#SaystheEditor Typos Happen


Remember last week, when I said I was behind? Karma decided to give me a good kick ’cause this week’s even worse. So we’ll keep this short.

I was talking to a client during the week. We’ll call her Stevie. (as opposed to the other client I was talking to. And the other one. And the other one And… man, you guys are a demanding lot! No wonder I’m behind! You value me!) She said she’d gone over her new manuscript a number of times before publishing it. She’d used a proofreader after me because I do line editing work for her. She’d read the manuscript out loud. Then backward.

And when she read the copy that was published… she found more typos.

Folks, typos happen. Human brains can only wipe so many out. (The computer services are even worse, as they are incapable of understanding nuance.) Mistakes happen. Keys get touched, caressed and … oops, pressed. The cat walks across the keyboard. I’ve got no proof for e-book conversion, but I swear the conversion process includes the insertion of at least three. Heck, when we moved this here website from one host to another, weird coding showed up and I haven’t been able to go over all 2000+ posts yet to remove them.

And did any of you see that ’80s movie about the Gremlins? Didja get the message of it?

Typos happen.

The best part of this digital publishing age is that you can go back and fix them. Your print book, you’re stuck with. But your e-book?

Did I say that typos happen? They do. If they are true typos (as opposed to usage errors), don’t vilify the editor. Don’t tell the world that s/he sucks (better to contact the author and suggest … well, me). Don’t fire your editor and then brag about it on Facebook (especially if you’ve friended your editor), or ask your readers if they hate typos. What are they supposed to say? “Oh, no, Stevie! I LOVE the mistakes in your books. They make the reading experience THAT much better!”

Everyone who’s literate hates typos. Yet they are a part of our lives — just look at any meme posted anywhere on the Internet. I challenge you to find one that’s typo-free, and that’s usually proof of a lack of grammar rules, not a real typo. And yet how many of you share those memes happily, despite the errors?

Think about that. Memes are okay. Perfectly fine. Heck, you’ll share them with the world because you’re willing to overlook six in a four-line meme. But you’re not willing to overlook six in a fifty-thousand (or more) word novel?

Anyone else see a bit of hypocrisy in there?

Don’t vilify your editor. Don’t fire her because of a few typos. Fire her because of usage. Fire her because she’s not good enough for you. Like attracts like and you’re a winner.

Typos happen.


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