There is no such thing as an error free book

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This morning I received an email from my publisher, Kindle Direct Publishing. The following is the email’s text:-

We’re writing to let you know that at least one of your readers has reported some problems within your book, and we have confirmed the issue. Potential errors have been identified:  for example, “alter stone at Stonehenge’s centre.” should be “altar stone at Stonehenge’s centre.(loc: 52), “that surrounded the ancient alter.” should be “that surrounded the ancient altar.” (loc: 1311) Please check them and look for others.

While I fully acknowledge the error and that it may have been pointed out to them by a genuine reader, given that KDP along with Goodreads and CreateSpace are wholly owned subsidiaries of Amazon.com, and have their own forums where the trolls currently lurk, the chances are that it was a troll who pointed out the spelling error to them, hoping to get a reaction from me.

Well they got one, but not necessarily the one they were hoping for.

The person from KDP who sent me the email may be genuine also. But you will pardon me for being overly cautious in this instance, having been caught out once several years back in a similar situation, which led to my being targeted for months by a particularly nasty troll.

If it was a genuine comment made by a genuine reader, then I would point out one thing to them – there is no such thing as an error free book.  Even the most fastidious editor within the world of conventional publishing is human. Face it folks, errors like this minor one on my part get missed during the editing process. What did I do with the email? Simple. Nothing. I merely filed it.

Within the world of literature, while companies like Amazon prefer to take the side of the troll over that of the writer and genuine reader, anyone who ‘bites’ when receiving something like this in his or her email tray is in for a nasty surprise.

These days, like most writers I know I have nothing whatsoever to do with the act of engaging with people not known to me. Trust me when I say that in instances like this it is far better to err on the side of caution rather than to react in any way shape or form…

PS – I forgot to mention that the book in question has sold well over five thousand copies to date. So one complaint from a pedant is hardly anything to worry about, is it 😉

6 thoughts on “There is no such thing as an error free book

  1. An old boss of mine needed 50 boxes worth of inserts for packaging. These inserts were slotted and crisscrossed together to create a grid inside the box to hold product. The boss man thought you ordered inserts to create the grid so he order a thousand, but it turned out that each complete grid was considered 1 insert in the catalog. He ended up ordering a thousand boxes worth of inserts and they had to be shipped by semi-trailer on several pallets. It cost the business a ton of money, and we had so many ‘inserts’ that they had to store all the pallets outside in one of the sheds because we didn’t have room for them inside. Mistakes happen, we’re human.

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  2. Are you sure it was KDP, Jack? I’ve never heard of KDP becoming editors! With our shared love of Antipodean spelling and grammar, I would expect we would keep KDP busy forever if they are now turning into Spelling Police.

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