If you’re read any of my previous posts, you know that my debut Middle Grade horror-adventure-comedy, Doctor Fell and the Playground of Doom, is coming out this coming August.
I’m kinda excited.
The timeline of the book’s creation and sale has been an educational experience.
August 2014 – I get the idea for the book and start dabbling.
September 2014 – After toying with it and a couple of other stories for a bit, and after an encouraging word from Awesome Agent, I get obsessed and dive into Dr. Fell wholeheartedly.
November 2014 – I finish the First Draft and send to friends and readers.
December 2014 – I finish Second Draft and send to Awesome Agent.
January 2015 – Awesome Agent likes it and starts sending it around.
April 2015 – Crown Books for Young Readers purchases Dr. Fell. I dance and sing and leap up and down like a little kid on an unending diet of sugar.
May 2015 – Excellent Editor sends it back with a ton of notes, including typos.
June 2015 – I finish Third Draft. Excellent Editor has more questions. I make more changes. We fix more typos. I eventually send in Fourth Draft.
September 2015 – The Copy Editing department goes over it and sends it back with a ton more notes and typos and questions.
September 2015 – I answer more questions, fix more typos, make more very slight changes. Call it Fifth Draft.
October 2015 – I receive Advanced Reader Copies. Totally freak out. These copies are based on Fourth Draft.
December 10, 2015 – I receive email asking me to OK typo fixes on 6 separate pages.
How did any typos remain undiscovered through all of that to December 2015? When you think about all the times I’ve gone through it, all the times Excellent Editor has gone through it, all the times the Copy Editing department went through it… it ought to be impossible. Yet there they are, plain as day. Six pages, each with an obvious typo or issue on them that needs to be addressed.
This is why I am no longer surprised when I find typos in published material. My book is only @215 pages or so. 45,000 words. The latest Rick Riordan is three times that length. Even going over it with a microscope, toothbrush, and metal detector, typos are going to slip through. They are literature’s little gremlins, and cannot be stopped, only contained.
Worse, I can almost guarantee (thanks to the inevitable law of human cluelessness) that there will be a hidden typo somewhere in the final, printed and published and on the shelves version of the book.
And my children will point it out within ten minutes of opening the book up to a random page.