What to do if you find a typo in your book? | Self-Publishing Question 2022 | Fix a typo in book

I’m going to give a quick disclaimer here to say that… ALL BOOKS HAVE ERRORS IN THEM. So anyone watching this who wants to say that all self-publishers are lazy and don’t edit can sit down and shut the *beep*

Okay, so every book is written by a human. I know there is a rise in AI-empowered writing, but those systems are only as good as the humans who program them. Humans make mistakes. We all do. We make typos. We make errors in math. We make mistakes in remembering things. We just do. I have typos in my books that I’m sure have been undiscovered after multiple editing rounds and editors and I have to decide there is a time when each book is “perfect enough”.

And as an author, you hire an editor. Who is… human. Even if they catch 99% of all your errors, there will still be some. Even if you hire another editor, yep, they’re human too.

So for starters, if you find an error in your book, do not beat yourself up. It happens. And it happened to you, can’t go back in time and fix it. But you can fix it now, which is the benefit of self-publishing. (Now, if you have been published by a major publishing house or an indie publisher… email your editor to let them know the exact page, paragraph, and line where the error is.. Not “there’s a typo in the book…” Cool.. where?)

For your part, you’ll need to correct the error on your master document in MS Word or whatever word processor you used to write your book. Then you’ll redo your ePub file and print file. If you worked with a pro on these files, you may have to pay a fee for revisions, in which case wait until you have a critical mass. (Now if the error you found is major fix it even if it is only one.)

Then you upload the revised files. Then you move on.

It can be so scary and frustrating when you find that error, or worse when a reader messages you or posts on social media that there is a typo. It can feel scary and like your entire career as an author is about to be over. It isn’t, I promise you. Clean it up, and move on. Maybe next time you’ll do another thorough read-through, but chances are you’ll never find your own typos since you are so familiar with the text.

So don’t beat yourself up. Make the fix and realize that so many great authors have typos in their books. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is spot the typos in traditionally published blockbuster books. Go on, try it.

We’re all human. We’re all going to make mistakes. It’s okay. Now get back to writing (and editing) your next book!

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