Okay, folks. Time to get real for a minute, because I realize this is a topic that’s near and dear to many people’s hearts, and I just want to get my thoughts out there. This is largely spawned by a random Tweet aimed at me last night (though it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, off and on.) Last night as I was about to go to bed, I saw I was mentioned in a Tweet. When I went to check it out, it turned out to be a page of my book with a line with a typo highlighted in yellow, along with a plug for the Tweeter’s copyediting services.
(Before I talk about typos in general, an aside about the absurdity of this person’s approach. This is their business pitch? Pointing out in public a mistake in my book and somehow assuming I’m going to decide to use that as a reason to hire them? They also @’d my publisher and my agent. This is not the way.)
I get it. My books have typos in them. Some of them are worse than others. Multiple people have mentioned to me and in reviews on Goodreads about how there’s a date in PERFECT PLACE TO DIE that’s written as 1993 instead of 1883. This is their exhibit A for why they didn’t like the book or were disappointed in shoddy editing. And if that’s going to kill a book for a person, it is what it is. I’m not here to tell people how to read and how to evaluate quality. But I can definitely give my take on it.
By and large, I just don’t care.
If we do a second printing of the book, I’d love to have it fixed, sure. I mean, I’d rather there were no typos than any, but I also don’t let a thing like a typo get in the way of me and a good book. I realize that anytime you’re dealing with an entire book of prose, you’re going to get some errors in there. Some of this is because of the editing process itself. In the case of the “1993” typo, that was a scene that was added very late in the process, so not many people had a chance to review it. Sometimes when we’re doing track changes on a document in Word, things can get funky with what’s written and what we think is written. When you accept the changes, something can get screwed up in the process.
I have typos on this blog all the time. I just don’t have the time to go through and reread everything I’ve written two or three times to catch them all. And I’m okay with that. I’m much more concerned with the thoughts and story behind the words than I am with making sure every little i is dotted and t is crossed. I realize that might rub people the wrong way, but . . .
I just don’t have it in me to get that worked up about it. Life is too short to get irked by things as small as mixing up there and their. Now, if the author makes the same grammar mistake through the whole book, I might start to notice and get irritated, but here and there? Nah. I just keep reading.
So if you’re ever tempted to point out to me a typo or a grammar mistake in something I’ve written, know that I’ll smile and nod and say thanks, and if I can, I’ll likely even fix it. But inside, I’m just mentally shrugging.
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