Last night I had a "There are errors in your book" email from Amazon. No big deal - if there are, I'll fix them and that'll be that. I know there's nothing gregarious in there as it's been proofed several times. One error, in the 'day one' edition was corrected, and an editorial note had to be taken out. For those, I apologise - it's one of the reasons we went for a relatively soft launch as lingering errors do slip through even the most stringent checks.
So when I got an email saying there are 42 spelling errors, I was rather shocked. But, it seems that it's mostly a case of false positives. This is despite the automated checker showing zero possible errors on publication.
Here are the words they dislike:
• arrival (used in the context of "dead on arrival")
• bed (Really?)
• can (noun - drinks can)
• ciggie (colloquial - fair enough if they think this is worth flagging)
• declines (used as a noun - "soft declines" referring to credit card processing)
• demands (again, as a noun - "final demands" as in overdue bills)
• fegato (as in 'fegato alla veneziana' - italicised to emphasise language change)
• hours (as in "four hours"
• "Keepers" (as in "Finders, keepers")
• "lie" (as in "truth or lie")
• "lie" (again)
• minutes (as in "fifteen minutes")
• minutes (as in "a few minutes")
• mister - used within speech
• negative ("The toxicology report was negative")
• offences (as in "inchoate offences" - surprised they didn't flag the Latin)
• veneziana - still in italics
These have clearly been done by hand - the email misquotes the text, often removing some or all of the punctuation, which begs the question "Who compiled this error list?"
I'm not saying Cleaver Square is error-free - it won't be. But it's been through a rigorous process with multiple people reading it at each stage. The quoted "errors" simply aren't errors at all. Some of these are going to be genre specific - which could be false positives due to applying a generalised dictionary to a specific genre.
Or it could be human error. I'm very curious to find out - anyone know how these are compiled?