Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Typographical Errors

Do We Have to Worry about Amazon Being Heavy-Handed Again?


The topic for today’s post came from the wonderful blog called The Passive Voice—usually showing snippets with links to other blogs but sometimes holding forth at length, eloquently—this time with the snippet/link about “Kindle e-Books will have a warning message if they have spelling mistakes or bad formatting.”

The passive guy (who’s actually a lawyer) led me to a somewhat detailed article at goodEreader.

Excerpts:

“Amazon has two stages of the warning system that will go live within a few short weeks.

If an e-book only contains a few spelling mistakes, but is still readable, a simple warning message will appear on the details page of that specific title.

“It will make the average book buyer aware that there are some issues.

“If the book has bad formatting issues, and basically renders it unreadable Amazon will suppress it and the book listing will be removed.”

Apparently, folks send notes from their e-readers to Amazon—like these:

spelling errors

I find this quite interesting because they seem to be saying Amazon will take action whether the book is uploaded by the author or comes from a publisher

I have two books on Amazon—one of each kind just mentioned…

I wrote about the typos of one of them back in June of 2012—A Book Review That Teaches The Author Something About Typos . . .—then, wrote about it again the other day—What Happens to a Book After It’s Published?

I’ve never told Amazon about typos I’ve seen in their e-books—have you?

Last time I looked the article had 71 comments and folks were either doubting Amazon will actually do this, or afraid they’ll do it but dump books that have purposeful misspellings, or drop books because some readers misreport for unfounded reasons

Excerpt:

“Currently, the only way users can report content issues is if you have an e-ink based reader, such as the Kindle Paperwhite or the Voyage. There is no reporting option for content errors on the Amazon Fire tablets or the Kindle e-reading apps for Android and iOS.”

Oh, also, the last time I checked, The Passive Voice snippet/link post had 67 comments; again, a mixed bag of disbelief, joy, query, and exasperation

There is one link in the goodEreader article to Amazon that says “a warning message“; however, I went to that page (found a bunch of sound advice about avoiding errors)  but only found one indication of action Amazon would take:

“Some errors cause a book to be incomplete or unusable. We refer to these as Critical Issues. Because Critical Issues significantly impact the reading experience, any Critical Issue will result in the book being removed from sale until the correction is made.”

I found no definition of “Critical Issues” though they may be what the goodEreader article called “bad formatting issues”

It appears goodEreader is conflating spelling mistakes and minor typos with major formatting issues by saying, “Amazon has two stages of the warning system that will go live within a few short weeks”.

Also, what they say really only deals with one warning (for typos) and one, seeming, unwarned removal

I did some searching for more on this story but have yet to find anyone else writing about it.

I suppose I’m sharing it because I trust that passive guy’s heads-up services; and, also, I’m curious if my book will start carrying a Warning

If you see anything, please, do share a link in the comments :-)
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The Ever-Present Typo . . .


Imagine this:

A public speaker known for their eloquence of utterance is well into their talk and says:

“We must remember, stalling is good for our health.”

Considering they were talking about exercise, what do the folks listening think?

Some will recognize the verbal “typo” and correct it to strolling, never losing a beat.

Some will recognize it and have their thinking stall, missing the next three sentences.

Some will not notice it at all—some of this group correcting it unconsciously, some thinking they can slack off on their workouts.

This happens with the written word, too.

In my past post, A Book Review That Teaches The Author Something About Typos . . ., I said:

“These typos [noticed by a man who’d read my novel] 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…”

Another example from my reading:

There are certain books by C. J. Cherryh I’ve read at least four times each—never noticed a typo.

After I’d had experiences with typos in my own work, I read one of those Cherryh novels again

I saw two typos

Here are a few excerpts from an article in The Guardian titled, Alex Ferguson’s errors join a grand publishing tradition:

“Is there a special bad elf that creeps out in the pre-Christmas period to wreak havoc with would-be bestsellers?”

it’s Alex Ferguson‘s turn to face the wrath of fans, after his autobiography was found to contain 45 howling errors.”

“The Ferguson fiasco is less easily brushed away, given the publisher’s insistence that the ghost-written book was read by a specialist football fact-checker as well as in-house staff.”

“It’s rare these days that whole editions are pulped due to unactionable errors

“Pity the poor publisher of the ‘Wicked Bible’; which, in 1631 contained the most famous proofing error of all: ‘Thou shalt commit adultery’.

So

Whether you’re a reader, writer, or publisher (or, all three), I hope you’ll share your thoughts and feelings about the pesky typo in the Comments :-)
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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.”
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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

Fascinating………
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