Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where's the Spell Check?

by Leann

I understand mistakes happen to everyone, but it seems when big online companies--and I am referencing Amazon and Audible right now--are dealing with a spelling mistake, it creates big problems if you are an author.

Let's go back several years ago to my second Cats in Trouble Mystery, The Cat, The Professor and The Poison. My publisher, The Penguin Group (see? I can spell penguin!) sends in book covers to online retailers like Amazon well ahead of release, and certainly well ahead of the book even being finished. That's great, UNLESS they spell a word wrong in the title. In my case, they sent in a cover with "professor" spelled "proffessor."

Here's the problem this created. When Penguin sent Amazon the cover for the book for the KINDLE version--and the Kindle version only--they sent it with professor spelled correctly. Well, computers being what they are, it was determined that these were two DIFFERENT books. So, my Kindle version and my paperback version did not appear together on the same sales page. Readers alerted me to this. It was only after many emails between myself and Amazon that they agreed to pair the versions on the same page. But there was a "HOWEVER" involved. To correct the misspelling on the paperback, Penguin had to send an entirely new PDF cover file to Amazon. Depsite my requests, this never happened. You can see what I mean! This is what is up there to this day:

For me, this is an embarrassment even though it not my fault. (Please rest assured, the actual book has "professor" spelled correctly on the cover!) Every time I see that page I cringe. You would think it would matter to Penguin, but apparently not.

Moving on to Audible. First, Audible now has all the Cats in Trouble books produced (YAY!) except one. You guessed it. The Cat, The Professor and The Poison. I don't know if this is because of the difficulty pairing the audio to the book page on Amazon or not. (Amazon owns and gives special prices on kindle and audio titles bought together, so I am only guessing this misspelling has created a problem.)

But there's MORE. The Cat, The Wife and The Weapon, the 4th book in the series now out on audio, does not appear on the same page as all my other audio books when you go to Well, guess what? THEY SPELLED MY NAME WRONG! Here's the link and you can see what I am talking about.

The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon: A Cats in Trouble Mystery

Leann Sweeny instead of Leann Sweeney, but only on that one book. So, this title is being put up as if it is written by different person--because that's what the computer has decided.

Can I scream now? You might hear it across the ocean if that's where you live! :-)

If you are interested in audio books and want to buy the Cats in Trouble series and listen in order, I have asked my agent to find out why book #2 is missing. Nothing I have done seems to have made any difference. And maybe, if enough people use the "contact us" section on these sites and talk about the misspellings, they might decide to fix these problems. Thank you for reading this!