Thursday, February 25, 2016

About those typos ...

One aspect of my new book of which I’m quite proud is one of which most authors are most ashamed.
I’m talking typpos.
Er, typos.
Not the typos, per se. They, of course, make me cringe.
What I’m proud of is the page one absolution I bestow on myself for their pesky existence.
It reads:
“This book is self-published by the author. That means it enjoys none of the traditional benefits provided by deep-pocket publishing houses. It has no marketing budget so if you find it entertaining, please tell others. No crackerjack teams of plot doctors suggested improvements in story progression, character development or point of view. What follows is wholly organic. And while the author has painstakingly labored to eliminate every typo, grammatical error and sloppily constructed sentence, he realizes he has inevitably failed. The following pages contain those literary scourges and for that the author is sorry. He hopes you won’t hold it against him and will, in fact, notify him at so he can correct future editions. He thanks you in advance for your forbearance and believes you share his understanding that mistakes in life and literature are unavoidable. Like most of you, he believes to err is humon.”
Note the deliberate typo at the very end.
Makes me grin.
I think people sometimes think I exaggerate my financial struggles for comedic purposes.

They think it’s a fabrication. A ruse. A schtick.

Ask my wife. She’ll wearily confirm this is no bull schtick.

I added more debt to publish “The Last Baby Boomer.” I did so because I believe it’ll change my fortunes.

But when you’re making the nerve-wracking decisions about what levels of editorial support you want from your self-publisher, you need to weigh your risks.

I had an option of spending an additional $1,400 on a proof-reading service that would have sanitized a lot of sloppiness.

I said no.

Actually, I said a phrase that sounds like “bucket.”

Prior to its publication, nothing in my entire life has caused me more sleepless apprehensions. I vowed I was going to publish in the most bare-bones manner possible. If the story was good, readers would overlook the errors.

This seems to be the case. The book is getting great reaction.

And I’m having fun with the typos. I’m serious about correcting future versions.

Heck, if you’ve bought from me a copy in the last two weeks you’ll see I’m serious about a correcting present versions.

Yes, prior to sale, I’m by hand going through every copy and penciling in corrections to typos of which I’m aware.

That includes drawing a little “a” below the erroneous “o” in the last word in the disclaimer.

Grisham doesn’t do that.

I do.

I’ve so far found five errors, oddly enough, all on even pages.

I’m really begin to wonder about our collective sanity when it comes to typos. I had a Facebook friend apologize to me because her note had some many errors. She said it must have read like she was drunk.

I told her it was okay. They were just typos and, hey, I encourage people to be more drunk.

Get over it, folks. They’re typos.

It’s not like she’d stitched up someone’s abdominal cavity with a surgical sponge still inside.

All books have typos. Don’t they?

My 15-year-old daughter surprised me when she found a typo in a popular book that should by now be free of them.

Was it “Harry Potter?” “Twilight?” “Hunger Games?”

Nope, nope and nope.

It’s “To Kill a Mockingbird!”

Can you believe it?

Yes, one of the most revered tomes in American history has a mistake. It’s true. At one time the sainted Harper Lee spelled Mayella Ewell as Mayell Ewell, as if the poor kid hadn’t already been through enough.

And the error slipped through the copy editing fingers of squads of the finest literary men in women in the most august Manhattan publishing houses.

I’m comfortable with my flaws and believe most readers are willing to overlook them.

We all need to extend each other some understanding that we’re going to make mistakes and the best we can hope for is we have a chance to eventually correct some of the more glaring ones.

We’re only humon.


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