Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Those Sneaky Little Typos

Lately I have read novels with quite a few typos. These good reads weren’t published by the authors, but by established publishing companies, so it wasn’t the authors fault that the typos weren’t caught; it was up to the proofreaders to catch them. Still, I wonder how the authors felt when they noticed these mistakes in their published works.
As the author/publisher/proofreader of Choices it was up to me to make sure there were no typos in my finished product. And I did my best to do just that. My book designer sent me the pdfs, and I read through them more than once. (I’m very happy with the story I wrote, but for a while there it was getting on my nerves. The proofreading process can be tedious.) I even found someone else to proofread the galleys the printer sent. But still, after all of that proofreading, my YA Novel went through the printing process with those sneaky little typos undetected. These minor flaws in Choices did a real good job hiding, and, let me tell you, it was like a smack in the face when I noticed them after the book was printed. I was so disappointed; my first published novel and it's not the flawless product I wanted it to be.
I know I don’t have to draw attention to these typos, but a book sale is a show of support that I appreciate very much, so I feel the need to confess that I messed up… just a little bit:
Typo #1 - One day I was working on my next novel, A Mom’s Life, where I include Roscoe’s last name. For those of you who haven't read Choices yet, Roscoe is Randy’s brother. Neither one of them knows how to treat a girl with even an ounce of respect. Randy is the boyfriend Angel puts up with until she comes to her senses, and Roscoe, well, he’s just not a likable guy. Their family life will be revealed in A Mom’s Life, so readers can fully understand why they behave the way they do. Anyway, I remembered mentioning Randy’s last name in Choices, but I didn't remember what it was. So I skimmed the pages of my first novel to find Randy’s last name. That is when I came to the conclusion that no matter how many times a story is proofread some small inconsistency can still be overlooked.
Not that this takes anything away from the story, but in Choices it seems Randy has two last names. On page 28 he’s Randy Morris, but on page 56 he’s Randy Brister. It’s been a while, but if I remember correctly, his last name was Brister when I first wrote the novel, but before it went to the printer I changed it to Morris on the page where he is first introduced –I don’t know what in the world I was thinking - but, in doing so, I forgot that I mentioned the last name Brister in chapter seven entitled “The Question”, so that didn’t get changed to Morris.
Typo #2 - And then, days later, I noticed that on page 60 I didn’t change ‘an hour and a half’ to ‘hours’ as I had intended. The first sentence in the chapter begins with ‘After church’, so most people would think it’s afternoon, but on page 61 I make it clear that it is evening when Shauntice gets home. I write –She put her keys into her pocketbook and made her way through the darkness of the kitchen and into the livingroom, where a lamp on the couch table lit her path.
So, to my readers – present and future - I’d like to apologize for the little inconsistencies in Choices.

1 comment:

Author, Deborah J. Copeland said...

Hi, Katrina

Don't feel too bad. Most self-published authors, like myself, and others can't afford to hire a professional editor. I discovered a few typos in the first version of my book, too. lol lol..one that really bugged me every time I looked at it: honor role, which should have been honor roll--Boy, did I hear it from my friends on that one! ...Fortunately, I had my son's high school English teacher. re-edit my book. So, don't fret, hey I was re-reading Hip-Hop High School, which I love sooo much and saw a typo! A period was left out after a sentence ended. I was like, "No way!" But it happens.

Oh, more power to ya! It's a hard job to be author/editor/and publisher all rolled into one! Oh, and book promoter, too!Whew!!! I feel ya there, girl! =)

~Debbie Copeland, Author
The Kids at Latimar High
The Boogie Down Clique Novels