No More Typos In Kindle Ebooks? Soon Perhaps

typos in kindle ebooks

Typos in ebooks really annoy readers

Typos happen in any book, but I was very pleased to get an email from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) today, pointing out that they had found three typos in one of my books.

Hello,

We’re writing to let you know that readers have reported a problem in your book.

There are some words in your book that our spell check dictionary could not identify. If any of the words are not spelled the way you intended, please update your content and resubmit it to us.

You can also email us at kdp-support@amazon.com to let us know that the words are spelled correctly. Here are the words and their locations:

Kindle Location: 6866 ; Description: “there where times when” should be “there were times when”
Kindle Location: 7298 ; Description: “heart is was called” should be “heart it was called”
Kindle Location: 6967 ; Description: “thorn is the side” should be “thorn in the side”

After you’ve made the correction, please upload your revised content through the ‘Book Content’ section in your KDP Bookshelf. If you have further questions, please reply directly to this email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

For further information regarding specific book errors (including why some errors are more critical than others), please see the Guide to Kindle Content Quality Errors at https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=200952510.

Thanks for using Amazon KDP!

Any means to rid typos in ebooks is a good thing

I was a bit surprised, though, as this particular book has been published for quite some time, but I was somewhat relieved as well, because this book is nearly 170,00 words long, so three typos are not so bad in a book that long, even though I had worked extremely hard to make sure it was perfect and free of typos.

But for KDP to let me know means that they are getting very serious about improving the quality of Kindle ebooks in general.

It was interesting to note in their email though that they state that readers had reported the errors.

I’m not sure how this works, as killing typos in any way is good news, but why rely on readers?

For some time, KDP has had a spell checker that analyses any new manuscript that is uploaded to KDP and notifies of any possible spelling errors or typos before publication.

But to add contextual correction would be a big plus, and it is something that other online publishers should consider adding.

Is there a better way to catch typos in ebooks?

The only point that I wonder about is why Amazon rely on reader notifications to find these contextual typos on KDP?

An online proofreading program such as Grammarly does a very good job of finding contextual typos, so why doesn’t KDP use something similar to scan newly uploaded manuscripts and find these typos before they get published?

Anything that helps eradicate typos in self-published books is good.

But I truly hope that KDP and other online publishers can find a way to do this before publication, and not rely on readers to notify them of typos they find.

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

7 thoughts on “No More Typos In Kindle Ebooks? Soon Perhaps

  • I found at least two typos in this blog post.

    1. “. . . pointing out that they had found a three typos in one of my books.”
    2. “The only point that I wonder about is why Amazon rely on reader notifications . . .”

    Number two may simply be British usage for collective nouns, but to an American ear/eye, “Amazon relies . . .” would be correct.

    As for your question about reader-detected typos, Kindle has a feature that allows readers to highlight a word or phrase and then select a menu item to report errors. Unfortunately, e-books are typically riddled with typos. Maybe it’s only because I am a professional editor, but I always report even small errors using this feature.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Joseph. Point taken and corrected for the first, but yes, I think the second is my British English usage where organisations or companies can be either plural or singular. So “the government have, or the government has” would both be correct.

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  • That’s funny. Where did my comments and replies therein go?

    Moderator: Sorry, they got lost on our domain move. Here they are.

    The funny thing to me is, even if Amazon did run a spell checker on submitted e-books, it probably wouldn’t have caught your book’s typos because the typos all produced words that were nonetheless in the dictionary. Since “in,” “is,” and “where” are all real words, even though they were supposed to be “it,” “it,” and “were,” they would have passed a spellcheck.

    Be that as it may, why not rely on readers? If a reader notices a typo and is irritated enough to report it to Amazon, why shouldn’t they do something about it?

    Heck, as I suggest at the end of this post, I think that it would be a great idea for Amazon to incorporate typo reporting directly into their e-readers. If they can synchronize page position, highlighted passages, and so forth, why not let a reader long-tap on a word and choose “report typo”? They could have someone check each report to make sure it really is one, then aggregate the actual ones and send that off to the publisher (be he corporate or self). Even if most didn’t bother, the thousands upon thousands of actual human readers who did would make a far better way to catch typos after the fact than a spellchecker…

    Reply
    • Sorry about losing your comments, Chris. We moved our website to a new hosting, so we had a few gremlins appear during the few days it took to complete the move. Hopefully all is well now though.

      Reply
  • Interesting idea, and I have no problem with such scrutiny. In fact, as a writer, I’d appreciate such detailed and free copy editing. One point, though: I work in fantasy, among other genres, and many of my stories contain characters and places with invented names. It will be interesting to see how this process copes with such idiosyncrasies.

    Reply

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