Friday, May 24, 2013

Unwrapping: ERRORS IN PUBLISHED BOOKS!

Hi dear readers! I’ve been hitting you with a lot of reviews lately, mainly because I eliminated one day a week from my blogging schedule, but still had many books to review. I thought I’d take a day to ask you about something that may well be affecting me some day.
ERRORS IN PUBLISHED BOOKS!

As a writer, as well as blogger, I do my best to present my posts with no errors if possible but since I’m only human, sometimes after posting, I discover spelling errors, missing words, and on occasion, words that don’t belong. If I can, I correct them so as not to hinder your reading but many times, I miss them altogether. After all, I’m only human. But what about books that you pay good money for, only to find errors aplenty? 

I read a lot of ARCs – Advanced Reader Copies – and so have learned to ignore most errors, although they do register in my brain. I can only hope that all or most have been caught before the final copy is released to the public but I’ve seen them there after publishing. Some of these errors are just annoying but some are so outrageous that they make me laugh when I should be feeling what the characters are about in the story. 

Examples of outrageous errors are wrong names – for real, I’ve read a few books where a name pops up that doesn’t even belong in the book but is, in fact, a character from another in the series. Another type of error that throws me is when the wrong pronoun is used as in –  he kissed her and in response, he eagerly pressed her aroused bosom against his hard body. That’s an amazing bit of biology!  

I realize in this age of spelling and grammar check, it’s easy to utilize these tools to aid in editing, but only blatantly incorrect items are going to be caught. I admit that as readers we tend to skim, even if we’re not aware of it, and if you’ve read the same thing over more than a few times, your brain really skips and skims, and even fills in the blanks. Yes, missing words easily go unnoticed because our brain actually fills in those missing words and letters for us. 

There’s a message that is posted across social medias quite often and they claim that only a certain percentage of the population can read it - 55 out of 100 people or some such thing. I don’t believe that. I think we all can read it, if we allow our brain to do its job. Can you read it?
 

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
 

If you could read it with little or no trouble, it’s because your brain recognizes the words rather than the letters. The same thing happens when you’re reading a book. So do you notice typos and errors in the books you read? Does it bother you? I’ve actually written to authors and given them the page number and quote when it’s a really huge blunder – have you ever? Have you thought about it? I'll bet you have. *wink*

Like I said, I’m just curious. I hope that someday I’ll be asking you to read a book I've written and when I do, that I have very few, or better yet, no errors in mine. By the way, my current work-in-progress is coming along nicely and I’m very excited about it. It’s a suspense romance. If you haven’t had a chance already, please feel free to check out two chapters I have posted at Avon Romance. It’s not finished yet, and no, it’s not been published, but some day, some day! Click HERE to read two chapters from KEEPING FAITH written by me! Also, while you’re there, if you like it, please click the heart at the top. The higher my rating, the better chance I have of one of the editors taking notice. Feel free to let me know what you think of it - good or bad! Thanks. I love my readers! 
 
Don't forget there is a double giveaway happening on my Wacky Wednesday post - a chance to win a digital copy of BABY STETSON by Nikki Lynn Barrett and also a Rafflecopter chance to win a $20 Gift Card. Stop by and enter if you haven't, it ends Friday night!
 
Happy Reading Everyone!

17 comments:

Jennifer said...

Ugh, sore subject! I know there are errors in my books, despite the efforts of a copy editor, a proofreader, and myself, who actually worked as a legal proofreader in college. It's amazing how errors still slip through, so I try to be understanding when I spot them in other books -- as long as there aren't too many.

Amy Valentini said...

Jennifer, if there are any in yours, your heroes make sure I don't notice!
It happens though. The small ones, the typos, or subtle misspellings are forgiveable, unless of course, they are constant.
It's the major boo boos that make me laugh and mark the page! None of which I've found in yours.

Thanks for stopping by! : )
Errors or not, I read on when it's the Bachelor Firemen! xoxo

Evangeline Holland said...

I haven't come across any major errors as of yet, but I am sensitive to ebook formatting! Poorly formatted e-books--or even ebooks made from the print book layout--are the bane of my existence when it comes to receiving e-ARCs from major publishers. Truthfully speaking, anything that makes it difficult to sink into the reading experience makes it easier to find faults.

Connie said...

I do notice them only because for many years, part of my job was to ensure that any and all documents leaving our office was absolutely perfect. Therefore, when I come across the smallest error, it jumps out at me. Wish I could get over that, but I guess it’s just ingrained in me now. No matter how many times an author reads over his or her work or even an editor who has read it more than once, can easily miss an error. I think having a good beta reader to help is always a good idea. I have done this for an author friend and it was an honor. Unfortunately, I found a number of errors as well which is fine because the finished product ends up going out accurately.

Elizabeth H. said...

Hi Amy!!

I do notice errors when I read but they usually don't change my opinion of the story I'm reading or the author who wrote it. I think the main thing we need to remember is that nobody is perfect. Let's just enjoy these stories that are brought to life by these wonderful authors. Thank you for sharing about this topic!

JB Lynn said...

I think that the paragraph you provided perfectly illustrates why proofreading is so difficult. We KNOW what a sentence is supposed to say, so that's how we read it.

I've found mistakes in my own books and those by the biggest name authors...it's unfortunate, but we're all human.

Amy Valentini said...

JB - it's easy for us, as the writer, to miss errors because we are right on top of it. Doesn't it bother you just a bit to find errors that you hoped someone else would find?

It's not the little ones so much that bother me, it's the ones that make me go, "HUH?!" ; )

Amy Valentini said...

Evangeline,
Reading ARCs can be hard sometimes. Page numbers in the middle of the page, broken lines, and errors aplenty, especially missing words, but when you see the exact same thing in a purchased book ... well, how should we feel?

I remember one time buying a print book by a very well-known mystery author and two entire chapters were duplicated. Cracked me up. Thought, printer problem. Another time, I was furious because the entire last chapter was missing and I needed to know what happened.
Has anyone come across that problem in digital yet? Just wondering. : )

Ann Lorz said...

I don't pay attention any more to mistakes. I do think its because I read so many ARC's too. Mistakes happen.

The_Book_Queen said...

As you said, we're only human. I know I make mistakes, and I realize everyone else does too, but yes, it does still bug me at times when I catch big errors in finished books. But what really annoys me is when an author who is self publishing puts his/her book out there..with what appears to be NO editing/proofreading. I haven't read many myself, but you can tell when this happens, as opposed to when an error or two slips here and there.

I've been trying to decide what I want to do with my life, and I've toyed with the idea of getting my BA in English and perhaps try my hand at freelance editing. Not sure yet if this is what I will do, but I'd like to have it work out. I really want to work "in" the publishing industry, but I don't think author will be my future title. Though, who knows, right? :)

Enjoy!
TBQ

Karen Ranney said...

I have the copy editor from Hell, and I absolutely adore him. In fact, I request him with every book. He's relentless. He caught when the hero's eyes unexpectedly changed color in one book.

We are currently engaged in a battle I call The Great Comma Wars. Did you know, for example, that introductory clauses do not get a comma unless they're longer than seven words? Aghghgh. I've developed an entire book of things to remember thanks to him.

However, I'm sure that I'll keep missing some mistakes. (Darn it.)

Amy Valentini said...

OMG, TBQ, I hope you do go get your BA in English and become a book editor. When I first graduated with my BA in English, I wanted so much to go to NY and become an editor. It was my first calling since I loved books and already knew I wanted to write. Didn't happen for me, but if you want it,go for it, girlfriend! You've got my support. xoxo

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Karen! Thank you for stopping by, it's always a delight. Your copy editor sounds awesome. Since I rarely see anything major in your books, he does a great job! I think all fiction writers have a heavy hand with commas because we use so many descriptives and sometimes, they're needed in order to keep the voice active. But yes, it helps to have that second, or even third set of eyes, helping to keep things tamed. : )

Susan D.Taylor Susan Arden said...

This is a hot button for me. I suffer from ADHD and *grimace* I'm a writer. Great combo to write rapid fire. Yet horrible to edit what I've blazed through. Actually, the editing process is a real mission to learn how to spot errors, especially when one is desensitized to the words on the page by being the writer. And then again, because a portion of the brain works less efficiently, as is my case. Am I appalled when other books contain errors? Not yet. Not before I began published my own and not since. It happens. As long as it's not overabundant and pulling me out of the story, I just keep plowing away. Maybe humility comes from empathy, but it sure goes a long way for me knowing, oh brother I'm so far from perfection. When I read, I in search of a good story that keeps me turning page after page (Kindle Fire style). So far, so good.

Amy Valentini said...

Kudos to you, Susan for pushing forward!
We do get desensitized to the letters on a page when they are our words, which is why I can't truly blame an author for too many of the errors. It's the great big whoppers that interrupt the flow of the story that bug me. Those are the ones that I hope editors, beta readers, and/or assistants might catch - if they're truly reading, that is.

Good luck you in all your endeavors. : )

Reanna S. said...

I've read several books by well-known authors that have major mistakes - wrong character names (one page apart!!), wrong locations, lousy continuity in a series, typos. I grind my teeth whenever I see something like that. *shudder* That drives me crazy!

Amy Valentini said...

I know what you mean, Reanna. It's not the little ones so much but the big ones just irk you when you pay good money for it. Thanks for coming by. Your thoughts on the subject are most welcome. : )

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