Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Typos revisited

When I made a recent post about how confused I was that people keep commenting on how many typos there are in my book Baby City, a lot of people took that to mean that I can't take criticism. But that wasn't it at all. I just am truly baffled as to how a book that was combed for typos by three different people including myself could still have so many typos that somebody would say they want to take a red sharpie to it.

So I don't know if anybody would be willing to help me out with this. I'm thinking that a "distracting" number of typos for a book would be more than one per 10,000 words. The book is 80,000 words.

For those of you who like a challenge, if you read Baby City and can point out 8 or more typos, I will gift you five dollars on Amazon. If you find more than 15, I'll give you $10.

And by that, I mean genuine typos. Things that are clearly errors, like "he were thirty years old." 

Offer only applies to the first five people. Not that I think more than five people will possibly do this.

EDITED TO ADD: Never mind, I'm rescinding this offer before anyone else does it.  I apparently was entirely wrong and I'll admit it. Thank you for pointing out my errors, Liana.  

26 comments:

  1. My author mentor published a book with a typo. It isn't really surprising that he missed it, even in typesetting it for print (did it himself). He sent it out for proofreading. She missed it. What's a little baffling is it's a proper name, I would have thought his software would have caught it.

    Alas, oh well and aw dang.

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    1. I've been reading a textbook to study for an exam , and there are so many typos in the textbook. I guess it's just something that happens.

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  2. "He were thirty years old." is not a typo. That is an error in conjugation. A typo would be "He wsa thirty years old."

    Also, $5 to revise 80,000 words is $0.0000625 per word, which is incredibly low. Someone may want to do this out of kindness, you never know. But if you are serious about fixing the problems in your book, you may want to hire somebody else (other than the first one, I mean) to revise it.

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    1. I'm not that serious, obviously. The book has been out over a year and I've already sold 4000 copies. I'm not really promoting it at this point. This is basically just to satisfy my OCD. It's a challenge that I'm just throwing out there. I do not believe that anyone will find 8 typos, because I don't believe that there are eight typos. Five, at most.

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    2. Judging by Liana's comments, you should indeed have been more serious about it. Or trusted the reviews people were giving you (instead of just complaining about them here multiple times) and reread the book.

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    3. The reviews that complained were mostly incredibly negative otherwise. Like "you're a horrible person, your book is evil, and there are typos." It was hard to trust that. I had several people I *did* trust assure me that there weren't many typos, including the person who read it out loud for the audiobook. I also got mislead when when one of the people who complained about typos said they "found them all" and sent me five mistakes.

      Look, I was wrong and I'm embarrassed. I try to put out a quality product, but I had a lot going on in my life at that time, including medical issues, and I trusted the editor I paid. I can't even believe how many typos Liana found... I'm genuinely mortified. And I'm grateful to the "red sharpie" person because it was the first otherwise nice review that complained about typos.

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    4. I'm sorry you were going through personal problems and honestly hope they have been resolved.

      Since criticizing is such a sensitive topic, many people will not do it if they like someone or their work, unless they are close and know how the person will react.

      On the other hand, people that didn't like it tend to express every little thing that displeased them. They get on a roll, so to speak.

      I guess what I'm saying is: although they are rude, it doesn't mean they are lying or exaggerating and it is always best to check.

      I hope this experience doesn't discourage you from writing more books and that you have better luck with your editor in the future. (Maybe hire Liana! She is obviously both good at it and kind. :) )

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    5. Thanks :)

      At the time, I didn't really trust my ability to find mistakes in my own writing... they can be nearly invisible after so many reads. Although if I'd known how MANY there were, I would have searched anyway.

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    6. Are you misusing OCD or do you literally have OCD? No animosity here :)

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  3. OF topic, but related to your tweet:
    I strongly assume you do not have scrotal edema.

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  4. Hmmm. Anything for editing your blog posts?
    "Offer only applies to the first five people."
    I'd suggest "Offer applies only to the first five people," or "Offer applies to only the first five people."
    (You're limiting the number of prizes, not what your offer can do.)

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    1. That's a grammar mistake, not a typo ;)

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  5. Well, if you're really so sure about it, how about you make it $500?

    Just kidding, but I'm about 25% of the way through the book and I've found 12 typos.

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    1. Are you serious???? Holy shit.

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    2. Since you're the only one who did it, I'll make good on my monetary promise for you (if you can show me those typos :), but if there are legitimately that many errors, I need to go through it myself. It's not worth hiring an editor for something I'm mostly done promoting though, since the damage is kind of done. Shit. I just wish someone I trusted had said this to me earlier.

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  6. loc 335/5369 "He even separated her white and colors"
    loc 392 "He sort of... scrappy"
    loc 839 "The hospital has that anti-septic smell" (this could be a formatting issue, I guess the hyphen could have fallen across lines on a different device)
    loc 866 "And there's little smear of blood on his collar"
    loc 1092 "The problem with Marissa is that she smart"
    loc 1107 "The lawyer, right? What she's here for?"
    loc 1133 "Good", Jill says, then turned on her heels as she leaves the room.
    loc 1489 "If her baby dies, they are going to be much worse things on her mind"
    loc 5363 "who inspired me with your efforts to safety herald tiny babies into the world"

    I disregarded 2 errors which were in the dialogue and grammatically incorrect, but maybe it was just intended to represent the way someone was talking, and when I was making notes in my copy I accidentally noted the same typo twice. Anyway, I guess that's 9.

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    1. Thanks, Liana. Could you send me an email? Are you saying you found none between 1489 and 5363 or just that you stopped looking in the middle? It's weird there were so many at the beginning and so few later.

      Also, the one at 1133 didn't look like an error to me. What was the error?

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    2. I stopped at 1489 yesterday, but found another 25 typos or so in the rest of the book.

      For 1133, I think it should be "Jill says, then turns on her heels as she leaves the room". All the verbs in in present tense.

      Will send you an email.

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    3. Please do. I definitely want to reward you for your help.

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  7. I guess I am a person who does not notice typos... I read the book and enjoyed the story... I did not notice the typos, or they did not distract me from the story.

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    1. I'm relieved to hear that, at least :)

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    2. I'm typically notorious for finding typos (drives me crazy in text books) and honestly loved your book so much I didn't notice a single one

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    3. I'm typically notorious for finding typos (drives me crazy in text books) and honestly loved your book so much I didn't notice a single one

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  8. I read the book and here and there saw a typo (not as many as there seem to have been), but it's no big deal. It did not detract from my enjoyment. Your book was very good. The one quibble I had was VERY tiny and related to the plotting not an occasional typo. Don't fret. I read voraciously usually from my local library. Probably because I live in a place with a major university and a lot of arrogant people, but almost any book I borrow which is in its early editions will have typos which prior borrowers will *helpfully* have marked in red along with the correction. I find that more annoying than just ignoring the typos and wish the superior do-gooders would stop doing that. So don't fret (although if you really have OCD, there's no point in telling you that, is there?).

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    1. What? They write on library books? That's horrible!

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    2. I recently read a library book that had a correct phrase crossed out and replaced with an incorrect one because the reader thought they knew better.

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