As a self-published and traditionally published author, I spend a lot of time trying to find typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in my work. Even after hiring a professional editor, it's a painstaking ordeal. The same is true when working with my publisher’s editorial team. Four of us will go over the book, yet a typo or two can still be found in the published product.
As a book reviewer, it’s pretty rare to find a book without a single typo, but the occasional typo doesn’t bother me as a reader. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly common to find multiple typos, spelling inconsistencies, and grammatical errors in self-published books. It’s why I’m glad Amazon is implementing a new warning system on February 3 to would-be buyers. Frankly, I wish they did it long ago. Too many unhappy readers, including me, have wasted time and money on books filled with these types of errors.
Michael Kozlowski has written a short, useful blog about what authors need to know regarding the new warning system that flags books with lots of typos and/or formatting issues. Note that Amazon has been sending authors a list of misspelled words or poorly formatted books to correct for a while now, but this new warning upgrade will be public. Kozlowski also provides a link to show what it will look like, here.
As Kozlowski notes, authors inevitably have questions. For instance, what about the science fiction and fantasy authors who’ve created new words and languages? Well, the answer is that a lexicon can be implemented. You can read more about that in his blog.
How consumers and authors will respond to this remains to be seen. The point is that writers who haven’t paid enough attention to the editing and formatting of their books will have to do so now, or their sales will disappear.