Digital Reads Reviews

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Recently I had a conversation with a friend of mine, you might know him or heard of him. James J Cudney the fourth prince of the secret land of This is my Truth Now.

This was the gist of it.

What do typos do to you – make you angry, irritated or put off reading, or can you overlook that and still enjoy the book?

I like a well edited book, and I don’t mind a few typos. I find that my brain corrects it as I read it. So it doesn’t damper my story reading. But if there is a typo in every line/paragraph, it blocks my enjoyment, and then it is a no-no.

Grammar and wrong punctuation in some lines do not affect me as I assume that to be the colloquial English. I don’t want the novel to be in perfect English with all the correct punctuation and neither do I bother about it. Authors have a creative license, and for me, this comes within its entire overcast.

I went back and read through my reviews, except in a couple of them, I don’t generally mention typos or put “not a well edited book” in my review. I generally want an interesting plot and well developed characters.

How do you guys react to typos? Does it affect your rating of the book? Do you mention it in your review? Do you want perfect English, with the correct grammar and tenses?

The only example I have got to mention – I was reading a vampire story, skim reading it, and suddenly a line struck me. She killed him with a steak!! I had to go back a couple of pages to understand how she managed to kill the vampire with a steak… Till I realized it was a typo – a stake was what it was!! I had a good laugh, thought about how I could twist “killing with a steak” in the plot line, maybe coating it with poison or silver were my go-to solution, and continued with my skim reading!! 😂

134 Responses

  1. “She killed him with a steak”. Ha ha. That’s made my day! Funnily enough, it’s National Proofreading Day tomorrow and I’ve written a blog post about it on The Yorkshire Rose Writers blog which will come out in the morning. My fellow Yorkshire Rose Writer and I talk about what a nightmare it is to capture every last typo and how we think we barely find a book without one or more x

    1. Hahaha what a great coincidence. This post was scheduled for tomorrow… But I had nothing for today.. Hence it got preponed. 😂😂😂
      Microscopic silver shavings in the steak might kill the vampire inside out.. My working theory😂😂
      On the whole I don’t want a perfect book with I dotted and T slashed, but I want an interesting book which would evoke my emotions!!

    1. Hahaha true that Marialyce, my keypad refuses to type – loved – it autocorrects it to lived most times… Is it forecasting my life? 🤔🤔😂😂🤣🤣

  2. I am more annoyed by ridiculous plot lines or continuity errors. I recently read a book that had totally snagged the age continuum of the characters…..didn’t care that it’s was grammatically perfect….the story itself was ruined

    1. I understand that… I had one where the MC was running and doing gym when the ankle was fractured, operated with pins, and in a plaster 😂😂

  3. That’s a perfect example of spellcheck not helping. I have a critique group with a member who often corrects me and she ends up being wrong! Some typos bother me and some don’t. Twitter doesn’t allow editing so I end up forgiving them there.

  4. A steak – that gave me a laugh. The occasional typo doesn’t bother me – it’s rare to find a book that doesn’t contain at least a couple. But it’s also easy to tell if an author was sloppy with editing or didn’t have their book professionally edited, and that makes a big difference for me. With so many books on the market for readers to choose from, they deserve your best effort.

    1. I understand but sometimes the budget is tight and being humans, we make mistakes. So I am more forgiving.
      The steak was extremely funny. I did ask the author if he had been hungry while writing the novel😂

  5. I’m used to reading so many ARCs that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing them and not being bugged by them. However, when I’m reading what’s supposed to be a finished product, typos give me pause. I rarely mention them in reviews, though one book that had so many I could hardly read it got that as the focus of the review. (I recommended the self published author invest in a good editor because the story was really good…she did and is now pretty successful.) If the book is distributed by one of the major publishers, I’m disappointed but still doesn’t rise to the level of a mention in my review.

    Bottom line, typos don’t bother me enough to write about them in reviews. If they’re persistent, I reach out directly to the author.

    1. I understand.. I read an ARC which had typos in every line to the point I could not understand the story. My brain gave up auto correcting it😂😂

  6. A sprinkling of typos is fine and they will mostly go under the radar. But when a reader starts to notice and remember typos, it suggests that there are far too many.

    1. I agree… I had one where there was a typo in every line to the point I was confused where the story was heading… Then I had to DNF

  7. Typos are a no-no for me, coupled with bad grammar then I might as well as stop reading. But I can overlook it if its just in few places. Nobody’s perfect! 🙂

  8. “She killed him with a steak.” That is hysterically funny and one of a number of examples of autocorrect gone wrong. Incorrect punctuation can do the same thing to meaning with amusing/disastrous results. I admit it: I am bothered by multiple mistakes in the same book. A few I can live with. I also don’t insist on research paper grammar in a work of fiction. Does the author want to start a sentence with “and” or “but”? Go for it! How about a sentence fragment? If that helps the author tell the story better, then I’m all for it. There’s also the difference between punctuation rules and spelling in England and the United States. I can live with that and even enjoy the differences. I try not to be overly critical because “I no I am knot above misteakes miselph.” 😉

    1. Thank you so much Linda for this comment.. The last line made me laugh so much. I have had a bad day, and thanks to you, I could laugh it off. Thank you so much ❤️
      I too can autocorrect a few typos in my mind… Too many of them then I stop reading especially if I cannot understand what the author wanted to convey..

  9. My reaction is much the same as yours. Generally tolerant. But as an English teacher I am a tyrant when it comes to students’ mistakes 😁

      1. Haha, not at all! My students were pretty happy with me. And I’m pretty happy with ‘ some’ of your reviews! (you know which ones! 😉😂)

  10. Ive noticed more typos with Amazon KU than anywhere else. I give a bit more wiggle room, given that most of those authors are self-published. But some big-time authors kind of fall through the cracks sometimes, and that’s where it slightly bothers me.
    I’m the same as you and will always correct an error. But I don’t always comment on grammar, unless it’s obvious.

  11. I read a lot of ARCs and expect typos in them. So I don’t mind them then. I also read a lot of Indie authors and again, I expect them. But if I am reading a book from a well-known publisher (that is a non-ARC) and there are typo’s everywhere, I get irritated.

  12. I don’t mind a few typos here and there, but too many can be jarring and pulls the reader out of the story. I like to be immersed in a book without any distractions. We are all only human, after all, and mistakes can happen. But if I find a story with too many errors, it is very distracting and I usually give up and DNF. So, yes, typos and errors can jar me out of a story, and I would mention that in a review if it bothered me to the point that I quit reading because of it. 🙂

    1. Oooh I understand that… I have DNFed book and told the author vide the steak example, but I haven’t written it blatantly in a review 😍

  13. Some typos, like your example, can be amusing and I can auto correct the odd ones while reading — it’s when they begin to stand out….just can’t ignore them.

  14. 😂 Killing a vampire with steak would probably interesting to read!
    No, as a reader I don’t demand nor expect the books I’m reading to be perfectly edited. It’s part of being human to have or miss one or five (even more) mistakes. They never really hinder me especially if the story is good, but of course, when the errors are too much- like every paragraph have it- but the story is good, I’ll probably beg the author to do something about it.
    As an author though, I’m scared of errors. I have a free ebook that an extreme grammar nazi thrashed so badly I got traumatized. I’m an ESL so I thought that maybe I’m not as good as I thought to spot the errors. I had it edited twice before publishing it but seeing the review (that I’m sure is still somewhere), I panicked and ran to two other editors (one American and another from the UK) and it was such a relief when they both came back to me saying it wasn’t that bad.

    1. Oooh scary… That grammar nazi needs a lesson in being humane… I too don’t mind typos or grammar errors… Only when it is too many, that I cannot understand the story, then I DNF… I don’t think I have ever mentioned it in my review..
      Killing a vampire with steak in my mind was a fun twist… 😂 😂 😂 😂

  15. Even just a few typos can spoil my enjoyment of a book. Actual spelling mistakes are much rarer. I think these days a lot of books are not worked on by dedicated proofreaders, it’s done by editors in-house…

      1. I’m assuming that indie authors will get freelance editors or proofreaders to check over their work. I mean typos can still slip through but the more people look at the work, the fewer typos there should be? Sorry but I notice details like that and I try not to let them annoy me but still, it happens.

  16. Was the steak undercooked? 😂
    I don’t mind a few typos, I can get passed that but when they are littered everywhere through a book it does put me off!

    1. I understand… It is the same with me too… If I see too many in every other paragraph, I am forced to DNF..
      And I was not very sure, but the next paragraph did say wooden steak… Go figure!!

  17. A typo here and there is understandable. We are human, after all. I don’t forgive myself as easily, though… Sadly, if there are too many typos that pop up and distract my reading, I start to lose interest.

  18. Howdy! Sorry for my tardy reply, I was out visiting my parents for the day and am just getting home now… time to catch upon social media. I remember this conversation… actually a few of them! I’ll try to keep this response as short as possible… since it’s a passionate opinion for me… but it will be rather longer than it should need to be! LOL
    I’ve reviewed ~800 books and read a lot more that I never had a chance to review. I don’t think I’ve ever noted anything about grammar or typos for a few reasons. To me, a novel (strictly speaking fiction here) is meant to be something you read for pleasure. It is constructed of words, punctuation, tone, plot, characters, settings, style, and theory. Books can be translated. Books are told from a narrator’s point of view or multiple characters’ points of view. Books are written by writers but then a bunch of other people have some say in them before they are finalized. Grammar rules, for the most part, are consistent, but there are many that are not.
    We’ve had things known as books written for over 600 years (yes, it goes further back, but I’m strictly speaking things we for the most part still read today). I love Greek literature, and many other millennia old works, but I’m focusing on more current items for a moment. Rules have changed many times over. Almost every single book in this world has at least one typo or grammar ‘issue’ that happens. Sometimes it’s just wrong because of a time period, others it’s truly subjective. For example…
    Many people want more commas, some want less. For the most part, a comma is subjective in that case. It is meant to tell a reader ‘to pause.’ What if the author doesn’t want you to pause? It doesn’t make it wrong. It makes it a matter of style. If a reader has an issue with it, they need to think about (1) why and (2) did it really impact an ability to read the book… or does it just give them fuel to add to the fire on something they already didn’t care for? I’d only cite a grammar problem if I truly couldn’t understand / read the work and it was so persistent I didn’t know what was being said. I don’t read to check someone’s grammar. I’m not a teacher. I’m not an editor. I went to school and learned all the rules. I’ve forgotten a few. I purposely ignore so I don’t believe are necessary. I miss things because I’m too close to a mistake. It happens. I’m not a judge on grammar, so I’m not going to mark it unless it made me unable to truly read it.
    I ignore those tiny mistakes because they could’ve come from tons of places. Autocorrect. Cut/Paste. Inability to see the words. Editor’s different styles that are possibly required. In the end, writers can only see some of their mistakes because they’re too close to the work. In modern publishing times, given the abundance of work and the cost for editing, it’s often not feasible to have someone edit a book many times over. Perhaps in a large publishing house, it works out. For small press or self-publishers, writers spend more dollars in editing and they almost never get the money back. There is a balance, just like everything in life, where you spend some money but you hold some back, in order to survive. And so, you might have to live with a few mistakes or issues in a book. It doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it perfect. What it makes it, is human.
    As a reader, I look for the story, the characters, the consistency, the tone, the style… what truly makes it a work of fiction and whether I enjoy it or don’t enjoy it. If I want to read something to verify the grammar is 100% perfect, I’ll go read a book meant for that purpose.
    As a writer, when I see folks call out major issues in grammar, I decide whether it’s a proofreading issue or a knowledge issue about certain rules. As mentioned earlier, commas can be subject in some cases, so people need to realize that’s probably not an ideal thing to mention in a book review. How is that valuable to someone who is curious about how the book will make them feel? When an author takes 1000+ hours to write something, and a reader takes 20 seconds to write a review and specifically call out typos and hardly mentions anything else, I feel it says a lot about them as a person and a lot less about the book. Personally, and I don’t mean this cruelly, I’d rather spend time with the book than that kind of nit-picky person who in all likelihood is hard to please. If the book is an awful book, and you want to topple on it by citing proofreading / typo issues, then go for it. I support / agree with it. But the purpose of a book review is never to focus on typo issues. That’s a bit excessive.
    If I’ve made mistakes in my writing, and someone wants to tell me, go ahead. I’m happy to learn from what I’ve done wrong and fix it going forward. But there’s very little chance it “ruined the book” or “made it unreadable.” That’s 100% an excuse and something people just use rather than think about the rest of the story or how they could be providing valuable input to other people. Quite honestly, if I read a review, and it starts talking about grammar as something painful, I stop reading the review. It tells me the person isn’t putting any real effort into the review and just trying to put out bad content. I’m sure this offends some people, but think about it…
    It’s like going to a restaurant and having a good meal, but writing a review that says “Was okay but they really can’t cook dish ‘x’. Total 1 star.” How on EARTH is that helpful? How about saying “The meal was good. I enjoyed this and that (add a few positives). I personally didn’t care for the way this was cooked, but others might like it. For that reason, I couldn’t give it 4 stars, but it’s around a 3-star meal.”
    I’ve either pissed you off or made you realize it’s better to be open-minded about this type of stuff. Ultimately, I’d rather provide valuable feedback to someone who is reading my reviews about why a character worked or didn’t work, or how a plot evolved or didn’t evolve than just note a proofreading issue because I stumbled upon a few things that weren’t 100% perfect. I also don’t want to be ‘popular’ because I am mean in my reviews for the sake of being mean which is often where this type of stuff goes. I’m not a bully, and I don’t condone people who are, so if that’s the goal in writing a review, that person and I would never get along in person, so the input becomes quite invaluable to me at that point.
    Off my soapbox! 🙂

    1. Oh, and I am kinda expecting someone to respond and point out any typos in my response here. Icing on the cake, baby! Bring it on. I wrote from the heart. I did a quick check to make sure nothing glaring stood out. I’m sure I left a few incorrect things in. And I’m sorry if that makes my response unreadable to anyone. Go read someone else’s comment and be a decent human being! 🙂 Much love. Jay

      1. Oooh I am loving this passionate side of you. You are truly a great writer!!
        Yu stealed ma H-art n spokened ma woards

        My phone kept autocorrecting it all!!

    2. Burn!! Well said!! You have given all of us much to think about!! As my way of rating says, if the books makes me happy it us a good book, inspite of typos… My brain autocorrects most of them so I hardly see it..
      I am glad you gave us an author’s POV when we diss his/her work based on typos and grammar… Thank you Jay… As usual, you are always in my heart ♥
      From my heart to yours, always and forever

      1. Ditto! And I honestly… controlled myself on this one. Your post was totally awesome… but the ire I feel over those types of reviews is one of the few times I find myself angry at people. When I just re-read it, I found 10 errors I should’ve fixed. There are probably more. But I don’t want to email the editor to ask for a correction right now. 🙂

        And for anyone who has been kind in their reviews and mentioned a few typos in my work, I’m totally okay with those because you’ve done it the ideal / friendly / thoughtful way. 🙂

        1. I don’t think a few typos would affect the pleasure of reading. I have been reading for 40 years now and all the old legends Alistair Maclean, James Hadley Chase, Alfred Hitchcock and others had typos and grammatical errors. But I still enjoyed their books…
          You know why language was evolved? To help us understand each other and understand our feelings.
          As long I understand what the author tells me in his book and makes me happy with his story, I am in Bliss..
          Makes sense?

  19. I agree with Jay. So long as it’s just a few mistakes here and there it doesn’t bother me but when there are mistakes on every page/in every paragraph it becomes very annoying and hinders my enjoyment of the book.

    1. I agree, it is the same with me, Misty, most of the time I look at emotions behind words.. And I never look at punctuation

  20. I don’t mind a handful of typos, but if I am consciously noticing them over and over then I’ll mention it (but I don’t think that’s ever happened in a book I’ve picked up honestly.) The only time I will overlook it is an ARC (especially a e-ARC) because I know the kinks are still getting worked out.

    1. Hahaha 😂 😂 isn’t it? Microscopic silver shavings coated on steak would work..
      The line after that had wooden steak… I had to laugh for 10 min at that

      1. Oh my. It brings a whole new meaning to food to die for. 😂 I mean, I think microscopic silver shavings would work. Though I’m not sure the vampire would eat a wooden steak. 😂

  21. Steak? That was sunny.. Oooops funny!!! 😀
    But yes, I agree with you, Typos here and there is okay, but it does put off the book when it’s there in ever single para or line.

  22. I think I’ve always found a misspelled word or two in every book I’ve read. That doesn’t bother me, and I don’t mention it in my review. But when it’s more excessive I might note it, particularly if it detracted from my enjoyment of the book. If I’d read a book where the climax contained an error, like that the murder weapon was a steak, not a stake, I’d be thoroughly peeved. 🤦🏽‍♀️

    1. Hahaha… Actually I was initially confused with steak since I was skim reading I thought I had missed important subplots.. 😂 😂 😂 You should have seen me scampering about trying to go back to chapters to get to the truth. 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🙄

  23. To be honest, 3 or more typos tend to bother me in finished copies. It makes me feel that the editors just brushed over it especially when it’s a popular book. *cough* SAVE THE DATE *cough*
    Great post though!

  24. Friendship forever, Shalini! Sis, i love you! 😉 😂 Regularely i ont find any typos, based on my not so very good English. 😉 Otherwise you are right, not to be amused finding them in every line. Most say writers had not put enough work into their work, but is this true? I dont think so, and love your liberality! Michael

    1. Ahem… I am your sister now? When did that happen? 😂😂😂😂 You are ever-changing in your views… 😂 😂
      I understand your point too… Our brain autocorrects most times, hence sometimes typos are missed even by editors…
      But to come to your main point, I am your sis? 😂😂😂😂😂

          1. Micheal language is not just about perfection, it is about vibes and feelings too and it is about understanding each other… At least I think so ❤️

  25. I’m okay with a couple of typos, publishers are human beings, but if there are too many, I can decide to give up the book. Authors can take liberties with the language but typos irk me, can’t help it! 🙂

  26. I would never lower my rating of a book because of a few typos. Even a book that has been professionally edited may have a few. If it’s clear that a book wasn’t edited at all, I’ll put it down and won’t bother with it.

    1. Oh that’s great… Few typos don’t bother me too… Too many on a page would irk me… But I don’t comment on it on my review or decrease rating. I see the plot and characters more ❤️

  27. If a writer can’t be bothered to do their job properly, ie, write correctly according to the rules of the English language, then I’ll mention it and not bother with them again.

    I do care about correct grammar and word usage. I wouldn’t accept it if my mechanic said my car was fixed but I couldn’t get it into 5th gear, so why should I accept a book that isn’t correctly written? The author is spending MY time and they better do a bloody good job…

    1. Ok got it… Thank you…
      It is a different perspective…
      For me, I am okay with few typos and English written differently or punctuation not applied as per rules. I find that my brain autocorrects

  28. I do like good editing. Sometimes, if it is just a spelling error I can overlook/absorb it as I am reading. Other times, the spacing/lack of punctuation etc. really interrupt the flow of the reading and I hate that. Poor editing like that does a grave injustice to the author’s hard work IMHO.

  29. Killing a vampire with a steak would be interesting!! Some typos can be funny. 😛
    I can live with a few typos. We’re all human and sometimes, something can slip past no matter how well you try to edit. That said, it should be within reason. If every page has like five typos, it becomes an annoyance.

    1. Hehehe 😂 it was funny.
      I agree typos can be funny but too many can irk.
      Would too many typos affect your rating and would you mention it in your review?

      1. If there are too many to the point of them becoming an annoyance, than it would definitely affect my enjoyment and therefore also my rating of the book. If I were to review it, I would certainly mention it as one of its weak points.

  30. Killed him with a steak! Hahahahaha!
    I didn’t even do a double-take there! Given that it’s a vampire novel you were talking about, I just assumed it must be one of those Dracula-Garlic things 😀
    But to think about it, a rare-done steak ought to do the job, I guess! Would require a lot more effort than doing with a stake would 😉

    1. Hahaha I thought a rare steak would have blood so he might like it… 😂 😂 😂 He would enjoy more than die…. Maybe if I cook for him, he would surely conk off…
      How are you? It has been so long.. Have your studies/school/college done with?

      1. 😀
        It indeed has been long! I was busy with entrance exams all these months… now breathing easy after a long time! I’ll also get down to penning a new post in the coming month hopefully 🙂 And of course, I am doing good! How have you been?

  31. Generally, we’re reading ARCs so I assume that many of the actual typos are going to get caught on the final edit, or at least I hope they are. If there are grammatical errors in the final copy then I get very unhappy. With few exceptions, spelling errors don’t bother me as much because I stay confused with the various British vs American vs Asian spelling of words. I give up. However, there is no excuse for to, two or too; there, they’re or there and those types of errors. None. What does bother me immensely is the lack of proper editing. A good editor is worth whatever you have to pay them! That’s all.

    1. Ahhh… I understand.. I am not bothered by them… My brain compensates. But I do agree too many of them spoil the read
      Do you ever remark on your review or decrease a star if there are typos?
      I haven’t done it, but many have.

  32. Enjoyed your post, made me chuckle. With apps like Grammarly, there is no excuse. But the steak/stake element may be missed. As an author, I spend as much time proofreading as I do writing. Even then perfection is impossible. A recent advert for my book went out with WOrld War One…. and I could no longer edit it!!! Argg…

    1. Actually, my brain actually didn’t bother about it. I kind of liked it WOrld War One as it gave it character. Something different..
      Steak gave me time to think of fun subplots 😂😂
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I don’t mind few typos and wrong punctuation as long as story is interesting. ❤️

  33. I am one that my brain can completely ignore the occasional type and not even notice them at all except when the book is just full of errors. Generally it’s a formatting issue when it’s every paragraph and I can’t stand reading it too. 😦

    1. I understand, my brain too autocorrects most words. But too many of them, then it gives up and I can’t read ❤️🤷🏻‍♀️

  34. A steak. This is hilarious. You got me laughing so hard. Thanks. You should make a list of funny typos you found in books and write more posts on the topic. Love it!

    1. Hahaha that was the most hilarious typo which actually worked as it was a vampire story.
      My brain usually autocorrects so I hardly see typos nowadays

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