the editing, and how well. A lot of indies aren’t edited at all, because they don’t have the money. Now, it seems, that’s where traditional publishers are saving money too. I read a story from a traditionally published author who complained he found 35 typos in his book.

        Pissed him off into 63.5 pieces.

  2. While I may not be a hoity-toity accredited editor, I HAVE read my share of books and I have absorbed a fair amount of grammar rules and know my way around a mis-spelling; hell, it’s a major component of my blog. I would be happy to check spelling and grammar or offer a fresh set of eyes to an author’s manuscript for either a very small fee or gratis, depending on the genre. I HATE typos and missing words/phrases in things once they’ve made it to print.

  3. I think Bill has nailed it. Even large publishers are skimping on editing and proofreading content. I can even imagine that at Mega Publishing Inc, the hardcover and paperback departments never speak to one another and are working from completely different files. It might also be true that a different editor or proofreader has worked on a later edition of the book.

    Also, I think the letters move at night when no one is looking, just to make editors and authors crazy.

    • I already knew the letters moved at night within my manuscript to screw with just ME, but I’m aghast that they would continue this juvenile behavior and screw with my readers!

      But yes, Bill has a great point and I swear I learn something terrible about traditional publishing every day. Mega Publishing Inc be damned!

  4. Lol 🙂

    I’ve noticed that typos are becoming more common. It’s almost like its accepted now that there will be a few. The odd one here and there I can cope with, and if I’m enjoying the book I tend not to notice. But, if there are loads, I find myself being really put off 😦


  5. “I already knew the letters moved at night within my manuscript to screw with just ME, but I’m aghast that they would continue this juvenile behavior and screw with my readers!”

    I am so loving this!!!!!
    My don’t-quit-your-day-job involves some publishing (way smaller scale than the big publishers). We’ve found that no matter how many times we look at something, or have others look it over, there is always some new typo that we swear wasn’t there before.
    My guess is that most copy-editors are human (even the ones at the big companies) and occasionally miss something. If the book sells well enough, they will fix it in the next printing.
    I sorta like finding typos in print. It makes me feel better because It means I’m not the only one who makes mistakes. 😀

    • Oh no, don’t get me wrong. I understand that authors and editors are human and make mistakes and miss typos. What I can’t stand is a prolific amount of typos. The series I’m currently reading and referring to in my post has a couple PER PAGE. Most of these should have been caught by the author’s own proofread of his draft, and most of the remaining typos should have been caught by the editor. If I find less than ten typos in a full-length novel, I have no “beef,” I swear. Haha. Which brings me to the words playing tricks on people.

  6. I don’t believe I’ve had any words disappear in the ebook version or words change spelling, I guess you’d have to find out who specifically did the digital conversion and ask them what gives. Kinda random though isn’t it?

  7. If you can’t find a typo then you haven’t written anything that kept the editor interested.

    Editors are only human, writers are only human, bound to be some mistakes in every book. The main thing is making sure they are the exception. I’ve never liked the indie attitude that “I can’t afford an editor”, because to me that sounds like “I’m not ready to publish yet.”

    I will now get off my soapbox before someone throws a hypocrisy tomato.

    • No tomato throwing here. I like them too much to waste them. Besides, I like your stance that if you can’t find a typo, the editor was bored to eleven pieces and wasn’t enthralled enough in the story to miss any.

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