A Typo in the TOC
I have been thrilled with all the rave reviews of my new book, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. And for how so many of you have been helping to spread the word about the book and recommending it to others. So you can imagine my dismay when I received a critical review on Amazon!
This reviewer gave my book a 2-star rating and
added this comment:
I clicked on the book link for the table of contents to check out if I wanted to purchase the book. I can’t tell you how put off I was by seeing “profread” on the 3rd or 4th line. Decided not to purchase if she doesn’t practice what she preaches…
I cannot tell you how many hours I spent carefully proofreading every word and punctuation mark in this manuscript prior to submitting it to my publisher. And how many hours I spent proofreading the galleys before the book went to print. I also had several other professional editors proofread it. The print version does NOT have that typo.
I learned that this typo happened when the book was reformatted for Kindle. Amazon’s formatting people manually retype the Table of Contents when a book is converted to a Kindle e-book (presumably while they’re creating the hyperlinks that allow readers to skip to the various chapters). The typo in my TOC was made by them, not by me.
It pains me to think that some people might judge my book (and me) based on a typo that crept in during Amazon’s reformatting process. However, this does prove something I point out in the book: It’s important for authors to proofread their manuscripts carefully, because mistakes will reflect on THEM, not on their publishers … even if the error isn’t their fault.
My publisher immediately corrected the error in the Kindle book. I’m glad I was made aware of it so we could get it fixed.
This brings up two interesting discussion questions. As a writer or editor, how do you handle criticism or less-than-stellar reviews? And how do you handle someone else’s mistake affecting your reputation?
Some of you have already responded on my Facebook page. One person said, “Be glad that this reviewer has handed you the opportunity to add a comment assuring her that the error in that edition has been corrected.”
Another comment was, “As a reviewer, I would suggest the best response is to just say thank you for the review. If there is an error, certainly correct it, but for the most part, authors don’t do themselves a lot of benefit by reacting to negative reviews. Hopefully, your readers will comment on your behalf.”
What do you think? I’d love to hear your responses!