Putting Kindle readers to work as proofreaders
I’m told by Allegra, the editorial assistant at Turnstone, Simon & Schuster, in New York, that ebook errors happen because the text is shrunk. I’m simply to let her know and they will be corrected. (Thank you, Allegra.)
So I returned to AmazonKindle to check what’s been highlighted by reader/proofreaders. Here’s what I discovered:
From The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.:
–3 readers highlighted: In the light I see security, but in the shadows I see grief . . . in the shadows I see defeat.
–4 highlighted the typos “aman” (a man) and “aspisspotin” (as pisspot in)
–4 also highlighted: intelligent; she amuses; she is pleasing. She is grace and charm and heart. Unlike Rose: scared, haunted and needy. Unlike Rose with her sad life.
From Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe:
–3 readers highlighted, from the copyright page: Ogni talento matta. (Every talented man is a madman.)
–3 also highlighted: A woman’s truths, how secret they must be. Hidden, buried, only to emerge in the night.
From The Last Great Dance on Earth:
–6 readers highlighted the sentence: That we are born, we live and we die—in the midst of the marvelous. (A wonderful Napoleon quote, in truth. I worked hard to get it in.)
–3 highlighted: We are punished for our pleasures; if only we were rewarded for our pain.
From Mistress of the Sun:
–3 readers highlighted: Patience is the companion of wisdom, her father had often said, quoting Saint Augustine.
What does this tell me?
One, that there are not too many typos. And two, that readers like wise nuggets. And three: that the Amazon recording system may be suspect. It seems too coincidental. As a novelist, I’d never get readers to believe it.
You might be pleased to know that the second most highlighted text for all of Kindle is:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
From Pride and Prejudice, of course, by Jane Austen: highlighted by 3547 Kindle users.
As for the #1 favourite? It’s a quote from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese that begins:
The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t.
What do you think? Are you a highlighter? (I am: shamelessly so.)