Hi Indies! I know I was supposed to post about Swag this time around, but I need to address something that’s undoubtedly a touchy subject, because I feel it’s extremely important: The dreaded typo.
Look, I’m not that Grammar Nazi that attacks every post or article I come across with a typo or two – we’ve all had typos! It happens. I’m so guilty of it, I’ve developed almost an OCD kind of self-conscience fear of them. I swear I re-edit my posts a million times before and AFTER publishing them. It doesn’t help that I’m all for word-inventification, but that’s a whole other post! 😉
I’m sure I’ve kind of touched on the subject in the past, but the reason I’d like to talk about it again now, is because these Dear Indie posts are supposed to be helpful for all published or aspiring writers who come across them and I feel like this topic needs more attention. Especially, when it seems like I’m coming across this unfortunate situation more frequently of late:
Typos in Marketing
Believe it or not, I care about your success, and part of that success is how you appear to your (potential) readers when you’re putting your work out there for the world to see. This includes Teasers, Excerpts, Book Trailers, Blurbs/Synopsis and Author Bios. You may think these things are far less important than the book, itself – and I’m here to tell you, they’re EQUALLY as important. You first have to get readers interested in your book, before it has the chance to dazzle them. (Aside from the cover art!)
These crucial and often required elements aren’t just marketing tools, they’re like a resume and job interview all rolled into one: a reader’s first impression of you and your work. And you want them to be wowed, intrigued, captivated… not completely turned off.
If you have typos in your Blurb or in your Teaser that’s being spread all over the internet via a Blog Tour you paid good money for – you are setting yourself up for failure or at the very least, ridicule. From a reader’s standpoint, if you’re a new author to me, I would probably never buy your book. If I can’t trust you to write two sentences correctly and actually take the time to make sure it’s polished, then why would I trust your book is going to be any better? Especially, when I have so many other authors to choose from who’ve put time and effort into all of their marketing materials!
The emphasis of reaction here, isn’t so much about editing, as it is about care. My books and blurbs are edited by a professional–so in a perfect world, they should already be typo-free–but my Teasers are not. That’s why I check, double check and have someone else check them before I actually use them. The only thing a typo on a Teaser tells me is that you don’t care – not about me (your reader), your own work or your image as a writer.
Many readers actually feel insulted by these instances, despite your intentions. It’s just a negative experience all around that I’d hope for you to avoid.
I just deleted a book tour I was going to host, because there were no less than three glaring typos just in the Blurb, which wasn’t very long. I didn’t even check the Teaser or Excerpt, because I don’t want that nonsense on my blog. That sounds harsh, but it’s the truth: If the author doesn’t care enough, then why should I? I’m already cramming deadlines into time I don’t have, I’m not going to waste more by fighting HTML coding to fix someone else’s mistakes. And that’s typically the schedule of every blogger. They’re already too swamped to care about your mess and it’s not their responsibility, at any rate.
The most common problem faced by aspiring writers is trying to gain any kind of attention in an overpopulated market and especially, as an Indie Author. Yes, Indies have made some amazing strides to prove themselves and their work to the world at large, but shaking off the lingering stigma is a struggle we all face. So, why would you want to prove your own naysayers right by not taking the time to ensure every single piece of work you put out into public view is your best quality?
Here’s another example of typos working against you: Your social media bio. I came across a profile of someone claiming to be an author and writer of self-help books – only it came with typos. My first, knee-jerk instinct is distrust in their self-help advice and all I could think was: “Well, let’s hope those self-help books are not about how to become a better writer.” I don’t need that kind of help, thank you, I manage to mess up all on my own!
Once again, it comes down to first impressions. You’re asking new readers to trust you – which is hard enough when you’re 100% typo-free – why make it harder on yourself?
As Indies, we are trying to build our author platforms, gain exposure, make a name and reputation for ourselves. Our author names ARE our business/brand names – I’ve said this before – and it still stands. Everything we do that has our pen name attached to it, is going to reflect back on us, professionally, by our potential readers (aka customers), as well as by our critics. And those jackals really don’t need any more reasons to hate.
So, Indies, show your brand name lots of love and put just as much effort into your marketing, as you would into your book. Look after your creations and your success, by taking the time to care about how you’re representing yourself and all of your hard work. You should be proud of everything you put out into the public to attract readers. The devil is in the details, as they say, but in this respect, trouble comes with the lack of attention to them!
♥ “Be the engineer of your own success” (I can’t find it, but I’m fairly certain this quote should be credited to someone who is not me).
p.s. If anyone finds a typo in this post, don’t hesitate to tell me, because that would be too effin’ funny. Now, I’m off to look up the definition of quickie…