This is a tough subject because it's my absolute pet peeve and it's a real true part of this biz - typos - the elephant in the book release room. Seems authors don't talk about it much online, and bless the hearts of readers, they don't mention it much to authors. But today, I just felt like writing about it. So here we go . . .
As an author with dozens of titles, I know it's extra frustrating for writers to go through the very necessary, arduous process of ensuring that books are error-free, when in fact some books end up with typos. The errors might be the word you vs. your, morning vs. mourning, text vs. test, or perhaps switching character names or missing words altogether, or even our choice of knowing when to use the word fiancé or fiancée, or worse.
Typos are those sneaky, tricky little suckers that aren't there one minute, and then they appear out of thin air the next minute, almost sticking their tongues out at us like na-na-na-na-nana! (did I spell that right?)
The typo critters always hide from the author's eyes. After all, we created the sentences, so what we see is nothing like what's really there because when reading it back, we already know what it says. And the critters can even manage to hide from the fresh eyes of the proofreader, and not just proofreader number one, but proofreaders number two, three and four. Most of us always hire more than one extra set of eyes, paying good money for such expertise, when at times we want to yank our writer fingertips out when we read a random page before or even after publication, knowing it's all crisp and clean, and then we scroll through weeks later, and bam, there they are, having hidden like sneaky little rickety word roaches in the night.
The bottom line is, no matter how proofed our stories might be, having been checked by beta-readers, production departments, or professional proofreaders, it can happen, though not always, however, the buck stops with us. Our name is on the book. We wrote it and it's our responsibility. Even when the title is published via mainstream, there can be a few errors. The reader is not going to check to see who the publisher is and blame them. Some indie publishers who vowed to have error free, quality works, have quickly found that the word roaches paid them a visit, too. All we can do is correct it and vow to do better. It's not on purpose.
The bottom line is, we really owe the readers a clean copy. They spend their hard earned money and they deserve better. They themselves can tend to miss errors because they're so caught up in the story (if it's good), but if we as authors know the typo is there, it hurts. No one's perfect, we're human, however, when and if it's distracting to the reader, in my opinion, even if we gave them 99,990 good words, those messed up 10 words can be just enough to turn a 5 star review into a 4 star, or enough for the reader to tell a friend or book club member or two, and so on, and so on,
My dear top authors, mid-list authors, new authors - how do we do our best to ensure that our books are error free? Please share your tips/opinions. And readers, we'd like your opinions as well. Let's talk about that big old elephant in the book release room! Because, sometimes, it really is there.