Not My Typo Thing

Typo, Typography, Font, Design, Art, Type, Style

Consider this an opinion poll – so let me know your thoughts in the comments!

I just finished an audiobook that I REALLY didn’t enjoy, so I’ll confess that I scoured the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for inspiration for something nice to say about it.

I didn’t find anything to help me on that score…. pretty low ratings all round and even the good reviews seemed to just quote the synopsis or say things that I couldn’t agree with.

What I did find, however, was a lot of criticism that the book was more typo than actual story. For this reason, I’m glad I listened to the audio rather than reading the paper version as I probably wouldn’t have finished it otherwise (though this would have saved a good 7 hours of my life, so maybe not that glad).

What I’d like to know:

If you’re reading a published book, rather than a manuscript, and it’s full of typos and grammatical errors, do you include this in your review or even stop reading the book altogether?

The reason I ask is that someone in the Amazon review section wrote a 1 star review with a fairly reasonable argument, in my opinion. They weren’t being deliberately hurtful but stating facts, one of which being that the book was littered with errors.
Someone, and you have to wonder what their relationship is to the author, wrote a scathing reply to the reviewer along the lines of ‘only a petty reviewer would even mention typos’.

It was a bit meaner than that but that’s the thing I want to address- is it wrong to mention typos if it spoils your enjoyment of a book? Personally, I don’t think so – editing is an important part of publishing a novel, you have to be able to properly communicate the story you want to tell.

That said, I’m not too nitpicky about it. I’ll ignore a handful of typos, or let the author know they’re there if I feel it appropriate but I wouldn’t mention it in a review if it didn’t affect the reading experience.


What do you think?


8 thoughts on “Not My Typo Thing

  1. Schaeffer says:

    The occasional typo is fine, but not desired. Riddled with typos and grammatical errors that are not in character? Avoidable and unforgivable. If the author doesn’t care enough about the audience to present a quality manuscript, then why should the audience read it?

    I’m more forgiving to self published authors, but even then I have limits. This isn’t fan fiction in high school. We’re spending money and investing our time in these stories. Don’t ask us to grade your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lillyrowe says:

    As an author- (whose Grammar can be on the dark side at times.) I do have my own editors- one who is the head of the English Department of the high schools in my area- and even though she, I ,and other people go over and over the novel- we still miss things. I do cringe when I see or hear about mistakes. I always fear that it will ruin the experience or make people think I lack talent as an author. I would say- if it is obvious the author did not take the time to give you the best project- tell them or say “Needs editing” – in the review. Be nice and constructive of the story. They put a lot of work into this story. They made something from nothing. But if it is a bad novel and the grammar is terrible- be honest. You are doing them no favor be enabling them or being too nice. We learn from feedback. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nia says:

    When you’re purchasing a book you’re purchasing the whole book as a product – the production as well as the words. So if it’s riddled with mistakes and typos then it would bother me – but then I don’t think I’d mention it in the review, not in the main body of the review anyway, if I did it would be a bracketed sentence at the bottom to suggest the reader choose another edition perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah Potter Writes says:

    As you listened to the audio version of this novel, that’s what you should review and give a rating to. Say what you enjoyed about it, while making sure to mention that you only listened to it and didn’t read it. Leave the others to mention the typos.

    As for mentioning typos in a review of something you have read, rather than listened to, if there are only a few mistakes, then probably don’t mention it (or email the person if you have their contact details), but if it’s loaded with typos, then you have a duty to the customer to say something.

    Liked by 2 people

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