on February 20, 2012 in Misc

Well, this has been a painful weekend.

See, I visited a couple friends (Doug and Cil who are a couple), and while it was great to see them I was also prepared for the grim news they warned me about ahead of time…

First the good news:  they both finished reading The Compass Master and really enjoyed it.

Now the bad news: between them they found approximately 25 typos/mistakes in my book.


I mean, this really hurts.  This is so embarrassing.  Most of the slip-ups are barely noticeable.  But some others? Oh, they hurt.

Of course both Doug and Cil emphasized that I had done a good job, especially considering TCM is 523 pages long.  He told me he’s read, just for example, all of Clive Cussler’s novels and finds typos in all of them , and those tomes are published by one of the Big Six in New York.  Cil told me that as a teacher she’s unusually good at proofing and spotting mistakes.  And I told them I wish I’d known how good both of them are at this proofing stuff ’cause I woulda asked for their help BEFORE I published TCM.

So okay, my book has some mistakes, just like books put out by traditional publishers.  But the fact is I’ve always known that if you want to make it as a self-published writer your standards have to be very freakin’ HIGH.  Like you have to aim at putting out a better book in every possible way than those put out by the professionals if you want to be taken half as seriously.  And 25 or more typos is really, really asking to be laughed out of the book business.

Hence y’all know what this means – I gotta look into seeing how much it would cost me to reprint TCM with the necessary corrections.  Then there’s the matter of how long the Kindle version on Amazon has to be taken down so that the new one can replace it.

Damn. And I thought my biggest problem was figuring out how to promote my novel.

At least, in another literary vein, these same friends fiercely nagged me about getting my other two novels into print. They read both, love both, insist that it’s those two (shorter than TCM) books that would take off in women’s book clubs and other venues.  And since I really do love those two other novels as much as I do TCM (we all love our writing efforts, don’t we?), their support means so much to me.

So that’s it, folks.  As spring and warmer weather approaches, along with opportunities to finally start doing Layla stuff again, I’m gonna be turning into an editing/ proofing/ publishing whirligig.  I might even be mostly finished by mid-summer.  And Doug and Cil will be proofing my manuscripts BEFORE I publish them.

Anyway, that’s my sorry news. Hope your own literary announcements are happier ones than mine.

And Ciara – in my next posting I’ll be giving a way overdue shout-out for The Curse of Gremdon.

13 Responses to “AAAACK Time”

  1. Are they available to be hired as editors? OMG…that kind of eye and talent is amazing.

  2. From what I’ve heard others say, you can upload a new Kindle version without taking the old one down and the new one replaces it within a day.
    I have two test readers, three critique partners, and my publisher’s editor, all of whom review my work before it’s published, and I’m sure there are still typos.

  3. Helena says:

    Alex – That’s good news on the Kindle version. TCM went through two more readings by two savvy friends, but I think some of my final edits led to a few of the typos.

  4. Helena says:

    Michael – Cil might be available as a proofreader, if you’re interested. How she feels about her skills as an editor I couldn’t tell you and would have to check with her.

  5. Bobbie says:

    25 errors is perfectly normal. In the novel The Last Picture show by Larry McMurty (Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lonesome Dove), Larry actually changes one of his character’s names at the halfway point. Different Seasons by Stephen King (the paperback edition) is loaded with errors. I found them all myself while on vacation a few years ago.

    Speaking of Stephen King:

    Click on any book on this list . . . readers have found a lot of errors. My favorite is from Carrie. Carrie’s father stops Carrie’s mother from killing her (in a flashback). The only problem . . . Carrie’s father died before she was born. :) LOL!

  6. Helena says:

    Bobbie — I am so going to check out the King/errors link. Love how Carrie’s father gets unintentionally resurrected.

  7. Ciara Knight says:

    I have a typo on page one of one of my books. *bows head* It was so embarrassing. And that is after an editor, three crit partners, beta reader, and copy editor looked at it. Yikes! Yes, big six has tons of typos in some of their books. Just create the best book you can! I can’t wait to dig into Compass Master. It sounds awesome!!!
    Oh, thanks so much about The Curse of Gremdon shout out! :)
    BTW – I’ve been absent from visiting blogs because hubster installed new parental controls and all the blogs were blocked. I had to wait for him to fix the issue. LOL

  8. Hart says:

    Oh, man! Sucks so bad to find out about those after you’re in print! Are you printing on demand, or are there a bunch of copies somewhere?

    One thing to keep in mind though, I just had a convo with one of my published friends about pass pages (these are like printing proofs) and she said she has readers who really LOVE catching the typos. She looks at it as providing a service to have a couple typos left in. She would never do it on purpose, but doesn’t stress too badly that it happens.

  9. Thanks for checking. That level of skill is probably worth a lot of money. I’m not made of money. For what it’s worth, you have a pretty good laser eye yourself so I think 25 errors is nothin’ I probably have them all over the place in my novel that’s about to be released, but I gave it my all. Honestly, I wouldn’t sweat it Helena.

  10. Helena says:

    Ciara — How funny that the parental controls blocked you too! I’m helpless against any kind of techie controls like that too.

  11. Helena says:

    Michael — It’s so hard to proof you’re own stuff, isn’t it? For me, I get so close to my material I can’t see straight.

  12. ann says:

    I’m just a reader, not a writer. I enjoyed reading The Compass Master for the action, the characters, and the mystery. Honestly, I didn’t notice any typos but maybe I was too involved in the story.

  13. Helena says:

    Ann — And that’s what I want to hear! Thank you so much.