Rant Alert: mistakes in books

Ok, anyone who knows me, knows one of my biggest pet peeves is grammar and spelling mistakes in a book.
That being said, I will overlook occasional mistakes, no one is perfect. However, I was recently reading a book series that I bought as a bundle, and it was riddled with mistakes.
It drove me crazy!!! I almost stopped reading it. I didn’t stop, because of 2 reasons.
1. This was a really good story. I really liked the idea.
2. I just have a feeling this is a small publishing company, and or an indie author.
I have a love for indie authors, who have amazing stories and just haven’t gotten that “big break” yet. I respect their efforts, their time, and their amazing abilities to write some of the best stories.
Please, before you attack me, know that I DO NOT blame the authors for these errors. Their job is to create magic, a world I can escape to, not to know how to spell every word or know every grammar rule. I blame proofreaders, editors, and beta readers.
If these mistakes were missed by the proofreader, then I am sorry you need a new profession in the case of this story. The editor should probably move on too, they should have seen the errors before it went to publishing. Also, what beta readers would read this book and not at least tell the author about the errors.
I just had to say something. I even tried to find the author on social media and other places, just to talk to her before I posted my review on Amazon, and to offer my services as a beta reader or proofreader.

I think she has an amazing gift and it is being short changed because of errors that should have been fixed.
I also want to know about the other people who reviewed the books. They were giving 5 stars and not one mentioned the errors. Some of these were ARC reviews. When I do an ARC review I will always let the author or publisher know of the errors if I can. If not, it will still be mentioned in my review. I think it’s a poor excuse for a reviewer, if they are not going to be honest.
I was nice and gave 3 stars. I feel like without the errors the story would have been a 4 or 4.5 star book.

Do excessive errors in books drive you crazy?

Peace! ✌🏻

Les

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46 thoughts on “Rant Alert: mistakes in books

  1. Wow, wordpress is being really stupid right now and making it difficult to leave a comment! Anyway, I have to agree, excessive typos/grammar issues annoy me–and that’s not to say I’m a perfect writer. My beta/proofreaders always try to alert me of spelling issues, but I know some of them still slip through the cracks despite my most valiant efforts to rid my manuscripts of these errors completely. I always use a fine tooth comb and pass it onto no less than three people, then I go over it all again once they’re done, but lo and behold, there’s a misspelled word I only detect after the manuscript is published, and now I want to pull my hair out!

    So I can sympathize with authors who have some errors in their work for sure. It’s not easy to get rid of them all (and I sweat thinking someone might find so many in my works that they’re unreadable!). But finding them left and right? Getting rid of typos is hard, but it’s not *that* hard to, at the very least, tame them to an understandable/tolerable level!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right, I understand that there will be some. I don’t expect perfection. There were just so many in this specific book. It makes me sad because she is a good writer and the story was really good. I just want to offer to beta read her book, so she can get the credit she deserves. I can’t find her though. She has no website, no
      Facebook page, and no info on goodreads really. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right! And that’s really strange that she doesn’t have any social media links! I hope she manages to get some, or find a better beta reader/whatnot because she sounds like she deserves one if her creativity/ideas are so interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I can easily overlook a misspelling here or there. They happen as we are all human. Excessive errors or misuse of words such as “there” and “their” tends to drive me insane. Poor grammar/typos have found their way into my reviews and are reflected in my ratings. I’ll also add that if you are setting a story to take place in a country that you don’t live in – grab a few betas/ARC reviewers in said country to go through your book BEFORE you publish it. I nearly DNF’d a book recently with a great premise and story that takes place in the United States. The author lives abroad. I’m lucky that I knew what a lift and a pram were (common examples but there were a lot of others). The manner of speech was even off a bit, which was frustrating as a reader.
    I have also gone to authors with these types of errors. Some have been gracious while others chastised me for “editing” their ARC. It seems that sometimes you can’t win either way.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. I hate when an author writes a story set in my home town of New Orleans and everything is wrong or just not realistic at all. Just find someone who lives there and ask them. I haven’t really had any bad experiences with authors.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh no I’m one of those who only believe in one “there” Les hates it! I know some authors will ask for two kinds of beta readers, story proofreaders and grammar proofreaders. I think this is brilliant sin e I only want to proof the story and people like Les are so good at grammar.

      That’s why we’re a team πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I do hate it!! I’m always like that is the wrong “there”. I don’t even look for mistakes, but they catch my eye. We do make a good team, because I can’t edit the content of a story to save my life. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post.

    Agree, and don’t agree. Well, I don’t beta read often. The last time I have been a beta reader for someone, I did mention all the mistakes that I spotted (which were many) and advised that the book would need further proofread / editing. As for public reviews, I prefer to be a bit more generic, and leave specific errors in a private message to the author ( This is about the details, because I do mention major plot holes when I review, simply because it affects my opinion of the book).

    While I sympathized with ‘most’ authors, the truth is that many will deliberately ignore your advice both as a beta reader and a reader. So I am not sure whether beta readers should be any to blame. They are not getting paid (most), they don’t have a specific job, except representing a target audience, so the author could have a general idea of how his audience would receive his book (this is my opinion).

    About editing, then yes, I completely agree. I have been in awe how some books are full of mistakes, even though they have been edited. There are some authors that decide (or can’t afford) not purchasing the services of an editor, so that would be a different case. A good editor is essential.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I always want an ARC reader, Reviewer, or Editor to be completely honest about mistakes. I print out every one of my books/stories and hand them over (red pen included) to my wife. She is brutal because she is a teacher and will brook no grammatical errors. It means I get back a manuscript that is bleeding all over, but it also means I get to put the best out there.

    As a reader, I am a stickler for grammar, proper details, and formatting. Everyone forgets that last bit. Formatting, sentence structure, length, and variance is absolutely necessary. Good read Les, keep em coming.

    PS. I am an indie author, so no hate from me. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh good! lol. I love it when people love my stories! You guys are great too! Seriously. BTW I am working on a project I think it right up ya’lls alley. Monster Hunter: Faeriepocalypse, it should be fun. I’ll let you know when I finish it.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Unfortunately, with the rise in self-publishing, or “publishing houses” that offer little more than a book cover and help distributing to a few ebook channels, there has been a corresponding rise in authors “publishing” a book with little or no editorial help. As you indicated, any decent editor should catch these types of errors. I have a friend who makes most of her living being a professional editor for smaller publishing houses and she wouldn’t be considered “cheap” for the self-publishing or bare bones publishing group market. I know her authors take her suggestions extremely seriously, and tend to only “reject” editorial advice if they take a stand on extremely important plot or character issues.

    There are more than a few ebook “publishers” out there who take a sizable portion of whatever revenue is made in book sales in return for doing very little for their authors. (Sometimes they simply adding a book cover and get the book listed in Amazon and other venues, and perhaps putting up a social media post or two). If this publisher doesn’t even have a website, they are likely on the “take a percent in return for little service” end of the ebook publishing perspective.

    Unfortunately it is incumbent upon the author to build a proper team. If they cannot afford their own editor and/or the publisher doesn’t really provide those types of services, they need at least need to find their own proofreaders and/or beta readers. Hopefully a review (perhaps like the one you wrote) praising the author for their creativity, ideas, and/or writing while pointing out the problems will spur the author to look more carefully at their current team (and/or build in additional support).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I agree authors have to build their own team. I have a friend who is writing her first book and she has asked me to proofread it for her. I gladly accepted. I think it’s an honor. I hope this author does take the review and make it useful. I wish I could find her.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. When I come across a typo or error it pulls me out of the world of the book and makes me focus on the error for a second or two. If there are just one or two of these moments I don’t mind, but more than that and like you, I also start getting annoyed. As a writer I know how easy these mistakes are to make (my last manuscript was riddled with them and I seemed to be blind to them until someone pointed them out!) but I guess as you said it just means you need to get a really good and attentive proofreader/editor.

    Nice that you contacted the author about it in this case, I’m sure she appreciated it – I know I would if it were me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually couldn’t actually find her. I searched for days. I wish I could. I am actually signed up for a proofreading course and I will probably try to help some of my favorite indie authors by proofreading for them. I know it is hard to find good help sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh no that’s a shame. But great you are thinking of doing it for other favourite indie authors. If they don’t have a big publishing house behind them it’s not so easy to get a book properly polished and proofread.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes and I feel like they have amazing stories but are held back because they don’t have a huge publishing house. I will help any indie author because I want their books to be read and loved for the amazing story it is.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree! It can spoil my overall enjoyment or make me hesitant to read anything else by that author. I know it’s impossible not to one across a few but excessive errors are a real turn off.
    I love Indie works too and often look past these errors because I appreciate that sometimes they might not have the budget to hire great editors, but if it’s overly excessive, it does act as a deterrent.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Actually I think authors need to learn grammar and spelling. No one tells a musician, “Wow that’s an amazing song but it was so out of tune I couldn’t listen to the whole thing. Still I think you’re an amazing musician.” Grammar and spelling are the tools of the trade. You need to master them to master story telling. Of course no one can catch all her mistakes, and it’s true that’s the editors main job. I recently read a book where they wrote Scotch “scotch” the whole way through. It was annoying and all they needed to do was look on the Internet to see if it was supposed to be capitalized. Correct grammar and spelling keep the reader in the story, but taking the time to learn different sentence structures and more vocabulary words really opens up a story to a new level.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes everyone should have knowledge of grammar and spelling. That being said, I know very few people who write and pay attention to grammar. They are caught up in the story.

      Musicians usually have someone who tunes their instruments before their concert. Well, when they hit it big, just as any author who has a power house of a publisher behind them.

      Look, if I had a huge publishing house sign me and they come with editors and proofreaders, why would I make sure it’s perfect? Isn’t that there job? Also, personally I would go over the book before it was published myself. I would have to so I knew for sure that it had as few of errors as possible.

      Like

      1. Speaking as a professional musician I do not have people who tune my instrument. No one in a professional symphony does. Rock bands can have tuners for guitars but the guitarist still has to play in tune on stage. Their fingers have to go in the exact right spot. The vocalist has to hit the notes on the right pitch. Yo Yo Ma tunes his cello on stage himself. No professional musician gets where they are by half-assing it first. The lead singer for Iron Maiden trained operatically.

        Speaking as a professional writer, most publishing houses won’t look at you unless you have an agent. Most agents won’t look at you if you have mispelled words and poor grammar. Competition is intense for writers trying to break into a big five publishing company. Which is why it is even more painful for me to read a book from a big five riddled with grammar mistakes.

        Like

  9. I totally agree. I understand having some mistakes but when it seems to be on almost every page it gets so annoying. That’s one think I love about reading on my Kindle, I can highlight all the mistakes and let the author know.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m an old-school grammar Nazi. I spent five years studying English/American Lit & Creative Composition. I flip out when people start their sentences with conjunctions. It is my biggest pet peeve of all. In fact, I got kicked out of my World History class for editing my professor’s lecture.

    Liked by 1 person

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