Errors, Errors in Every Drop of Ink

Hi, J here!  Happy Saturday to you!  So I’ve admitted my rookie mistake in a couple of different venues, but if I haven’t admitted it here, let me do so now. 

I didn’t have my first Indie Published book, The Cordovan Vault, professionally edited.  OK, it feels good to get that off my back – phewwwww.   I didn’t know I needed to do it, but I won’t be making that mistake again, that’s for sure.  I’ve already got an editor lined up for The Peacock Tale (Available October 18, 2011) to be sure that I don’t miss a dot. 

Evidently, even the second edition of TCV is missing a couple of dots, periods.  “How do I know this?” you ask.  Because everyone who reads it feels compelled to tell me, that’s how.  I don’t mind, though, since they also tell me that they liked the book, and can’t wait to find out what happens next. Or other positive praise to that effect.

I find one or two mistakes in just about 1/2 the books I read and I read 1-2 a week.  I used to read more like 5 a week in the pre-kids days.  And these are usually traditionally published books.  The errors seem to be more prevalent in the Kindle versions than the print version, but often, a print book is missing a period or has a typo.  Often.  Very often.

Because I’m Indie Published and I’m just starting out, I am selling books to people who have (or make) a connection to me.  I might meet them in person when I sell the book, or they know I live in the same area and feel a connection, being local.  I’m confident that the errors that exist are few and minor at this point, no more than in other books out there.  Someday, I’ll release a third edition and fix ’em.

Today’s Secret: Find someone to edit the last version of your manuscript before you Indie Publish it.  You’ll look more professional and your fans will only have positive feedback to give you, hopefully.

What mistakes have you seen in books or movies that stood out?  We watched Practical Magic last night and the witches carried a huge metal cauldron with pot holders and then tipped it with their bare hands.  Nobody got burned, so I guess this was an error.

J Monkeys writes adventure stories for children of all ages.  The Cordovan Vault is a ‘Tween Adventure and the Dixie and Taco series is written especially for kindergarteners.  See for more information.


14 thoughts on “Errors, Errors in Every Drop of Ink”

  1. I’m going to say even if you’re not going the indie route, you should have a final professional editor do a run through before submitting. Why ruin chances right off the bat?

  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself, J. I have read many books with errors and typos in them. Hey, we’re all human and we make mistakes. But a smart cookie like you learns from those mistakes. You are published and have a second novel being released in October. Congratulations! Kudos! Well Done!

    1. Hey – Thanks! I always say, “It’s OK to make every mistake in the book once. It’s when you make the same mistakes over and over that you’re in trouble!” 🙂

  3. Being a perfectionist by nature (reformed by experience), I am disheartened by the lack of good editing these days, in both indie and traditionally published books. It directly effects my ability to enjoy the book and will often determine whether I buy another book from that author. Maybe I’m being too picky, but I don’t recall any typos in Jane Austen’s novels (Hemmingway or Steinbeck either). None of us is perfect and we simply cannot see all of our own mistakes (if we knew they were mistakes, we wouldn’t make them).
    Hopefully, if more Indie-authors, who have the final say on their finished product, are willing to invest in editorial services, the quality of Indie books will rival and surpass that of traditional publishing where cutbacks and quantity vs. quality are IMO causing a lot of crap to fall through the cracks. Bravo for investing in the future of great indie-published books!

    1. Thanks! I’m absolutely learning a TON of stuff by Indie Publishing and I think it’s making me a more well rounded writer, honestly. I’m enjoying it, mistakes and all!

    1. I’m actually hiring someone I know. She’s a recent college grad with no job yet (like at least 25% of this past May’s Graduates – but don’t get me started on the economy!), somewhat OCD, a perfectionist, and a writer. I know she’ll find the mistakes – they’ll leap out at her. And I know she can get the job done in the limited timeframe I have. I painted myself into a corner a bit to get TPT out and I don’t have the luxury of 30-60 days for editing that several other editors I talked with needed. I will need to get this thing turned around in 2 weeks and I know she can get it done. We negotiated and she’s doing it for a reasonable price.

  4. There’s a Haiku in The Dharma Bums by Kerouac, so my son says, that doesn’t have enough syllables. Oh well, it hasn’t mattered because it is still being read all these years later and by yet another new generation.. There are editing issues in movies all the time. It sounds like the scene that one you mentioned above in Practical Magic is an editing faux pas. Now about the post: I think this was very helpful. Self-edit to editor to publish as an Indie author seems to be the way to go. I’m sure that your book withstands all of typos you or other locals can come up with and I’m positive it is a great read as I’m sure your next will be with the editor-for-hire. Again this was helpful and a great post.

    Debralee Mede

  5. I see enough typos, missing/wrong punctuation, and misused/misspelled words in traditionally and indie published books, as well as continuity problems in series, that it makes me want to call up these publishing houses and beg for a job. Granted, I probably have a lower tolerance for these errors than most readers. Even if I love the book, avoidable mistakes distract me, pull me out of the story, and diminish my enjoyment, just a little. I’m all for having an editor look at your work before you send it off into the world. I have a tendency to write some very long sentences with far too many clauses. Grammatically correct, yes. Good writing, no. That extra pair of eyes is invaluable.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Back when I was a professional recruiter, I always told people to have someone else look at their resume before they finished it. You don’t see the mistakes that you made, you know what the thing is supposed to say and you honestly ‘see’ that when you read it. And beta readers are not your editors, no matter how good their editing is. Beta readers are looking at the story and giving you feedback on that. The writer makes lots of changes after the beta readers feedback to get to the final draft of the story and That is what needs to be edited. The final draft. Not the nearly final draft.

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