We’re all humans. We all make mistakes.
And we all make typos. Yes, even freelance editors make typos!
I’ve personally made some pretty bad and funny typos in my life that I still laugh about to this day.
However, I’ve noticed a trend lately on social media where editors are using typos to shame, ridicule, and make fun of the people who made the typos. It’s like the freelance editors feel the need to tear these people down in order to build themselves up, and I’m not here for it.
It’s our job to find typos and to find errors–and we should feel good when we find them. We’re getting paid to do that for our clients. However, using those typos and errors in a mean way as a marketing tactic is not a great look.
I’m not going to tell you what to do or what not to do; it’s your business, and you get to decide how you want to market it. But if you’re going to use typos and errors to boost yourself and your business, I want you to take a step back and think about these two things:
1. If I were my ideal client and I saw this, would I want to hire me?
For me, the answer would be no. I’d run in the opposite direction.
Most people just starting out in their publishing journey are very nervous to hire an editor. If they come across an editor tearing someone down for their typos and errors, that potential client is going to ask themselves if they want to work with someone who is ridiculing others for those errors.
Of course, there will be some who think it’s funny and gravitate toward editors who do this, but for the most part, most authors are not looking for editors who are shaming people online.
2. You don’t know who is making the typo and why
It could be a slip of the keyboard or their brain just isn’t working right that day. But what if English isn’t their first language? What if they’re neurodivergent?
Are you harming or are you helping by publicly posting these mean things you think are humorous? I think you know the answer…
As freelance editors, we’re working by ourselves, for ourselves, but we are also part of a larger community of editors. There are still industry standards and ethics to uphold, plus stereotypes I’m sure we all want to break free from. I personally don’t believe that shaming people for making typos or mistakes in their writing is helping our industry.
If you see a typo and want to laugh at it publicly, just ask yourself if that’s an appropriate way to market yourself. If you don’t think it is, keep it to yourself and laugh in private. 😊
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