Writers who read really hate typos.


I don’t know how Eric reacts when he’s engrossed in a book or article and comes across a misspelled word, or the wrong word, a punctuation error or big grammatical goof, but I can certainly tell you how I react.

The flow STOPS. I mean literally stops.

To me, typos are like cell phones in a dark theater. The bright light immediately takes me out of the story. It’s distracting. And that is largely why I’ve quit going to the movies. With a book, my eye seizes on the typo. The narrative halts.

What’s the matter with publishers? Authors can be forgiven mistakes. Their job is to create the story. Perfecting the language of that story is the job of the publisher’s editors. You’d think that sharp-eyed editors would catch the goofs and that spelling and grammar checkers would back up the editors. Or maybe publishers have fired all the editors and rely solely upon computers to tidy things up.

If so, I’ve got news for them. Software isn’t going to catch them all.

The image above is my current read. I’m halfway through it. Although the text is not littered with typos, there are some, and every one is glaring, jarring and interferes with reading.

Memo to publishers: Quit firing your editors. Or hire better ones.


About Michael McKown

Avatar photoJournalist, specialty magazine editor/publisher for 22 years, entrepreneur, co-founder of America's largest working dog organization, producer/director, and co-founder of Ghostwriters Central in 2002.