Poorly Proofread Books from Big Publishers

Updated on December 17, 2016
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is a seasoned writer with nearly a decade of experience and degrees in accounting, history, and creative writing.

You’d think that a book from the big publishing houses would be in expert condition when you purchase them, right? There should be no formatting issues and no punctuation problems. It would be near perfect. Certainly there should be no evidence of poor editing. Rumor has it that only the self-published come out to the public in horrible shape. Well that rumor is not true. Many big publishers are putting out poorly proofread books.

There Will Always Be Mistakes

Anytime I read a book, I do find some mistakes. It is inevitable. Publishers and editors can’t catch them all. And these are from the big publishers. A missed comma here and there doesn’t bother me. I do have to say that if I see that on every page, I frown. Big publishers have the means to avoid the majority of mistakes. Therefore they should not be found by the reader. I should be able to read without stopping when I see an egregious grammar and punctuation mistake. Now that being said….

More and more, I’m picking up books from the big publishing houses and finding huge editing issues. I mean HUGE! I am shocked when I check out the publisher and see a big name there. What I see I would expect from someone new to the industry or a self-published author who didn't have anyone edit their work. It's shocking.

What issues? Let me rant then.


I had seen my children play a video game that looked very interesting. There was action, mystery, and an actual plot in it. I discovered there was a book based on it. I really wanted to read it if it was as good as the game. I even paid full price for it. From paragraph one, I was reading open mouthed. Run on sentences occurred in about every paragraph. Punctuation was incorrectly done and not just once here and there. It was everywhere like someone who had never read English had written it. I couldn’t finish the book. I couldn’t get past page forty-seven. This book came from a MAJOR publisher. Reading the reviews, many people had the same problem as I did. The only ones who didn't admitted that they used it to help them learn English. That is not the book to use as it was wrong on so many counts.

I picked up another contemporary book and found good editing, but extremely poor proofreading. Commas were missing in about ninety-nine percent of places where they should have been. It drove me crazy and made it hard to continue reading. I found myself looking for the inevitable missing comma instead of reading the story. That’s a shame because it was a great story.

These are just two of many. And I have heard many other readers complain about the same thing concerning other books. What is going on?

Results of Poor Proofreading

Why should it matter if the commas are in the right place or if the sentences are extremely long? It matters a lot! The meaning of a sentence can entirely change dependent on where the comma is. Remember the purpose of punctuation - road signs! If you want the reader to understand the story, then the proofreading has to be done and done well. Perfection is rarely achieved, but it would be nice to see an attempt. If you mess up on this aspect, you can lose a reader quickly.

Another horrifying result is the continuing deliterization of our culture. While some might not see proofreading as an issue, in the long run it causes a lot of problems. Over exposure to things causes blind acceptance. That means younger generations accept these mistakes as correct. We need to nip the problem in the bud before the language deteriorates further. If we say they are no big deals, we will create a generation that is ignorant on how to communicate properly.

What's Going On?

Why is this happening? Why are big publishers putting out such low quality work? The answer could be the most terrifying thing of all.

Big publishers are pushing aside quality in order to meet deadlines and produce the books they have lined up. The money is spent on covers and marketing for those they feel will bring in the big bucks. The amount on editing and proofreading is being pushed aside.

I will admit that I do not know this from personal experience. But what other explanation can there be? I would hate to think that the big publishers are getting lazy or have no desire to produce quality books. I would like to think it is a misdirection of focus.

I am at a loss. To think that our children will be reading such poorly produced books has me terrified how the future generations will turn out.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • RGraf profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Graf 

      2 years ago from Wisconsin

      Totally agree. I'm very disappointed in the big publishing houses.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have started noticing this as well, especially in the newer books I pick up at the library. It's frightening to me, especially since a professional proofreader is typically required or encouraged to have a Bachelor's degree in English. I understand budget cuts, but I do not understand providing poor quality work. If you are being paid to do something, you should give it 100%.

    • mickshaw555 profile image


      3 years ago from India

      Good post!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)