E-Reader Error?

Lately, I’ve been revisiting some of my favorite mysteries, primarily Jeffrey Deaver’s Lincoln Rhymes collection.  I own most of the books in hard back, but I’m a Scribd user, so I downloaded several onto my iPhone to read on the go (I admit the Kindle and/or iPhone is a lot easier to carry than a stack of books).

However, I’ve noticed a trend.  As I revisit this series, all of which I have read in the past, I’m noticing some editing errors.  I’m not one to be an over-bearing, requires perfect editing, reading.  No one is perfect.  I get that and I’m fine with a few errors in a book.  It happens.  But I didn’t notice them the first time I read the books.

Last week, I dragged one of the hard backs out to compare notes.  I’d found ten errors in the e-book copy (I mark them as I find them).  And holy cow, they existed in the hard back copy that I had bought when the book was first released.  I didn’t notice them the first time through.  Why am I noticing them now?

I think there are a couple of different factors.  One, I’m now an author and critically aware of errors in general.  Not so much in my own stuff (I’m usually blind to it by the time I finish the writing process), but in other books.  Two, I read a lot of indies and as I said earlier, no one is perfect… I don’t mind a handful of errors, as long as they are not grotesquely prolific through-out the book, but I read the reviews and see the same complaints over and over and over again… needs proof-reader.  Three, I can control everything about the book on my Kindle or iPhone.  This includes font size, color of the background, etc.  While I know cream is the industry standard for printed books, I don’t like it.  I’ve never liked it.  I prefer to read on white paper.  Call me crazy, but I find it easier (hence why all my books are printed on white paper instead of the industry standard cream).  I also prefer better spacing.  These things are out of my control in a print book, but not in an ebook.

This third factor is huge.  I read fast.  I read even faster on an ebook than a print book… but I find I read more of the words in an ebook.  Strange since I read faster on the ereader, but I do.  I actually read more of the words instead of my mind just filling in the words I would normally skip or only partially read before moving to the next.  Therefore, I find more errors.

With this in mind, I have to wonder if the ebook revolution is part of the reason for people suddenly “thinking” that there are more errors in books now than before.  I remember in college reading a history text book and finding that a paragraph just ended, mid-sentence and thinking that was very strange.  Recently, I pulled out the book to refresh my memory on a specific chapter that I wanted to use in my writing.  The chapter contained three spelling errors, errors I had not caught the first time I had read it.  Errors that now appeared glaringly obvious.  I’m beginning to believe that we, as a society, with the increased use of technology that allows us to control how we read, are becoming increasingly aware of the mistakes made in books… and as a result, we think the quality is dropping.  I also am beginning to believe that this is incorrect.  The errors have always been there and we are just not noticing them because we can adjust the reading to meet our specific reading preferences.

Just something to consider.

Gone, Gone… Long Gone

I haven’t been around much and it will be a few days longer before my internet presence is felt again.

Vicodin is not my friend.

Kindle Unlimited

<p>Kindle Unlimited launched today. As a reader, I’m very excited about this. I already signed up for my month-long free trial and downloaded about a dozen books. If I get them all read, I’ll have saved $20 this month on ebooks. </p>
<p>Since I’m a voracious reader, who can devour twenty books in a month, Kindle Unlimited is nice. I’m a Scribd subscriber, but I own a Kindle and I get tired of reading on my iPhone or laptop… I don’t own a tablet. *gasp* That would just be another device to distract me from the world. </p>
<p>As a writer, I’m a little less excited. Not because I don’t think it’s a good program for writers, quite the opposite in fact… But I’m not a KDP Select author, meaning I publish in places other than Amazon and am therefore, not eligible to sign up and offer my catalog of books to Kindle Unlimited users. </p>
<p>Honestly, that bums me out. I’m on Scribd and I get downloads each month of my books and that’s great. I like it because if it’s included with a subscription service, people are even more likely to take a chance on an unknown author, because hey, it isn’t like they had to buy the book to find out they hated it. So, yes, I’m disappointed that I can’t “opt in” to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited unless I remove my books from other sites (there are ways around it). And frankly, I don’t want to do that… Although, I will admit that looking back over sales last year, my three highest grossing months were the three months that <em>Tortured Dreams</em> and <em>Elysium Dreams</em> were only available on Amazon because they were enrolled in KDP Select. </p>
<p>Anyway, I’m giving it a shot as a user… and I’ll see what I can do to get my books in to the program.</p>

Write, Write, Sleep

I know, I have slacking on the blog posts. In my defense, I’ve been trying to write, write, write, and when I’m not writing, I’m trying to sleep.

Lack of sleep is impacting my writing. I’ll be typing along and then I seem to enter some weird trance state and nothing happens for half an hour and I’ve forgotten what I was writing about.

As far as sleep goes… Well, last night I dreamed Pumpkinhead ripped off the head of my SO and tried to wear the face like a mask. Bizarrely, I have not seen the movie Pumpkinhead in ages and have no idea why he decided to stalk my dreams last night… But he showed up twice, once to wear my SO like a mask and once to give my best friend a ticket for trafficking in stolen goods. For the record, a uniform does make him less creepy.

I have been avoiding horror movies lately. The other night, Hellraiser was on and I’m a huge fan. Instead, I watched Planes because I didn’t want Pinhead or any other Cynobites handing out ice cream or kettle corn at a local park.

Ugh…

Zombified

Last weekend, I got a bug bite that turned into a rash. Tuesday, I got a migraine. Yesterday I decided the two might be related. Sure, I have migraines, but bug bite rashes are uncommon for me.

So, I went to the ER. It was a Saturday, my doctor was closed, urgent care had a long wait.

Five hours later (oh yeah, five hours of hell… I was crying in the waiting room the stimuli was so intense… phones, chatter, smells, lights, they all bothered me), I get to see the doctor. The rash is just an allergic reaction, hydro-cortisone cream will take care of that. Now, about the migraine. It’s been unresponsive to your normal migraine medications, we’ll give you something for it. What do you usually get?

Tordol, Demerol, and Fennigren or whatever it’s called, for nausea.

No Demerol, but we’ll give you something good. Let’s go with morphine.

Morphine… Uh, what? And we’ll up the dosage just a little bit to make sure it stays away. Uh… Uh… Uh… Oh hell…

For 36 hours, I’ve been a zombie. Of the last 48 hours, I’ve slept over half of them. I even fell asleep during the finale of World Cup (woke up just in time to see Germany score the winning goal). I don’t remember most of yesterday. I have been told that after the shot kicked in, I was very entertaining. I’ll just have to take their word for it.

I have a high pain tolerance, but no drug tolerance. I can handle my clonazepam, but I don’t do well on narcotics of any kind. A Vicodin will make me sleepy and sick. Demerol puts me in la-la land. Morphine is like… oh my goodness gracious me… I’ve only had it a few times in my life, but every time I’ve had it, I’ve lost time and not like a few hours, but like several hours, possibly days.

Even as I write this, I feel… strange. At least my migraine is gone.

This is why I don’t sleep anymore

I have weird dreams.  I’ve always had weird dreams, not a big deal… lately, they’ve gotten weirder.  Also, there’s a squirrel that uses the roof over my bed as a walkway and he’s noisy.  My three most recent dreams:

1.  The tree in my neighbor’s yard was dancing.  Mostly this was a violent, rhythmic swaying of the limbs.  When people came to see it, because there wasn’t any wind, the tree would suck them down into the ground and eat them.  Each time it ate a person, it grew about a foot. – For the record, the top of this tree broke in the storm on Monday night.

2.  A little old lady is in line in front of me at the store.  Her cart is filled cat food and only cat food.  The lady finally gets checked out, the cashier rings up my purchase and I walk outside.  Outside the woman is opening the cat food and dumping it into a car.  The owner of the car comes out the store, sees the woman and starts swearing.  The woman begins to laugh and runs away (she’s very spry for an old person).  – Oddly, this old woman is real, I saw her at the store yesterday, she bought 17 air freshener cone thingies.  In my mind, I made a joke about it not covering the scent of a decomposing corpse.

3. I am in my car, stuck in traffic on the highway.  I have no idea why the highway traffic isn’t moving, but it isn’t.  I am late for something, but I don’t know what.  I look at the car next to me and it is being driven by a rabbit.  This is not the weird part of the dream.  The weird part is that the I place a phone call to the highway patrol to report that the rabbit is cheating in the race by driving a car to his destination.

 

Autocorrect

I love autocorrect. Not only does it make me sound incompetent, it makes my friends sound incompetent, so I’m not alone in my miserably butchered English. Here are some autocorrect mistakes lately (some are mine… some are my friends… yeah, you know who you are).

10. I will be in Boobville this weekend. Really? Boobville, huh? I haven’t been there. What the hell have you been typing that autocorrect decided Boobville was the correction for Boonville?!?

9. We are having tick tocks for dinner. Great, but I don’t know how to fix tick tocks… I had planned tacos for dinner, will that work instead?

8. Your shoes in the shower. Ok, wtf is autocorrect smoking? The original sentence was “Show starts in an hour.”

7. Germs and any plays Argentina. Um, you’ll leave Argentina, but not Germany? Is Germany taboo now?

6. Duck and cover. Why?!? Original sentence “Coming over.”

5. Indeed to go buy it. Indeed…

4. Buy some legs. Do you have a particular species in mind?

3. Margaret later? Um, no?

2. Sip last little car chair. raises eyebrowDoes autocorrect drink heavily, because this seems like “drunk texting.”

1. Hate Edna is next look has a charter cat named Gustavo. More drunk texting? Wait, I wrote this.

Coming Soon?

A week or so ago, I went to a local book store and made arrangements to not only have them carry my books, but also scheduled my first book signing.  The signing isn’t until October, which is good, because I’m terrified of it.  The books should be in the store by the last week of July.

It doesn’t sound like a huge step, but for me… it’s massive.  I don’t do well in crowds or around people or talking about my own books or reading aloud or well, let’s just be honest, anything really that promotes myself.

Yeah, that’s my big news.  Village Books in Columbia will be carrying the Dreams & Reality Series and the Strachan Series.  I will be doing a reading and signing 25 October (Halloween signing… wonder if they’ll let me come in costume, I could come as the Invisible Writer).

I’ve been trying very hard not to think about it.  When I do think about it, my stomach fills with butterflies and I want to run away, literally.  I’m planning on practicing and I need to talk about what we can do for the reading since I’ll be releasing a book in November.  I figure I’ll put that on my to-be-discussed list when I take books into the store.

Ok, back to the grind.

Signs

I’d like to share some signs I’ve seen lately… most of them over the holiday weekend. Spelling is as shown on the sign:
10. Missouri has the lowest tobacco tax in the US, buy more alcahol. – On a liquor store banner
9. Professional Wielding Available (I have questions about this one… the first is what is being wielded?) – Sign at a boat repair shop
8. We do complete motor overhalls. – Sign at a DIFFERENT boat repair shop.
7. God Bless Anerica (my mind instantly separates this into God Bless An Erica). – Sign at a fireworks stand.
6. Law Enforcement Ahead, Speed Up – Sign in someone’s yard.
5. Remember All Of Those That Can’t Be Remembered On This Day (How am I supposed to remember them, if they can’t be remembered?) – Sign in someone’s yard.
4. Fireworks Explode On Impact (um… impact with what? I have never thrown a bottle rocket on the ground and seen it explode… maybe I’m wrong.) – Sign on fireworks stand.
3. Stay Off The Water – Sign at a bridge around Mark Twain Lake. Wasn’t there the second time we drove past the entrance to the bridge.
2. School closed Because Parking Lot Sank – Sign at a School (For the record, there was a construction crew there that had drilled a hole in the parking lot and was filling it with concrete).

And my personal favorite:

1. Satin is all around. Resist temptation. – Sign at a Baptist Church. (I didn’t realize satin was sooo evil!)

Buy More Books!

I admit that I’m a book junkie.  I also admit to having “Book Flu” from time to time (a condition resulting from staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish a book and therefore, exhausted the next day or feigning illness to read a book that has just entered my custody and is too good to put down for something as inane as work).

The advent of the ebook has fueled this addiction.  For the record, I do not consider it a bad thing.  I can buy lots of cheap books or download free books all month long from Amazon and read them on my Kindle.  I can also check out books from the public library and read those on my Kindle.  To make things worse, my iPhone has a Kindle Reading App and I now make sure my Kindle and iPhone sync once a day… never know when you’ll have one, but not the other.

Furthermore, I download and review books on StoryCartel.  I also use the service for my own books.  Not only do I get free books, but I’m entered to win gift cards to Amazon where I can buy more books.  Because let’s face it, I’m an addict.

Each month, I set aside special “monies” with the explicit intention of buying books.  This amount changes each month because my income fluctuates, but it’s always enough to keep my Kindle full.

The other day, I was looking at the free downloads of my own books and had a revelation.  My initial reaction was:  Where did the x amount of downloaders come from?  How are there this many people involved in reading my books?  Then it hit me, it was people like me.  People who consume books with such appetite, that discovering a new author has become an old habit.  I read a huge amount of indie authors (over 70% of what I read is indie published, 20% are small publishing houses, and the remaining 10% are people like Clive Barker and Jeffrey Deaver and Terry Pratchett).

Part of it’s price, indies are cheaper.  I can buy six indie books for the price of a Clive Barker novel (possibly more, depending on the novels).  Also, there’s the “free book hook.”  I download the first in the series because it’s free and then I have to buy the next thirty million by that author because I loved the first book in the series and I have to know how it ends.  But mostly, I read more indies because there are more indies.  And despite what the world thinks, most of them are not crap.  Some are.  I’ve read some that were absolute drivel (I can give you the names if you need proof).  But they are the minority, not the majority.

My advice to all the readers out there… buy more books!  (Not mine, just books in general, they are great companions for lazy summer days)

Susan Finlay Writes

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