Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The bad thing about having a misspelled word in a print work is...it's a done deal. There's no way to go back and fix it until the next edition (if there is one). Unlike digital works, the author, the readers, the publishers have to live with the mistake. Today author Jayne Ann Krentz pointed out and apologized for an error in her newest print book--and promised it would be rectified in the paperback edition.
Now with digital, it's a different story. That same book was also released in digital form with the same error. And that can be corrected immediately. So any reader who buys that book in say...the next week or so, should have the corrected copy.
But what about digital errors on the Internet? Who do you tell? One of the headlines on the Weather Channel was "Tender, Dry Conditions Keep West Fires Burning". No, I don't think so. That would be "Tinder". That's the stuff that burns.
While I'll be the first person to say that everyone makes a mistake now and then, it seems to me the number of spelling mistakes is escalating. And calling them typos isn't addressing the real problem. Part of it is carelessness. But a bigger part is ignorance.
You read that correctly. The days when spelling correctly was a matter of pride are gone. The day with an author checked word usage and spelling in a dictionary is gone. Sadly, many simply shrug and move on.
Some even ask, "What's the big deal?"
For a reader like me, it's a matter of tossing me right out of the story. Too many tosses and I toss your book. Once I do that, I'll never buy another. Remember, competition is stiff. There are millions of books out there for me to read. And my time is limited. Why should I spend time and money on your book if you don't care enough to make sure you're using the correct word? It's a two way street.
I think that's probably why I re-read my older books rather than buying new. Yeah, I think so. Authors, publishers, editors took pride in their work and delivered a quality product. As for Ms. Krentz? She's promised to make good on the error. I'm proud to read her books.