Skip to main content

Screw Up Leads to Screw-Cap Wine

Boy, does it really suck to screw up! And I have to say that I really screwed up. You know how sometimes you can screw up?   Let's say (for all of my horse friends out there) that you are in the middle of a dressage test, and you do a ten-meter circle instead of the twenty-meter circle the test called for. Or maybe you're cooking a meal, and you grab chipotle powder instead of cinnamon, and when your kids bite into their oatmeal cookies their mouth lights up. At least you can laugh at that one.

But what if the screw up is super major and thousands of people are aware of it, not just you? Yep. Me. Now. Sucks.

Here is what I did: About six months ago, I made the decision to upload two thrillers that I had written over five years ago onto Kindle, Daddy's Home and Mommy, May I? I had a couple of friends read through them for mistakes (general typos, grammar, and content). Now first off, I know better than that. Family and friends are not the people you want proofing your work. BAD idea. Why? Well, it isn't because they aren't smart. It's because they love you, and they aren't looking at your work with an eagle eye. They are reading it and loving it because it's yours. In this case mine. I also went that route because cash was tight and hiring an editor and proof reader is not cheap. However, in retrospect I would have been better saving up some extra cash and investing in my career. HOWEVER, what happened with these books was not something I ever would have imagined. They freaking took off like crazy in The United Kingdom. They both hit Top Ten in Kindle sales, and Daddy's Home went to number one. The first reviews on these books were stellar (and from readers I did not know). What I thought would happen with these books was that a few of my family and friends would buy them and that would be it. Nope. Thousands bought them, which is great until I started getting some nasty reviews on both of them. I mean, really nasty reviews. Here are just a couple:

"I am really baffled by those reviews that give this book more than one star. I wish it were possible to give none. It is actually quite insulting that such rubbish gets published at all. The plot is totally predictable, the characters undeveloped and the dialogue stilted and unconvincing. It is about as badly written as anything you are likely to read. Ever! At one point the supposed romantic hero (a virtual blank space) is referred to by the name of the villain. I call that careless."

"This book was full of errors, not just typos but grammatical and careless mistakes. Did it get proof-read at all? The subject sounded interesting, but the really dreadful standard of writing made the book, for me, impossible to read. I abandoned it half way through. I assume this was self published, but this sort of badly put together rubbish gives self publishing a bad name and does no favours to the many excellent self published books. If you can't write then please don't."

OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!!!!! Those hurt. The night I read those, I broke out the wine (the screw-cap because the cheap stuff tends to get you buzzed faster. Kidding, kidding...), and went to bed. Then I got pissed off at
myself and realized I needed to do the work that I had not done before. I needed to pay an editor, get a copy editor, and do the extra work. Of course, I have had some fabulous reviews on these books as well, and that helps. I am not even sure if reviews always affect sales. My ego says they do.

Why am I telling you this? If you are also a writer please learn from my major mistake! I know I have. I will never, ever, ever put another book out that has not been through an editor, a copy editor, and probably three more readers. I will get opinions and not go off half-cocked.

If you are a reader, and you bought one of the earlier versions of these books and you are irritated at me, I am making you an offer. I will replace your book with any of my other books. Or, if you have not tried either Daddy's Home  or Mommy, May I?, I will send you the first fifty pages FREE, so you can decide if you want to purchase the full version or not. Fair? I hope so.

Lesson learned! I hate screwing up and plan to avoid it in the future. :)

Cheers,
Michele

Comments

Gayle Carline said…
I just love you so much for owning your mistakes and correcting them! After putting out Hit or Missus (with several rounds of edits and beta readers and more edits), people have pointed out a typo and a phrase leftover from a previous edit. Five wrong words, out of 76,000 and I STILL want to rip the book out of everyone's hands, re-do it and re-release it.

I totally feel your pain.

P.S. Did I see correctly, that you got Zamora back?
Shel said…
As one of those editors... ouch is right.
Dedra said…
Thank you for restoring my faith in people again!!! (Good timing I guess) I bought both books via Kindle and here is how I feel....When someone writes a book that I can get lost into, as if I'm in a movie on the sidelines, grammar and typos seem to disappear. In my book that is a great story (pun intended LOL)!!! I enjoyed your books and still do. I am on Cartel and just bought the Saddled with Trouble. So with all the above said....do what you feel is right and to the moon with the negative comments!!!! :) Thanks for being you again!!!
Thanks to everyone who commented! And for Shel--no worries. You did a GREAT job. I was writing about family who had taken a look at the book.

Popular posts from this blog

I Need a Name for My Next Victim

So I have finally started breathing new energy into my writing career. Yes--I have been in a slump. I'll admit it. Life became insanely stressful and busy over this past year and instead of my usual 3 books a year, I have not written a manuscript for a year. Gulp--I said it--well sort of (I wrote it). Lucky for me, I did have some new books released into the world, (Patron and Happy Hour) but now it's time to get back to business.

My problem as a writer has always been that I have a bazillion ideas running through my head at any given time, and I want to write them ALL right at that moment. That becomes overwhelming because let's face it, it's an impossible task. Then, I lose my focus in the haze of overwhelm and I top it off with outside stress from just plain old life, and then all I want to do is go spend time with my horses because 1. they don't talk back., 2. they are very forgiving souls, 3. they don't judge. In other words, they are perfect for stress re…

Superpowers

I love talking to my son. He's so... so.... interesting. And opinionated.

Kid: Mommy, if you could have any superpower at all, what would it be?

Me (without missing a beat): My power would be to magically clean the house. Particularly the dishes.

The kid shoots me death ray looks. 


Me (scurrying to make up for this hideously stupid remark): I wish I could fly.

Kid (looking pointedly at me and speaking rather snidely): I would have the power to teleport to another dimension.

Shit. The kid totally out-cooled me and he knows it.

Next time I'll do better. I promise.









Lukewarm Topics

Michele was kind enough (or just not well thought-out enough) to ask me to blog with her. In another naive move, she gave me her password so I took it upon myself to screw with her blog and move everything around. Poor woman. Anyhow, I took a very formal survey on Facebook about which inane subjects the public would like me to address. Those View ladies have “Hot Topics” but I’m just going with “Lukewarm Topics That Have No Important Bearing on the World Whatsoever.”

So by request, here are my thoughts on today’s pressing issues:

Twitter: There is no way to discuss Twitter without sounding vulgar. “I tweeted/twatted/twittered….” Any way you put it makes it sound like you’re busy getting yourself off. Which maybe you are, but I don’t want to know about it. And if I did want to know about it, I’d certainly want more than 140 characters of detail. Go the Carrie Prejean route. Live a little. The bigger problem I have is that Twitter confuses me because I can’t keep track of anyone, so I wri…