We all know the bane of indie authors is that nothing is proofed properly, and self-published books are rife with typos. Or that’s what everyone seems to think.
According to Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times (http://nyti.ms/qUMMOk): “For readers who find humanity in orthographic quirks, these are great times. Book publishers used to struggle mightily to conceal an author’s errors; publishers existed to hide those mistakes, some might say. But lately the vigilance of even the great houses has flagged, and typos are everywhere. Curious readers now get regular glimpses of raw and frank and interesting mistakes that give us access to unedited minds. Lately, in a big new memoir from a fancy imprint, I came across “peddle” for “pedal.” How did it happen?
“Editors I spoke to confirmed my guesses. Before digital technology unsettled both the economics and the routines of book publishing, they explained, most publishers employed battalions of full-time copy editors and proofreaders to filter out an author’s mistakes. Now, they are gone.”
Rushing to publish and overlooking glaring typos may have become part of the new economics of traditional publishing. But on the web, typos sometimes come with a price. “Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales,” said a BBC headline last month. The article cited an analysis of British web figures that suggested that a single spelling mistake on an e-commerce site can hurt credibility so much that online revenues fall by half.
Here are some interesting typos I came upon while trawling the web:
• In the book Probing the Mind of a Serial Killer the topic matter is serial killers. Whenever the author referenced sexual sadists it was “sexual saddest.” This was repeated over and over and over.
• In Sam de Britto’s Lost Boys: “The flour of us got in the car…”
• In Outlaw Embrace: “Working undercover during a train holdup, the last thing he needs is a beautiful southern belle to protect. But when his viscous brother sets designs on Anastasia Hamilton, he’s forced to claim her as his own.”
• Not sure where this one came from: “She curled up on the couch hoping to find solstice.”
• A newspaper’s sports section reporting on a basketball player’s injuries: “He had a herniated disk…but they used a “c” instead of an “s” in disk.
• Published in a church bulletin: “Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM. Prayer and medication to follow.”
• In a novel, the heroine is preparing a grenade and shouts, “Fire in the whole!” to her team.
• In Trevor Scott’s Burst of Sound: “They moved onto the wooden dock where the fairy had docked the day before, saving Tony the long drive.”
• In one of Kim Harrison’s Hollow books, every time they mention the brakes on a car, it’s spelled “breaks,” except when the brake line breaks and then it’s reversed so the break line brakes.
• In The Pasta Bible a recipe calls for “freshly ground black people.”
What are your favorite typos?ebook, errata, proofreading, self-publishing, typos