Saturday, September 5, 2015

Dang! That's Annoying!

I was reading a book set in medieval England at the time of Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, about a third of the way through, when suddenly I realized that I had just read six chapters without a single urge to report an error.

No typos. No laughable homonym mischoices. No jarring hyphens-as-emdashes, no wide-spaced period-strings used as ellipses. Verb numbers that matched, and tenses that did as well. 

It was only in the absence of such pinpricks that I was able to relax and sink into the story. Good story and excellent character development can do a lot to excuse bad grammar and typography, but it doesn't release the reader to immerse in the experience.

Please, writers, consider before you send that book off to be published. Spend a little time and effort to proofread; spend money to hire a proofreader; wrangle your reading friends into proofreading for you—and then do it again after the epublication is ready.

Because if you send your book out into the world festooned with invitations to report content errors on the Kindle, you will not only look like a poor writer. You will also bar your readers from full enjoyment of the story.