One of my biggest nightmares as an author is…typos. 😟
Formatting errors. 😱
In order for a story to shine, I’m a firm believer that the mechanics need to be strong. I reread my manuscripts SO MANY TIMES before they’re finalized. However, despite my best efforts, little things almost always slip through.
A few months ago, I sent the first chapter of my upcoming release from Love Inspired to my critique group. One of the lovely ladies in the group flagged this sentence: Martin’s mouth opened and closed soundlessly, doubt and hesitation flashing across his flesh face.
Her comment? “I’m not sure what a flesh face is.” 🙃
When I read it, I burst out laughing. I’m not sure what a flesh face is, either, and I have no idea what I was thinking when that phrase tripped off my fingertips and onto the page.
But at least we caught that one before the editing process even began!
Can You Spot the Missing Word?
In my debut book, Falling for the Innkeeper, this little gem slipped past me, my line editor and my copyeditor. Fortunately, the proofreader had eagle eyes and corrected it before the book hit bookstore shelves!
Chloe gave a long-suffering sigh. “Fine.” She narrowed her eyes and shook her finger at Laura. “But don’t think I’m going to drop the subject forever. You’re too young to give up on love. And Emma needs a good male model in her life.”
(Emma is the heroine’s four-year-old daughter. I doubt she needed a good male model in her life, although Chloe and Laura might not have minded if a male model had poked his head into this book. 😅)
What’s in a Name?
It can be hard for authors to keep track of all the names in their books. Just ask my author friend Milla Holt, who was writing about Pastor Albert’s wife, Ingrid, in Into the Flood when she wrote that “Pastor Ingrid’s wife” was making coffee.
She explains, “That line made it past my editor and volunteer proofreaders and all the way into the files I’d uploaded to the retailers! Thankfully, I caught it in the preorder period, made the correction and swapped out the files.”
Valerie Comer wasn’t fortunate enough to catch her naming snafu before publication. She explains, “In Berry on Top, the heroine, Liz, is dreaming about kissing Zach. The problem is that Zach is her brother, and Mason is the guy she’s actually dreaming about!”
That mistake stood for months before a reader contacted her about it. Fortunately, Valerie is able to laugh about it now. “Big oops, LOL.” 😆
Jaycee Weaver also has some trouble with names in her books—and one name in particular!
“Every time I use my recurring character Jaydon, my muscle memory types Jaydon’t. It’s never slipped through, thank heavens, but it’s so weird!”
When it comes to mistakes that made it through the editing process, poor Emily Conrad takes the cake. 🎂
She says, “My debut, Justice, was traditionally published, so it went through all the editing phases and was still published with two chapter 6’s. As one of my friends said, at least it wasn’t three of them!”
Something similar happened to another author friend, whose novel somehow got mixed up with another book during the printing process…and had 30 pages from that other book randomly inserted in the middle of hers!
Laughing Out Tears 😂
All of this is to say that we authors try hard to make our books perfect for our readers, but despite our best efforts, sometimes mistakes happen.
So, if you see something strange in one of our books, say something! We authors truly appreciate it when readers point out errors that can be fixed. 💕
For a chance to win one of the back-to-school prize packs, tell me the funniest editing fail you’ve come across, either in your own reading or in this post!