Authors should create “error logs” for their books & ebooks

Posted April 28th @ 12:28 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Thursday’s profit tip for authors

An author’s brand and profitability depends on accuracy; even simple errors in published books can undermine an author’s credibility. That’s why every author, especially ebook and self-published authors, should compile an “error log” for each of their books.

An error log is word-processed file, often based on a 2 or 3-column table, that provides a central place to enter and track the inevitable errors that sneak into even the best-written and carefully-edited books.

Error logs at a glance

Error logs make it easy to keep track of errors as you discover them, or learn about them.

Clients, co-workers, friends, and readers often point out errors in errors in conversations or buried in e-mails, which makes them hard to track.

Without a system to track errors, and with input coming in from different sources at different times, it’s easy to¬† fail to lose track of them, allowing them to be repeated in future editions.

A well-designed error log contains space to enter:

  • The page the error appears on.
  • The type of error, spelling, factual, grammatical, etc.
  • Discovery date, i.e. the date you learned about the error.
  • Resolution date, i.e., the date you corrected the error.

Your error log should be immdiately updated when you discover an error or when you verify an error pointed out by someone else.

It’s not necessary to fix the files when you learn about a mistake, but it’s essential you add it to your error log.

Where should you keep your error log?

The logical place for keeping your error log is in the folder containing the latest, “as published,” files of your book. An even better idea would be to print out your error log on 3-hole punched paper and store it in the 3-ring binder containing the latest proofs of your book. The best idea would be to store a copy of your book’s error log on the Internet, for example, using online file-storing services like Evernote that you can access from any computer. Are you using an error log to keep track of errors in your books and ebooks?

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  1. Pingback: Should You Keep an Error Log? - GalleyCat on May 4, 2011

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