I assume that all of you have at one time or another been reading a book and stumbled across an error that the author or copy editor should have caught. So what do you do? (a) Grumble to yourself and continue reading, (b) throw the book against the wall, or (c) notify the author of the error?
A few years ago, I read a book that had been widely praised by the mystery community and although it possessed a fair measure of charm, it contained spelling errors and typos that exceeded my comfort level. In addition, the book was set in Southern California and since I live in Los Angeles, it was disconcerting to discover that the author had confused two cities with similar names, placing one in the wrong geographical location. A friend who read the book was also distracted by the errors. In fact, he compiled a list that he planned to send to the author. Since I was somewhat acquainted with this writer, I realized how angry and hurt this person would have been, so I convinced him not to send his error list.
Most authors sweat over the details, but as hard as we try, errors sometimes slip through the net. I am grateful when fans notify me of my boo-boos. Shortly after my latest book COOL CACHE came out, Terri e-mailed me to say: “… I must make you aware of a spelling error on Page 123 of "Cool Cache", just in case you're planning to make this into a paperback book. I am referring to the way you have it as "carpel tunnel syndrome", when it should be "carpal tunnel syndrome." Sheesh! Thanks for telling me, Terri, since “carpel” means “One of the structural units of a pistil, representing a modified ovule-bearing leaf.”
Bob also e-mailed: “I really enjoyed the book. As a flight instructor who taught in Pipers for seven years, the mental picture of Tucker getting into the Warrior first, followed by the pilot, made me laugh....there is only one door, and it is on the passenger side.” Hmmm, perhaps a sexier scene than the one I attempted to write…
On Friday, I received the page proofs for the paperback version due out this June. Thanks to Bob and Terri I was able to fix everything…that is; unless you have a list of errors you were afraid to tell me about. In that case, you have until February 19th to e-mail me.
Any interesting stories about errors in books?
***CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER***
Congrats to our very own Jacqueline Winspear for the glowing review her new book received in the February 23rd edition (page 49) of People Magazine. AMONG THE MAD got full-page treatment and four stars, the maximum given to any book. This week, a prized Wall Street Journal review will appear.
MAD is the latest in the Maisie Dobbs books, the New York Times bestselling series set in England between the wars. In this outing, Maisie matches wits with a potential mass murderer.
"That Maisie's traumas help her understand the criminal mind is just one of the unexpected depths of this engrossing mystery." --Ellen Shapiro, People Magazine
Here’s the link to her signing schedule.
Your success is a joy to us all, Our J.