mistakes in books

Publishers, Editing E-books, and Those Annoying Little Mistakes that Happen

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts around lately with complaints about mistakes in e-books…all e-books. Of course most of these mistakes are small and they don’t change the content within the book. I’m reading a bio about Julia Child right now that was pubbed a while ago and I’ve counted at least five errors…very little errors that don’t bother me in the least. I read two novels before this book that were published by well known authors about ten years ago. These novels have recently been made into digital books and I’ve found small errors in them, too.

I’ve had errors in my own books. One in particular was in AMERICAN STAR, where a name is spelled differently in parts of the book. (I still get flop sweat over this one.) When this book was submitted, the name was correctly spelled as, “Terrence,” and I quadruple checked to make sure it was correct before I submitted. What happened between the time the manuscript was submitted and the time it went into digital format is beyond me. But I was told it was a problem with conversion. And I’ve heard other authors say the same thing has happened to them.

Before I submit a manuscript to any publisher, I do at least four rounds of edits. And then the manuscript goes to another editor, and then on to a copy editor. After that, I usually go back and forth with the copy editor for at least a week working out different sections of the book. And, I rarely ever argue with the copy editor about any suggestions or changes because I’ve learned that the collaboration always makes a better book in the end. With my love you divine short story e-books, I have two editors, one is a managing editor and the other a copy editor. Believe it or not, it takes sometimes over a month to get the edits right just for a short story.

The point of this post is that little mistakes happen. Like I said, I’ve seen them with older books and newer books, in print and digital. And publishers do edit. And edit, and edit, and edit…e-publishers and print publishers. It’s not something they take lightly. Has the increased need to produce books faster created more little mistakes in books? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m never in a rush to get anything out, and neither are any of my publishers. I write fast; I edit slowly. Right now I’m working on a new book in the Virgin Billionaire series and I have two ravenous romance books with the publisher, going through strenuous rounds of edits.

Publishers and authors try hard to get it right. But once in a while something slips by.