A note about typos and amazon reporting.

I recently read a question from a member of a Facebook group. ‘Do you report typos to Amazon to help the author?”

I’d be interested to hear your views on this. As an author, I think I probably have a different take on that question to many readers.

When one of my books is ‘reported’ for typos it comes up as a ‘quality issue’ in my author dashboard and this is in turn flagged on the book page. This means that until I have rectified said typos and reuploaded the manuscript to get it approved by Amazon again, the quality issues do not disappear. 

Now, before you get upset with me, let me make it clear that as an author I appreciate readers pointing out where there are typos in my work. Even after ARC readers and copyediting, the odd stubborn typos will remain. But via email is a far more productive way of me receiving a note that corrections may be required, than affecting book sales on Amazon. For example, I had a book reported a few weeks ago whilst I was in the middle of a release. This meant I had to spend extra time going through a whole 115000 word manuscript to hunt down a missing full-stop or comma or take out an extra space. (and I think seven typos in the whole manuscript shouldn’t really have affected the reader’s enjoyment of the story)

Please bear in mind if you email an author or send a report via Amazon, for some authors it is not easy to fix typos. It might not be that they are ignoring you but that to fix typos they have to pay someone to reformat their manuscript so that they can then upload it again to Amazon. Also if they are traditionally published it may be impossible for them to even ask for corrections as that kind of thing can be totally out of their control and up to the publisher. 

I am lucky that I have Vellum formatting software and can easily fix my manuscripts and upload them, both in ebook and paperback, to KDP Amazon’s publishing platform, but for others, it is not as easy. Please don’t be hurt when an author doesn’t immediately act on your suggestions, just remember it may be either that they can’t afford to change things, or aren’t able to. This doesn’t mean you should totally give up e-mailing those authors who invite readers to do so. I certainly find it very helpful, even more so if there are screenshots and page numbers as opposed to kindle locations as my vellum software doesn’t recognise kindle locations.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on typos and communicating them to authors if you have time.


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