KingMidget's Ramblings

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A Note to My Self-Publishing Friends


I say this knowing that there were approximately 25 typos in the first print effort of my first novel (that, by the way, is less than one every ten pages).  I say this knowing that there were also typos in my short story collections.  I say this knowing that my Spanish translations in Weed Therapy were not always exactly right.  And I say this with the hope that you will find it supporting rather than attacking.  When you publish a work that is so full of typos as to leave the reader feeling that there is a typo on every single page, you do not just yourself a disservice, but all self-publishers a disservice.  No matter how great the story is, the quality of the product is also impacted by its presentation.  It’s like this.  I’m an attorney.  If I go into a courtroom in shorts and a t-shirt, it may very well not matter the quality of my argument.  Sadly, this is a reality.  Sometimes, form is just as important as substance. 

I want you to self-publish.  I want you to achieve your dreams.  I want to read your stories because some of the self-published stories I’m reading are unlike anything I’ve read for a long time.  I want to support your efforts.  You owe it to me and your readers, however, to do everything possible to fix the damn typos before you even publish. 

If I didn’t have a day job and a family to support and my own writing projects to focus on, I’d offer to copy edit your manuscripts.  Somebody needs to do it.  Problem is that I couldn’t possibly make enough money doing that.  And, chances are, you probably wouldn’t want to pay me for those services.  Even at a discount.  But think about it. 

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9 responses to “A Note to My Self-Publishing Friends

  1. jellybelly October 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Hey, I’ll proofread anything, anytime! It kind of happens by accident every time I read.

  2. Vince Dickinson October 10, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I was pretty anal about my last book, and then I had one of my best friends, a high school English teacher read it, and he found some errors. Got them all fixed and published. Then my other friends found two more typos. Hi ho.
    Just bought a paperback of Weed Therapy, Should arrive next week.

    • kingmidget October 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      With Bridgeport, I had a couple of readers and I conducted two major edits and then read through it one last time. I was un-nerves when I learned of those 25 typos from my sister. Other than the problems with Spanish translation I haven’t heard of major problems with Weed Therapy. Let me know if you see anything. And thank you for purchasing it.

  3. justmoo33 October 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Well said. I’m just having a bit of a spelling/grammar scare with Chronovisor. Had a funny conversation when I responded to a bad review – the reviewer thought it was a bit odd to say the least. My solution is to upload fixes as they are pointed out, then declare them at the top of the description!

  4. Sahm King October 13, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Mark, you make some really good points here and you remind me of something my lady told me. When she picks up a book that looks interesting and begins to read it, if she’s noticing grammatical errors (like, maybe two or three per page and the like), she gets to the point where she wants to…burn the book, as it were.

    This is most definitely advice that should be heeded, though there are some who find grammar and spelling unimportant. But all you say of presentation applies. I notice it’s the same with covers. If your presentation is off, it doesn’t really matter to the consumer how brilliant you are. Shame that, but like you say, it’s the reality.

    • kingmidget October 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      I’m reading a book right now that’s by one of our fellow, self-published blogger/writers. I love the stories, but this particular volume is sooooooooo packed full of typos, I want to throw it into the swimming pool. It is very, very frustrating. Hard to enjoy a story when you’re noticing typos constantly.

      • Sahm King October 15, 2013 at 1:00 am

        I had this urge to go check my books all of a sudden. I’ve written some on grammar, saw some Ionia wrote, then saw yours, and now I’m becoming self-conscious. Actually, that’s like a constant state. It is extraordinarily challenging to enjoy a story with so many errors. Especially if you’re compelled to correct the errors… That’s the same point I have to throw the book out the window myself.

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