Monday, February 24, 2020


By April Michelle Davis

There’s been a growing amount of discussion and tension surrounding the issue of typos and misprints appearing in major publications. The fact is just about anyone could have made these mistakes; however, these mistakes could have also just as easily been avoided. All it would have taken was an edit by a copy editor. 
An increasing number of publications are laying off copy editors to save time and money, the excuse being that copy editors slow things down as web editors and reporters are quite capable of proofreading their own work. If this were true, then why are more and more publications being called out when a writer doesn’t get a well-known fact right?
Many authors already know the value of a second set of eyes. Copy editors cannot merely be replaced by spell check. Their role extends far beyond that of “Grammar Nazi.” Copy editors are trained professionals hired to help preserve a publication’s credibility.
Some may argue that in today’s world of the internet and instant feedback, “minor” mistakes are not that big of a deal as most of them can easily and quickly be fixed. However, perhaps what it all boils down to is what publications are willing to run the risk of: losing money or obtaining embarrassment.
We would love for you to weigh in on this subject. What do you think? Do errors bother you? How important to you is it for publications to be as error-free as possible?

(Photo courtesy of and Stuart Miles.)


April Michelle Davis is a freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader. She is the coordinator for the Virginia chapter of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), the Social Media Marketing Expert for the National Association for Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE), and a lifetime member of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES). She teaches courses through her own company, Editorial Inspirations, as well as for associations and colleges on topics such as editing, indexing, grammar, writing, and creating macros. 

April Michelle is the author of A Guide for the Freelance Indexer, Choosing an Editor: What You Need to Know, and A Princess in Disguise. She is currently writing a third technical book. She is originally from northern Virginia and has lived in Richmond, Virginia, since 2007. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes!!!! Typos and misused words in a finished book don't seem acceptable to me. The writers work so hard to complete a finished manuscript. It smacks of incompetence on the part of the publisher to me when I see that incorrect words and spelling errors make it through the whole process. Where's the pride in your products? And I don't lay the blame on the writers AT ALL.