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Frustrated with typos...

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I agree authors should be aware that a reader is doing a writer a favor by reading what he writes, and the least the writer should do is to correct typos and misspellings and punctuation errors.

I would go a little further, not by way of advice, but by way of observation. Writing is a natural talent, or an acquired abiliity. It is also a craft that adheres to certain criteria. Just because somebody has an idea for a book and puts it into words doesn't make him or her a writer. Unless they do a good job of this, it just makes them wanna-bes, and I don't waste my time on the works of these hacks.

Once self-publishing blew up, enabling anybody with the wherewithal to put out a book, there was more chaff than wheat out there. Not to be overlooked are the people who, rather than broadening their taste, prefer to only read about what they can relate to. Being willing to overlook blatant flaws seems to go along with this mind-set, - all of which lowered standards and contributed to the divisiveness that is now plaguing the black literary community.

Of course, a book told in the first-person utiizing slang and dialect can be effective visa-vis style. It is when an attempt at serious writing is littered with infractions that a person's qualifications to be called a writer come into question.

IMO.

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Writegirl, reading books that have been so badly edited that I can not complete them is a rare occurrence. Typically it is the subject matter or style that prevents be from completing books -- rather than run sentences or a misplaced modifiers.

How do you decide which books to read? It seems to me you'd be able to avoid the really badly edited or unedited ones with a little scrutiny or using a good source for recommendations.

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writegirl, Amazon reviews, the ones submitted by users, are useless. I never read them unless I know the reviewer -- which is rare. Many are contributed by the author, or on behalf of the author, and are little more than additional promotional material. I even know some reviews which are posted to deliberately slam an author's work for malicious reasons.

I do read the reviews on Amazon that are supplied by the known entities like Publishers weekly, Kirkus or the Library Journal, but those are really very short and not too informative.

I would not give up on the new authors completely; just use a different method to discover them. I bet if you posted a request here: "...looking for a light humorous read by a new author. Any suggestions" people would provide some recommendations.

You can also try review the " conversation.

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After spell checking time and time again, I printed my manuscript and had my wife read it, then I read it. Still, after ordering the proof, I still found typos. Even a good program like "Open Office" which catches a lot more mistakes than "Word" misses some like "loose" instead of "lose" because both are proper words. I love the work of Gary Jennings who is professionally edited and still catch a few. For most self published authors a professional editor is out of their means but they should try as best that they can to get is as good as they can before and after submission. Createspace allows you to continue to edit after submission.

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The new wave of self-publishing is both a blessing and a bane. I've self-published 3, and had 3 published by small press publishers. Still nowhere near the big time.

I started to write over twenty years ago and realized I didn't know good writing from bad. I was lucky enough to find and join a writers' group with two Eng. Lit Profs and a high school English teacher. Our goal was to hone our craft and become published. I didn't submit anything until I'd been with the group for several years and finally started getting published in magazines and anthologies. In other words, I paid my dues, because magazines won't accept writing with typos, grammar issues, etc.

As a writer, I make sure that EVERYTHING I write is self-edited at least twice, even forum posts. My writing is my reputation.

That being said, there's always a possibility of overlooked typos. But if you see a book blurb with poor editing, you can be sure there's a lot more errors between the covers.

Take care,

JohnB

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I agree that there will always be overlooked typos. The standard stuff is forgiveable; after all, nobody is perfect. I remember when I started this post. LOL. I was so irritated. That's because for some reason every ebook I picked from Amazon for like eight days straight was FLOODED with all sorts of mistakes. It was really really bad. But I've gotten much better now at navigating the system and using the preview chapters to my advantage - usually if the book is going to be a slovenly mess, you can tell right away in the preview. You'd think I would have known that, but I've been out of the loop and just now getting back into building my book collection and using ebooks to do so. Anyhoo, Amazon turned out to be really good in terms of accepting returns. So now if I stumble across another book like that, I simply stop reading as soon as I realize what's going on, and I return it.

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