I am a UK author, and I write my books in English – I don’t like to qualify that by calling it ‘UK English’ because in my books that’s a redundancy.
I hope that doesn’t offend my many US friends.
My reason for raising this, is that I often see discussions between UK authors about whether or not to put a disclaimer in the front of their novel, pointing out that the book is written in UK English, and not the US version. This comes about because we get slammed sometimes in reviews, by readers complaining about spelling mistakes.
I’ve never considered doing this, as I hadn’t personally experienced any issues, but during lockdown I fell foul of it in a (thankfully rare) 3 star review of THE PRINCE’S MAN.
3.0 out of 5 stars Kept me engaged.
Reviewed in the United States on May 27, 2020 Verified Purchase
But, a sudden, drastic, change in one of the main characters, towards the end of the book, just didn’t totally fly. And, the proofing misses could be distracting. Still, if you’re not too picky, it’s worth checking out.
Now, I’m still trying to figure out which character this reviewer is talking about, because all the main characters change as a result of their experiences – it’s called ‘growth’ – but as far as I’m aware, none of those changes are drastic, sudden, or unwarranted.
Putting that conundrum aside, I was quite rattled to see the ‘proofing misses’ mentioned.
This is a book that frequently gains praise for (alongside other things) the lack of errors, so I was confused, and on the verge of re-reading the entire novel when I realised what the problem must be: this review is by a US reader, clearly counting my English spelling as mistakes.
So my question to you, especially US readers is, do you notice UK spellings? Do they bother you? Or do you realise once you see them that you are reading a book written by a UK author?