Errors in Books

I belong to many lists, groups and boards. Lately, I’ve begun to notice much grousing about the number of errors in books–usually aimed at indie and small press books. Having judged enough contests from both large (NY), small and indie publishers, I can tell you I’ve found errors everywhere. Yes, some are grossly unprofessional, and others are relatively minor. I even find them in my own voracious reading habits, when I’ve trained myself not to look but to enjoy.
I have yet to read a book by any publisher that didn’t contain any errors. Heck, I’ve even heard about a copy of the Bible that has mistakes.
Do the errors stop me from reading a book. Usually not, even when they’re egregious. I stop reading a story when the story-telling is bad. That’s the author’s fault, not the editor’s (although they share some of the blame).
And a bad story will stop me from following an author.
But not necessarily bad grammar. Case in point:
Several months ago, during a writing break, I discovered a new author and checked out her rather significant backlist. It was in reading these books that I tripped over an example of bad editing. The hero was hunting the villain using his spore. I stopped. Reread the line. Yep. Still a mistake. Then I giggled and went on reading. I was enjoying the story to much to stop. In fact, the same mistake repeated in 3 books in the series. These books are NY Times bestsellers and it is a very big NY Publisher. What was the editor so embarrassed the mistake when through the first time, that they couldn’t own up to the mistake so they kept repeating it or did they honestly not know the difference?
For your edification:
Spore: a walled, single- to many-celled, reproductive body of an organism, capable of giving rise to a new individual either directly or indirectly. (
Spoor: a track or trail, especially that of a wild animal pursued as game. (
Now as you can clearly see, the spoor was used in tracking, not reproduction and the last was the correct homonym, not the first. Most people probably don’t know or appreciate the difference. I happen to be a Biologist who’s worked as a Microbiologist. I’ve looked at spores, but I’ve never, ever hunted. So the mistake made me giggle.
It didn’t make me stop reading the author, dun them with bad reviews or malign their publisher by saying they were incompetent. Books are written and edited by people and having been through the process enough, I know that mistakes will always get through.
I don’t really care as long as the story entertains me.
That’s why I spend my time and money with a book.

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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