Photo from MS Free Images

If typos, misspellings, inconsistencies, and repetitive phrases or words catch the attention of readers, imagine how much more noticeable they are to writers. Any author who has been through the editing, revision, and proofing processes of writing a book must, from necessity, sharpen his or her eye for problems. We all would like to identify our own mistakes, and fix them, rather than have them caught by a reader or reviewer. And preferably, long before our books reach publication. This tends to create a sensitive hyper-critical focus for errors. Sometimes, it’s hard to turn off this internal lens when reading for pleasure.

My co-author and I have turned editing into an exhaustive process. It takes days and days to proof, edit, and revise our work. We are attuned to it now. And even with all that scrutiny, little things still slip past. So I can certainly understand how it can happen to other writers, even best-selling authors with professional editors at their service.

Indie authors have to be particularly meticulous since our errors are judged a bit more harshly than those of traditionally published authors. However, once you flip that switch from writer to editor, it’s hard to turn it off. Last night I was reading a book by a top-notch big-name author, a very good book I might add, and was surprised to find myself mentally editing the book as I went. Although the book was published by one of the Big 6, it had several typos in it and some very redundant word usage that was distracting. But that’s not the point. The point is that my reading enjoyment was being diminished by an unnecessarily critical eye.

I sometimes have to remind myself it is not my job to edit other authors’ published work. My role in reading is to simply enjoy the story!

Are there any other authors/writers out there whose reading enjoyment has fallen victim to this phenomenon?