My Biggest Complaint: Insufficient Editing

Discuss the August 2016 Book of the Month, The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar.

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My Biggest Complaint: Insufficient Editing

Post by Scott » 01 Aug 2016, 14:00

This is a discussion topic for the the August 2016 Book of the Month, The Lost Identity Casualties by Kim Ekemar.


I am not a professional editor. I am not a grammar expert. Moreover, I simply read the book as a reader not an editor. An editor being paid to edit will take very roughly speaking 10x as long to read a book as a regular reader. So even to a professional editor, any typos that stick out during a regular reading are probably only the tip of the iceberg. Even for a professional editor.

Even though I am not even a professional editor and was not taking the 10x as long as an editor would, I notice quite a few typos while reading. Here some of the ones I noticed:
page 20 wrote:Before that, our skills and my eight million francs had in three years allowed our company grow to be worth sixty million dollars.
page 54 wrote:Fooled the guards let me outside, yes, but where was I to go?
page 59 wrote:[...] the police now has collected additional proof.
page 59 wrote:"I don't think I get together more than half a million or maybe a million pounds overnight," I babbled.
page 61 wrote:[formatting issue with italics]
page 89 wrote:The logical step was to hire a domestic help.
page 89 wrote:How can I even think of getting rid of Andrew who anticipate my and Julia' needs before we ourselves are aware of them?
That's not even half my notes, and I would estimate for the several reasons listed above that even my full notes are just a tiny fraction of what's there.

Did others notice this? How do you feel about errors like these? Does it affect your rating, your willingness to read the rest of the books, and/or whether you will be recommending the book to others?

I'm surprised I was able to enjoy the book as much as I did despite those. It would be a perfect 4/4 book for me if it was sufficiently edited.

Is it possible the type of mistakes I've listed above are not mistakes but are differences between American and British spelling and grammar?

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Post by stoppoppingtheP » 01 Aug 2016, 15:10

I understand your issue with editing, and perhaps the books should have had much more thorough editing, but I can't say that I noticed or remembered these errors.
I was much more fascinated with the storyline. Another reason for this could be that many of the self-published books online seem to have so many errors in them that I've learnt not to judge too harshly.

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Post by klbradley » 01 Aug 2016, 15:24

I did catch a few errors throughout, but I don't remember seeing some of the one's you have pointed out.
I do consider them errors when reading, but it really could just be the difference in language usage. Obviously everyone is going to have some errors, but I feel like most of these should have been caught by editors.
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Post by gali » 01 Aug 2016, 15:28

I agree with you. I also noticed some typos and noted down a couple of them: "Attach" instead of "attack", "You're" instead of "your". I forgot to note down the page numbers. I was able to enjoy the book despite the errors. I gave it 3 stars due to that and to some other issues that I mentioned on the other thread.
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Post by braver » 01 Aug 2016, 20:02

I don't think that missing words and wrong tenses are a difference between American and British spelling/grammar. Errors will definitely affect how I view a book - I noticed some of them in this book and it detracted from the story for me. Feels like poor editing.

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Post by kio » 01 Aug 2016, 23:25

For me, the omitted words got on my nerves the most. I don't mind as much the difference between American and British grammar, but the omitted words made certain parts of the book really hard to understand.
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Post by weeh84 » 02 Aug 2016, 12:23

I can understand where you are coming from. As a reader, sometimes errors can pose as a distraction. I find myself re-reading to differentiate between a writing style or an error. It is difficult to take the book seriously when proper editing was not done. Certainly, I can understand a few words misspelled here and there. I have found a few of the ones you have mentioned, as I have just begun to read this book.

I do take into account grammar and spelling when reviewing a book, and it does affect my rating. The other book that I am currently reading, alongside this one, has few writing errors; however, the one that bothers me most is the author's inability to correctly spell "brought." It is often misspelled as "bought," and it is driving me mad. The other book I am reading is so good, I can't put it down. Despite the one gnawing flaw, I will give it a good review because the author has so much potential and brilliant turning point plots.

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Post by bookowlie » 02 Aug 2016, 12:24

The errors you posted are noticeable, even without the other ones you didn't list. I find that a lot of indie authors don't use a professional editor. Instead, I will often see an author thank their spouse or friend for editing the book in the Acknowledgements section of a book. This is problematic since the person may not be adept at catching errors and awkwardly worded sentences. I once reviewed a book last year that was great (plot, character development, funny) with one exception - an incredibly high number of technical errors to the point where my head was spinning. When I saw that he thanked his wife for editing the book, I felt bad for the author; I felt that the book would have been excellent if properly edited. I get more upset when I see the quality of excellent writing get brought down by poor editing. Somehow, it doesn't matter to me as much when a book is poorly written to start with.
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Post by braver » 02 Aug 2016, 12:49

bookowlie wrote:I get more upset when I see the quality of excellent writing get brought down by poor editing. Somehow, it doesn't matter to me as much when a book is poorly written to start with.
I couldn't agree more. It's easy to just write off a poorly written story altogether, but it's frustrating when a good story is dragged down by poor editing.

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Post by TrishaAnn92 » 02 Aug 2016, 16:04

I started reading it. Errors like these never fail to stand out and when they are repeated offenses, well, it drives me near insane! Depending on how bad the editing is, it would affect my rating and opinion of the story. A good story dragged down by mistakes makes for just an okay read. A bad story made worse by mistakes makes it a terrible read. I am far from perfect as a writer, but the errors have always bothered me in a story published for others to view.
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Post by Paliden » 02 Aug 2016, 18:26

braver wrote:
bookowlie wrote:I get more upset when I see the quality of excellent writing get brought down by poor editing. Somehow, it doesn't matter to me as much when a book is poorly written to start with.
I couldn't agree more. It's easy to just write off a poorly written story altogether, but it's frustrating when a good story is dragged down by poor editing.

I hadn't thought of it this way before, but it is so true! And yes, poor editing does effect my reviews. I can overlook a few mistakes, but not that many.

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Post by Crystal P » 03 Aug 2016, 13:33

I judge by the rule wherein if the error impedes ones ability to read fluently then it is a problem. If the error is more of an aesthetic issue or one that is easily overlooked then it is not much of a problem as long as the storyline is good. I recognize, unlike a lot of readers who have little knowledge about the publishing process, that editing is very expensive and requires a lot of expensive man hours that many publishers cannot afford.

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Post by CrescentMoon » 03 Aug 2016, 14:09

I myself tend to read very fast. Usually if the errors are very slight then it is very easy for me to overlook the error but if there is so much error that it is disrupting the flow of the story then it definitely does get hard to read. However, in this case I thought that the storyline was so good that I was able to overlook the errors. If I don't enjoy the book, then having too many typos definitely does not help. But I think if the story is engaging enough, I am able to overlook the errors and my rating may only drop by one star.

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Post by L_Therese » 04 Aug 2016, 01:23

Some kinds of errors bother me more than others. Minor misspellings, comma errors, or problems with hyphenation don't typically trouble me unless I'm reading as an editor, but my pet peeve is ending sentences with prepositions. I don't usually criticize writers for it because not everyone agrees that this is a grammar problem anymore, but I still cringe every time I read a sentence with a dangling preposition.

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Post by Lovely_Loreley » 05 Aug 2016, 13:37

Thanks for taking the time to post this. I've been looking at the book on Amazon and such and it looks really interesting! But I have a huge issue getting into a book with lots of grammatical/spelling errors. It definitely pulls me out of whatever the story is, no matter how captivating. This is a book that I'd really like to try out, but unfortunately no libraries near me have it on the shelf. I guess I'll have to think about it for the next couple days and see if I want to try the e-book version or not...

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