Having a “Typo Contest” is a HORRIBLE Idea!

Having a “Typo Contest” is a HORRIBLE Idea!
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An author told me the other day he found a typo in his proof, adding “I’ll probably leave it and send $5.00 to the first three readers that spot it and tell ’em it was test to see if they actually read the book…”

I was completely honest, and told him that would be a HORRIBLE idea.

First, he wouldn’t be fooling anybody. Not only is he admitting up front that the book needs editing, but everybody would also know the author didn’t care about putting a quality book on the market.

Second, this is not a new idea. Many authors who put error-laden books on the market have tried this type of “contest” in the past and it has always been, and still is, a very, very bad idea.

Putting a book on the market with errors can damage your reputation. You can bet readers of poorly edited books will post bad reviews to Amazon whether you’ve run a “typo contest” or not. In fact, if you do run a “typo contest”, readers might be so insulted that they post negative reviews just for that reason – even those who haven’t purchased your book.

Running a “typo contest” tells readers you knew there were errors but you put the book on the market anyway. They will, of course, assume the book is of poor quality and, worse, that you didn’t care enough to fix the errors. Putting a book with known errors on the market can harm your reputation. Ignoring those errors and insulting readers with a “contest” can downright destroy it.

Simply announcing a “typo contest” can harm your sales because potential readers will know the book is of poor quality right from the get-go.

Do the right thing. Have your book edited and, if errors are noticed, even after the book is on the market, immediately correct them.

Some freelance writers and bloggers have held “typo contests” as a cheap way to edit their websites and/or blogs, hoping readers will do the editing for them. Like with book “typo contests”, this not only implies poor quality content but also tells readers the writer is unprofessional.



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About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

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