Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Public Mistakes

The other day I saw a typo in the title of a book listed for sale on Amazon.  Two letters were transposed in one of the words.  An easy enough mistake to make when your fingers are flying over the keys writing a book.  (One MS Word ought to catch and if not, then your editor, and if not, then you on your many pass throughs.)  Perhaps an easy mistake to make when you're getting everything typed in on the Amazon pages because you're both nervous and excited. 

But it's also an easy mistake to catch and fix.  Not only did this person not catch it when they were checking everything over (and rechecking), but they were sharing the link on FB and not catching it. 

I actually searched Amazon just now to see if any others had made the same mistake (and to see if perhaps the author had caught it, but Amazon was slow to update the link - they didn't).  One book, one MP3 album, and one set of pretend tattoos.  Won't nobody be finding any of that searching off the typographically challenged name.

Now, I know my regular readers and commenters wouldn't be caught dead doing this.  We're all checking and rechecking and double rechecking.  But for the newer self-publishers out there, please take note of this mistake.  And don't do it. 

Oh, I've made some tragic mistakes.  I've made so many mistakes I can't even begin to remember a specific one to use as an example.  Suffice it to say, they're there. 

We're not immune. Cuz, yeah, we're human and humans make mistakes.  It's kind of a thing.  But humans are also pretty good at catching mistakes if we take the time and put forth the effort.  The above?  I wouldn't think it would take much time or effort, but that's me.  Then again, shit happens.

If you catch me making a monumental mistake, please tell me.  (Privately, please*.)  Point your finger and laugh at me.  (Again, in private.)  It'll hurt and I'll learn from it.  Like stepping barefoot on a Lego because you didn't put your toys away, you'll never make that mistake again.  (Of course, if you're rude or snotty about pointing it out, you may find yourself getting the Anderson treatment**, but them's the breaks.)

Mistakes happen.  Be on the lookout for them and catch them when you can.  Constant vigilance will help keep you from making them publicly.  Privately?  Well, that's just life.

What say you? 

*Outing someone's mistakes in public and in such a way that everyone knows exactly who you're talking about is just cruel.  You'll note I try to scrub every identifiable marker from posts like this, so no one gets hurt.  And yeah, I didn't contact said author in private because people don't like when you point out their mistakes and can often get testy about it.  I'm not into confrontation.  If I'd known the person and felt comfortable with them, I would've pulled them aside and said, in the nicest way possible, 'hey, you have a typo there'.

** The Anderson Treatment - years ago, I had a particularly obnoxious neighbor whose last name was Anderson.  She was so bad that eventually I pulled down an invisible wall between us.  I no longer acknowledged her in any fashion unless I absolutely had to - like the day her friend's RV was blowing carbon monoxide into my house.  I had to deal with her face to face then.  Otherwise?  Whoosh.  It's an effective way of maintaining my calm.


  1. Yeah...I did that the other day on FB. I spelled a state, that's in the title of one of my books with two Ns. Yeah...nope. I did eventually figure it out. Thank the writing gods for the edit feature! I did eventually fix it when my brain finally caught up. That particular state ALWAYS gives me spelling trouble so I should be hyper-aware but...I claim lack of caffeine. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Interestingly, I got a private message (not messenger but my page message) from a reader who got a big typo in one of my books. I'm going back to fix it when I get my morning routine and enough coffee in me. It will also give me a chance to update the back matter of the book. :)

    1. Missed that entirely. Yeah, the lack of caffeine can do that to anybody. And yes, thank goodness for the editing feature. It's saved me many a time.

      Missed that one, too. But your stories make it so I'm not mentally proofreading as I go along. My brain is engrossed by the story. Woohoo. But I'm glad someone contacted you so you can fix it.