Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

A Book Review That Teaches The Author Something About Typos . . .

The review is of Notes from An Alien and the reviewer is an inmate in Maryland, U. S. A. who’s been incarcerated for 32 years and is serving a life term.

Here is his review:

“It started a bit slow, but I found it completely worth reading. I thought the concept of a living sentient planet was a creative way to broaden one’s vision of what constitutes life.

“Reading Notes from An Alien is enhanced if the reader has at least a moderate conceptualization of Theology and Philosophy.

“The generational transitions are effective for conveying the elemental need for societal consistency. Well done!

“For those who read it in depth, it can be very thought provoking and, in my opinion, that is the primary purpose of the written word. I feel that if a writer fails to ignite creative thought, then the writer has essentially failed the reader.

“I look forward to a continuation in the series.

“Thank you for sharing your creativity, Peace should be everyone’s primary objective in life.”
Apart from the education this review gave me about the intelligence of a prison lifer, I must say it’s the most welcome review I’ve gotten for my novel

This gentleman then proceeded to give me the following information:

Editorial Notes:
page 26 , line 26, word eight should read “than” instead of that
page 60, line 20, word eight should read Their” not “They”
page 83, line 4 from bottom of page, I’ve waiting” should read “I’ve been waiting”
page 95, line 4, “relative” should read “relatively”

These typos were missed by the editor, a number of authors who read the book, and myself

Yet, before receiving this bit of editorial help, 8 other typos had been identified—typos which this man didn’t see

Yes, wonderfully weird proof that we often read a book with typos and never see them.

And, the typos we do see are often not the ones others see

Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com


17 responses to “A Book Review That Teaches The Author Something About Typos . . .

  1. Mollie Player June 18, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Give me his name and contact info!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Just kidding … sort of. Seriously, it’s HARD TO FIND a good editor to help me when I get buried in freelance work . . .


  2. Alexander M Zoltai June 18, 2012 at 1:59 am

    I know exactly how you feel, Mollie

    In fact, for the second book in my series, I’m going to have a number of Beta Readers and then two editors………


  3. janedarntonwatson June 18, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Alex, I love your line “…typos we do see are often not the ones others see…”
    Too true of most truths, I imagine…:) And I love your reviewer’s take on writing that it should “…ignite creative thought…” I’ll carry that with me when I write from now on… I look forward to a continuation in the series also!


  4. martinaseveckepohlen June 18, 2012 at 5:34 am

    I liked “…ignite creative thought …”, too. That’s a great responsibility for an author. Where can this spark of creative thought live and grow? I read a post by a reviewer on why he never wrote about self-published books or books from small presses, maintaining big publishers produced better books. I can’t help feeling that this is an attitude that smothers creativity.


  5. Simone Benedict June 18, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I liked “Peace should be everyone’s primary objective in life.” I forget who said, “When I look through the bars, do I see mud or stars,” but I have to think this reader of your book might have a better understanding of that than I do. Perhaps.

    I’m looking forward to doing some reading of your manuscript myself, Alexander.


  6. Alexander M Zoltai June 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Yes, Jane, “Too true of most truths…”.

    We often do see what others don’t—might just be why there are so many of us—so Truth can be seen :-)


  7. Alexander M Zoltai June 18, 2012 at 10:22 am


    I’ve talked to too many authors who’ve published with traditionals to believe they’re automatically better at quality—many have errors introduced by typesetters or the editors themselves are lax.

    Also, I believe the “spark of creative thought” is deep inside each of us and the author who writes from the depths will trigger the spark in others


  8. Alexander M Zoltai June 18, 2012 at 10:27 am


    You remind me of a quote from a man who spent 40 years as a prisoner. When he could finally travel freely, it was said of him:

    “…the Shining Pathway out of the “greater prison of self” as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá so beautifully terms those bars that keep us from our fulfillment.’


  9. Barbara Blackcinder June 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I totally understand all these points about typos, I certainly sustain their existance with my own efforts.


  10. Alexander M Zoltai June 18, 2012 at 11:35 am


    I love the way you let a typo into your proud exclamation of supporting the proliferation of them… :-)


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