Tuesday, July 21, 2015

*Dragging out my soapbox*

The Indie Author Group on Facebook is one of my favorite resources for information from other self-published authors, some with less experience than me, but most possessing far more.  What I like best about this group is advertising is not allowed.  Ever.  No posting links to your book, your blog, no sneaking around the rules to slip in a plug for your work.  If you try, it will be deleted. That means this site will not turn into one long stream of book ads as so many other sites have.  You can actually ask questions and authors will reply!  Sometimes the responses need weeding through; like I said, some of the members are well-meaning newbies.  It soon becomes easy enough to discern the voices of experience though.

Today, I posted this on the IAG page:
"I know it's near impossible to catch all the typos and misspellings in your own work, but if you're working with an editor and proofreader, how close to perfection is it reasonable to expect? How many errors in a novel do you consider to be too many?"

The responses were plentiful.  In fact, they maxed out the limit for number of comments and the post was closed.  Some folks, like me, have noticed an increase in errors in our reading material, whether self- or traditionally published.  Some commenters believed errors are inevitable and a minimal number should be tolerated.  Some said authors and publishers should still strive to present error-free material.  It's my goal to publish a clean manuscript which is one of the reasons I'm having my next release edited and proofread.  Even so, it's no guarantee and I will be searching for a few sharp-eyed readers before publication.

I've not read a single book this year that was without typos, misspellings, or words used incorrectly.  Many of those books had multiple sets of eyes on them - the author, beta readers, editors and proofreaders.  I should point out that I'm old broad and the books I grew up with, hell, the books I read up until 5 years ago, were print books. I do not remember them having this number of issues.  What happened when we went digital?  Did we lose something crucial when we lost typesetters?  Did we all get dumber, or are we all willing to now settle for less?

Whatever the reason, it makes me sad, but it also makes me more determined than ever to publish a clean copy.  If you read a story of mine and find an error, you will not piss me off if you notify me.  I will appreciate it and express my thanks..  To authors out there, get more and/or better proofreaders.  Don't forget to have someone proof your dedications and acknowledgements.  

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