Bully at Ambush Corner has been available for a week now, although only on Kindle. The other e-book stores apparently take weeks longer to make books available. It may surprise you to learn I’m somewhat relieved by that. The story is as follows:
I do not own any brand of e-reader. That, of course, means I cannot download my own book to gaze upon it and to bask in its perfection and beauty. So last week I got my first peek at it on the Kindle of my stellar writing buddy Edith Hope Fine. She had already begun to read the story, and as I took her Kindle reverently into my hands and marveled at my amazing cover, she quietly leaned over and whispered, “I found a Daniel.”
Those four words would mean nothing had you not been a participant in the process of the book’s creation and birth, as were the dynamite writers in my supportive critique group, which includes Edith. But those four words sent an icicle plunging into my heart, a heart that beats in the body of a relatively accepting, easygoing person—except where my writing is concerned. (And a few other pursuits, such as my ice curling.) In my writing, I aim for perfection. I often revise a personal letter or a blog comment ten times before turning it loose. And a query letter? Dozens! A manuscript? Can you count higher than a googol?
When I heard the words, “I found a Daniel,” I knew immediately that I had flubbed. I had edited, proofread dozens of times, and passed the manuscript along for more proofing. And yet … And yet … I had missed a Daniel.
Daniel was the name of the main character’s best bud in Bully at Ambush Corner. At least it was, until I waved my magic writer’s wand. Presto chango! Daniel turned into Mario. I was certain I had done a search and replace, but I guess I skipped that basic step. So in six different sentences—SIX!!—the new Mario morphed into the old Daniel.
This is a perfect example of getting so familiar with your material that your eyes glaze over as you read. You simply plunk in a word that isn’t there, but is supposed to be there. That also explains the “is” I quickly discovered in the first chapter that should be an “it.”
I drove home, panicked and dejected, wondering what other bloopers I might have included in my perfect baby. I spent that night and all the next day going over the manuscript line by line, if not word by word. I found a couple of other minor glitches, mostly formatting or punctuation errors. In all, a relatively clean copy—except for that darn Daniel who had reincarnated himself behind my back.
An e-mail from my wonderfully accommodating book converter/distributor, BookBaby, informed me that the errors could be corrected.
The bad news: the files have to be replaced at all the stores, which means the stores, other than Amazon, will take a few more weeks to have the corrected copy available. That shouldn’t take much longer than their original release date though.
The good news: According to BookBaby, if you have downloaded the copy containing the errors, once the revised book is available, you can resync it for free. Since I—not yet being the proud owner of an e-reader—have no clue how to do that, I’ll assume you go pressy here, clicky there and my now perfect copy of Bully at Ambush Corner will slide through the Ethernet and into your hands. Just in time for Christmas giving! Enjoy!
Question for you: Have you published an e-book? What was the biggest flub that happened to you during your publishing experience?