Typos in books

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby Aus Gannon » 06/23/08 12:15 PM

This ones for those of you who write or publish.

Ive read, I think, five magic books cover to cover this year and all of them had at least one typo or grammatical error in them.

If one of your readers finds such an error in your work do you like to be told?

Are you glad to be informed so you can correct the mistake in future versions or does it just annoy that someone is reading your hard-won material and all they have to comment on is a rogue apostrophe?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/23/08 01:20 PM

Few small publishers have the financial ability to hire professional proofreaders (they're very expensive). We all rely on knowledgable friends. We do not catch all mistakes. All books in our field have typos and mistakes of various sorts.
It's the best we can do.
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Postby pduffie » 06/23/08 01:41 PM

Hi Aus,

I like to be told about any typos.


PS: I don't know how anyone could become a professional proof-reader. They have to be slightly insane.
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Postby Aus Gannon » 06/23/08 03:35 PM

I would consider two of the books I read to be among my favourites and certainly don't hold minor typos against them but as the world's slowest reader - I read every word - I often find things that have slipped through the net.

I would be happy to email any errors I found if it was useful but I wouldn't want to offend or appear overly petty - especially when the rest of the work is excellent.

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Postby Steve Fernandes » 06/23/08 08:33 PM

In my book, I included an email address for readers to send corrections. The work, though, is a bibliography and will not be reprinted. The intention of seeking corrections was for future use in updates. In addition to "typos", the interest is in more data about the Titles.

If the work is a text, and the typo is more critical than the rogue apostrophe and involves erroneous instructional material, contacting the author or publisher could generate an erratum slip for any remaining unsold copies.
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Postby Spellbinder » 06/23/08 11:21 PM

One of the advantages of the e-Book is that corrections can be made immediately for all future versions. At The Magic Nook, if we see the need for a major re-write, all previous purchasers of the e-Book are sent an updated copy, but if it is just a typo correction, we make the change but don't send out updates.
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Postby Larry Barnowsky » 06/29/08 09:06 AM

If the typo significantly affects the meaning of a sentence, then I would want to know that as a writer. In my most recent book I proofed the book at least 100 times, my wife did about 10 times, and our graphic artist was one more set of eyes. Each time through I might find a minor typo or find a better way of describing something. The day I was to send the pdf file to the printer I decided to do one more proofing. It seemed perfect until I got to one of the last chapters and the word "an" was mistakenly written for "and". I read it over 100 times and missed it each time. Spell checkers are helpful but will miss those nasty homonyms and won't pick up all grammatical errors.

In addition to spell and grammar proofing, I go through each chapter and try to learn the effect as my reader would with coins, cards or whatever needed in hand. This allowed me to find ambiguities in the descriptions and I found one photo which was incorrect (it was a duplicate of the previous) which was an error of the graphic artist. It's very tedius work which is the worst part of writing a book. One thing I won't do is proof this posting. I'm through! :)

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Postby Rennie » 07/01/08 08:44 AM

No need to "proof it", looks good to this 2nd set of eyes.
The typos do not bother me as much as the spelling. For some reason, and I do not know why, but when I see a word spelled incorrectly it makes me cringe. Now with the advent of our illustrious spellcheck we should not have that problem, but I still see it.
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve is not !!
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Postby Tom Gilbert » 08/28/08 11:16 PM

In the AOA books by Paul Harris there ended up being a number of typos. But for one of the effects there was supposed to be a strange page number for the finish. The printer took it out thinking it was an error. It was corrected in the next printing.
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Postby JKeppel » 08/30/08 11:20 AM

I agree, you can't catch everything and proofreading gets tiring after a while BUT a big new recently published $80.00, 500 page book has an error on the FIRST page in the second sentence. You should be able to get to at least page 10 before something like that happens hahahahaaha. I'm going to cut him some slack though because trick wise it might be the best book I've read in the past 5 years.
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