Why do Readers get so upset at Spelling Mistakes and Typographical Errors?

Authors often don’t understand why a reader liked their book, and yet gave it 1 star or 2 stars or 3 stars, just because there were a few spelling mistakes or grammatical mistakes

  1. Surely, if the book is good then it should be a good review
  2. Do spelling mistakes even matter?
  3. Does a grammatical mistake or a typo really hurt the reader’s enjoyment of the book?
  4. Are readers just being petty
  5. Should there be a separate rating for editing and a separate rating for the story itself?

Let’s look at the answers to a few of these questions

If the Book is good, then should readers ignore spelling mistakes and typographical errors?

The reality is that readers do not ignore spelling mistakes and typographical errors and grammatical mistakes. In fact, they get very upset at them

This is justified from the readers’ perspective because

  1. Mistakes and errors break the flow of their reading and pull them out of the story world and into ‘errors’ world i.e. the real world, where nothing works as it should
  2. They would like one aspect of their life not ruined because someone could not be bothered to put in the effort. They already deal with people who suck at their job in every aspect of their life. They already deal with people not giving a hoot. With this book, which they bought with their hard earned money, they would really, really like for the author to have taken pains to make it a smooth and hassle free experience
  3. It takes a special amount of ‘not having any consideration for the reader’ for an author to not even find and fix mistakes in the book
  4. They are giving their valuable reading time and they want to maximize their enjoyment of the book. Spelling mistakes and typos kill that enjoyment. You do not want to get pulled out of a high stakes car chase because the author keeps spelling dangerous as dangeris
  5. They are spending their hard earned money and would like some sort of acknowledgement of that fact
  6. They are used to books from Big Publishers which are very well edited and very well proof read
  7. They are used to high quality products like top TV shows like Breaking Bad, good products like Apple iPhone and Microsoft Surface, and know that it is possible to create a product that has very few flaws

You’re basically expecting the Reader to say

  1. This author does not respect my time, my money, or the fact that the enjoyment of the book was spoiled by the author’s carelessness
  2. Yet I shall ignore all of that and give him a 5 star review, because the story was good

Reality is that you have to show a lot of consideration for the reader, and respect their time and money

Do mistakes even matter?

Yes, a mistake pulls the reader out of the flow of the story, and out of the story world

Back into the normal world, which they were trying to Take a Break From

It defeats the entire purpose of reading a book

It kills the entertainment and imagination aspects

Should there be a separate rating for the Story and a separate rating for the Editing

Yes and No

Yes, because some readers are very tolerant of mistakes and they would go by Story rating and read books even when the Author can’t be bothered to correct spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes

No, because do you really think people who do not care enough to even fix spelling mistakes should be in the book store?

It is disrespectful to readers. It is disrespectful to authors who actually polish and perfect their books

Fundamentally, you cannot succeed if you don’t eliminate the vast majority of spelling and grammatical mistakes in your book

Books with mistakes, no matter how well written, get as many bad reviews as good reviews

This scares away a lot of readers

For readers who brave a low review rating, reading the actual reviews is a turn off because they realize that the author just doesn’t care

So your book sinks, regardless of how powerful the story is

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