I self-publish, and I publish traditionally. My work may be read by one editor or a half dozen. I’ve read it myself 5 or 25 times before it goes to press. And still somehow a typo can occasionally slip through.
It doesn’t happen a lot; I work hard to put out clean manuscripts. But I recently found an error in a story I’d sold (published elsewhere), and then this week a glitch ate some layout code and spat up paragraph break errors among hundreds of pages, all of which must be found and fixed manually.
Sometimes it’s human error. Sometimes it’s software. It’s always frustrating, even if they’re generally uncommon. But one advantage of independent publishing over traditional is the ability to correct that stray typo sooner rather than later (or not at all).
Announcing the Typo Bounty Program! /perky kazoo music/
If a reader alerts me to a typo or error, that reader gets a coupon code for a free ebook. Redeem it promptly or save it for a new release, it’s yours to use!
Now, I do need to establish a few guidelines:
- It has to be a real error. “I personally hate semi-colons and so I think you should have used an em dash” is not going to count, sorry. But “this says collaborate where it should say corroborate” is a verifiable error and earns a coupon. Similarly, a misplaced apostrophe or other typographical error would count.
- It has to be in a book I publish. I can’t fix something printed by another publisher, only my own projects. (Check the imprint for Æclipse Press.) Likewise, your coupon code is good for any book I publish.
- The error has to be identifiable so I can check and correct it. “There’s a misplaced comma in your book” is not helpful; “there’s a double comma in the second paragraph of chapter 7” is.
- Only the first report of the error gets the goods. Everyone else gets an embarrassed “thank you.” If you’re the 147th person to tell me the paragraph break on page 32 is wrong, I won’t have any freebies left, just depression and self-loathing.
- On that note… The error report should be submitted in a civil and helpful way. I know of emails containing an unreasonable amount of name-calling and personal accusation regarding morals and hygiene over a comma. While I hope my readers are kinder and would never, I’m setting the expectation early.
So to illustrate using the frustrations that prompted this post, the error in the traditionally published story would not be eligible for the program, because I didn’t publish it and cannot correct it. But if we don’t catch all the paragraph break errors in this cursed layout, submitting one of those is eligible. You’ll get a free book, and I’ll get a quick correction to the files. Thanks!
Do you think you’ve found an error? Hop over to the contact form and let me know.
(A technical note: I can correct a file for the next printing, but that obviously won’t affect a physical copy which has already been printed. In ebooks, future purchases will show the correction, and whether your current copy will be corrected depends on the platform you’re using; some update book files and some do not. Buying ebooks and audiobooks directly from me always keeps updates available!)