With the changing face of publishing it seems books are going through fewer and fewer edits these days. Print publishing houses are cutting back on staff to save costs from submission to publication. Some digital publishing houses are pushing books through to keep up with the high demand of their readers. And authors are now going the self-publishing route and may not have the financial resources to send a book through several sets of edits.
So what does this mean for a reader? That more and more books are making it to publication with errors. No one is immune. From the USA Bestseller to the self-pubbed author, more and more books we pick up have at least one error. And let me just tell you from an author’s perspective … it’s not at all because we don’t care. Unfortunately, even several pairs of eyes on the same manuscript can miss an error.
For self-pubbed authors with digital books it’s an easy fix. It’s as simple as correcting the mistake on the original document and re-uploading. But once it’s in print … yeeeeah, that’s a forever black mark on the story that makes every author cringe. There was a very funny one that garnered a lot of publicity for one author (I can’t remember her name and couldn’t find it in a Google search). Basically her publisher missed the “f” in shift and her hero did it right in front of the heroine. Oh my! Fortunately her readers were very forgiving and in the end I think it even garnered her some sales.
But that brings me around to what I’ve been wondering. Since typographical errors, missed words and homonym confusion (especially there, their and they’re) are so common in today’s books, I wondered how much is too much for you to continue reading a book. One series I know was poorly edited and was riddled with typos (reader’s comments), yet the books went on to be HUGE sellers. It surprised me that they continued to be well rated and purchased despite the comments.
Do readers now expect that books will have errors? Does it even pull you from the story anymore? You know me, I’m curious about this sort of thing, especially since I’ve got the print version of “Tilling Passions” at the proofers as we speak. So what about you? How much can you forgive?