Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Typos

I've had several experiences where I've read a manuscript several times, more than one other person has also read it a few times, and yet when I begin going through the galleys, I find the most bizarre typos which have completely bypassed everyone.

Once, I was so convinced that a mistake had to be a typesetting error that I went to the trouble of looking at my original ms...and found the typo there. Which meant it had been read at least ten times since then and not one of them had picked it up (including me).

There was one time I found that the heroine's knees had "crumbled". What if that had made it into the book, I thought? What would readers think? So that's my question - what do you think when you come across errors in a book? Do you immediately denounce the book, or do you give it a few more chances? Or does the story matter more to you than the typos?

(p.s. I hope there aren't any typos in this post!)

8 comments :

Barbara said...

I think that when the reader is really into the story they won't give a lot of thought to a typo error, especially when the story is really good.

katie g. said...

I have been in graduate school for the last few years and my tolerance for typos has decreased significantly. I usually give a book two "freebies" and after that I start questioning the veracity of the editing process. I will still finish the book, but my respect for the work is usually damaged. I'm such a book snob ;)

Nalini Singh said...

I think I'm a mix of the two of you (semi-book snob? ;) ). Typos tend to wrench me out of the story, but I'll dive back in if it's a really good book. However, if it keeps happening then at a certain point, it's all over...

Kendra Clark said...

I've noticed that as well. Honestly, I'm so engrossed in the story. I can forgive a few typos if the story is fabulous. I'm not letting a misplaced comma ruin my experience.

Laura said...

I'm like you Nalini, somewhere in between. But when there are other errors, like the heroine being called the hero's name and the hero being called the villain's name, I lose the plot! I found this a couple of Bombshells, which surprised me greatly, though I still finished them because each of the stories were so good.

Emma Sinclair said...

The sixth Harry Potter book had TONS of typos (at least the American version) but obviously I finished reading it.

I guess I'd go with the semi-book snob, too. But sometimes what bothers me more than typos is too perfect grammar. When the characters sound fake or or the sentences are WAY convoluted. I almost think that's worse.

Nalini Singh said...

Laura - those are major typos! I wonder that they weren't picked up. They must've been really good books for you to finish them.

Emma - I'm really surprised about the Harry Potter book. You'd think with something that major, it'd be proofed very carefully. Maybe it was rushed to production?

The fake conversational style bothers me too, especially when the character is meant to be someone who would never speak in that style!

Laura said...

Nalini, there was one Bombshell in particular - Susan Vaughn's "Contact" that had this problem. Honestly, when I came across the errors, I was like "Huh?" But in all seriousness, the plot, the twists, the turns, the characters (the heroine was magnificent, strong yet vulnerable) and Susan's voice and writing style kept me hooked. Without those...let me just put it this way, I'd take a few typos over a boring, seen-it-before plot and a writing voice I can't click with over the perfectly manicured book any day.

But that's just me. ;-)