Writing a novel is hard work and often the authors have their hands full just keeping track of all the characters, plot twists and locations. Often this means that the job of catching spelling mistakes or grammatical errors are left up to automatic spell-checkers, publishers or proofreaders. Of course, these are luxuries that not all authors had access to in the past, which resulted in instances such as the so called “Wicked Bible” which was released in 1631 with one of the commandments misprinted as “thou shalt commit adultery.” Sometimes, even a spell-checker isn’t enough to save authors and publishers from the embarrassment that can arise from other mistakes. Here are just a few books, that for various reasons, ended up on the market with spelling mistakes, grammar errors, misprints or other issues.
Mistake: Typo - S*****d instead of “Shifted”
Romance author Susan Anderson was left mortified and apologizing profusely to fans who bought her digital edition of Baby, I’m Yours. The novel tells the tale of Catherine MacPherson, who is mistakenly taken into custody by a hunky bounty hunter searching for her showgirl sister. When readers reached page 293 they were left shocked and confused as one of the characters loosened his muscles and defecated on the ground during what was supposed to be a romantic scene. Of course, this was really a typo and he was supposed to have “shifted” on the ground. Some readers found it so hilarious that when offered a replacement that fixes the text they passed on it. Others never even noticed the typo until Anderson herself discovered it and apologized.
Mistake: Typo - “People” instead of “Pepper”
One Australian publisher had to reprint seven thousand copies of their pasta themed cookbook when a misprint slipped in. A recipe for tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto took a cannibalistic turn due to the word “pepper” mistakenly becoming “people.” Penguin Books Australia issued a Facebook statement where they apologized for the error and offering a replacement copy for any buyers who feel uncomfortable with having a copy of the misprinted book in their possession. According to Penguin, proof readers concentrated more on checking the ingredient quantities than the spelling, as this is where mistakes usually occur.
Mistake: Typo - “Chips” instead of “Ships”
An American Tragedy was from author Theodore Dreiser was published in 1925 and saw numerous adaptations over the years due to its popularity. Time Magazine also added it on their top 100 novels written in English since 1923 list in 2005. It is the tale of Clyde Griffiths, who goes from a life of menial jobs to one where he continually makes irresponsible choices, which in the end costs him dearly. One passage in the first edition of the novel describes two characters “abandoning themselves to the rhythm of the music - like two small chips being tossed about on a rough but friendly sea.” Of course, it should have read “ships” instead of “chips” which paints an altogether different picture.
Mistake: Cover - Heroine has three arms
Castles In The Air by romance author Christina Dodd shows that it is not always the writers and proofreaders that can get things wrong. In this historical romance novel the heroine, lady Juliana of Lofts, defies the orders of King Henry himself when he instructs her to marry the Count of Avrache. She performs this treasonous act because she believes no man would have her once he discovered her secret. Judging by the initial cover of this book, her deep dark secret might have been the fact that she suffers from polymelia. What actually happened is that the artist who drew the cover art apparently forget to erase an extra hand, which resulted in the heroine sporting three of them. However, Dodd took this in stride and embraced her newfound infamy as the author of the three-armed woman book.