IWSG: Going Indie –The Mistakes I’ve Made So Far

Posted: October 6, 2015 in 'The Or'in of Tane Mahuta', book launches, books, e-books, Indie Authors, IWSG
Tags: , ,

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

 And this Wednesday it’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

They say when you reach the top you’ve got to stretch back down and help others up the ladder. There’s also a thing, or there should be, of when you reach the bottom, or make a mistake and fall headfirst down a well, whereby you can share what you’ve learned with others, in the hope that they might avoid the same mistake.

I want to share the Number One mistake I’ve made as an Indie author so far, and my Hot Tip solution.

I’d worked on my book a long time when I started the process towards publishing. I think I “caught a glimpse of the finish line.” I became too eager to be done with the process, in other words, I started to rush. At the exact time I should have been slowing down and ticking all the boxes, I was busy planning the book launch and making sure the food was organized, and I skipped an important step.

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“It’s harrowing independently publishing,” said a fellow writer friend. “No one understands what Indies go through to reach this point. It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. We are running on adrenaline, on this super high, and then we crash,” said another author. I had heard it was an insane amount of work. Yeah, it was.

Sometimes you fall down, you get to see a new perspective — in the gutter, looking up at the stars. ~ Chuck Wendig

I worked with a designer over the look of the bookmarks and the number cards. That finish line, that had always been so far off in the distance, was so close. I began to run, then sprint. The days between me and the deadline of the book launch flashed past like marker flags, no sooner seen than forgotten.

Number One Mistake: I set an unrealistic deadline and rushed the end product trying to meet it.

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I was staying up late and getting up early, and going everywhere at a run in between. I think I knew then, that I was not fully in control, but I didn’t want to admit it.

James Altucher said, There’s a two-step solution to blame: a. it’s your fault. It’s always your fault. b. Have a Plan B on every decision.” I had no plan B.

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A good friend who is a writer, advised me wisely, to ask for a galley of the finished typeset book to check before it went to print or digital publication.I did ask for a copy to proof. But did I read the whole book from cover to cover? No, I didn’t read the whole thing. I had read it five million times, I had paid a professional proofreader a lot of money, I had done what needed to be done. I really didn’t think I needed to read it again. I ran an eye over the pages, and they looked great, but I didn’t proofread every word. I had set a date for the launch. The printers needed to have already started printing to get the job done on time. I looked at that finish line and I wanted to cross. So, I approved it.

After my book was published and launched, my sister was the first person to read, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta,’ and she emailed to say it was full of errors: words missing, words repeated, etc.

signing

One friend thought the fault might have lain with the typesetter. “As a former book editor it sounds to me like he had problems with file management/version control.”

But to my dismay, when I checked the final version I had sent to the typesetters, it did have those errors present. That was when I realized what I had done. It was my mistake. As another author friend rightly said, “You need to own this part of it, too.” He was right. How did that happen?

Donna Blaber

“Another thing to consider,” Kiwi author, Donna Blaber said, “is if you accidentally added in mistakes when making amendments.” This is a very real possibility and is actually the explanation I’m leaning towards now. After some ferreting around in my files, I’m unable to find a more recent version of the manuscript.

After all the careful editing, and re-editing, and professional help times two, I still managed to send a manuscript to the printers that was full of mistakes.

When I went back to talk to the typesetter, he had some good advice which I pocketed in order to repeat it here. Listen up, Indies, and listen well. This is my hot tip to save yourself time, money and anguish.

Hot Tip: Find a local professional proofreader and pay them to check your precious book before and after typesetting.

Excellent Plan B. Face. Egg. Saved.

A good friend remarked, “You will get there. In the end, believe me, the process is forgotten and the only thing that matters — the only thing! — is the final book.”

I thought that was wonderful. The only thing that matters is the book! Don’t you agree?

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Talk to you later,

Yvette K. Carol

*

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. — George Orwell

I always say that a creative career is you putting a bucket on your head and trying to headbutt your way through a brick wall. Sometimes you get through, but most times? The wall wins. Quit now. Save yourself the headache.~ Chuck Wendig

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. – Dorothy Parker

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Comments
  1. dianawilder says:

    What a journey! And how wonderful and generous of you to share! We learn from our mistakes, of course, but it is wonderful to have others tell of their mistakes and show you how to avoid them. (The book looks great now!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Diana. I found it a little difficult at first to truly confess it was all my fault. Then my friend, author, James Preller, said that one line, “You need to own it,” and so I took a breath and did so, and it was a relief. It felt healing to be clear about the mistake and to share the fix that I will be using from now on, and that hopefully, will save other writer’s necks too!

      Like

  2. I did most of the work and editing on my book but left the cover and printing to the indie publishing company. The galley was mailed to me – the photos were too dark and the cover was awful. The back cover seemed to have a creepy, spidery monster hiding in the Berkshire Hills, with 2 shining red eyes glaring out. It was a gentle children’s book, for God’s sake and this would have traumatized them for life! I rejected the Galley and redid the cover myself, sending directions to the printers on correcting the photos. I should have been overjoyed to see my book in print for the first time, but it was a nightmare! There are a lot of things I would change if given a larger budget and if I knew then what I know now. But it was a learning experience and I’m moving on. Someday I will do a revised copy and it will be perfect! Best of everything, Yvette. I’m sure your book will be wonderful. Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks for that interesting reply, Clare! It’s like anything isn’t it, when you’re looking on from the outside everything seems simple. Everyone’s self-publishing these days, ergo, it should be as easy as falling off a log. But when you actually get in to the fray and publish your own book, you suddenly realize how unbelievably hard it is to do well. I actually almost felt at the end of the heart-rending slog like I might not be able to face going through it all again. However, I assume it’s like having a baby – directly after the birth, you swear you’ll never go through childbirth again – and a year later, you’re back there, doing it again!
      I hope you do get back to revising your book one day, and getting it the way you want it. Best wishes. Yvette

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Yvette. I totally agree-at first you just can’t think about publishing again. I’ve taken a break from the ZuZu Series and am publishing a small book written in verse about a little pitcher plant that decides it wants to be a vegetarian. I took the photos in the carnivorous plant area at our botanical garden here in RI.I have a different indie publishing company and am letting them do much of the editing and formatting. Hopefully , it won’t be as tough as the first “birth”! Much luck with your newest baby.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Ha, Clare, I love the sound of the new book! 🙂
        And, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    It’s great that you are sharing this Yvette. It’s so easy to have mistakes in a tinybbook of poems. I would be so overwhelmed with an entire novel to worry about. I think you did a great job x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been keeping up with your posts here and on FB and sharing your joys and pains and I think you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself but I applaud you for owning the errors and doing all you can to correct them in a way that makes you proud! ❤ Ultimately, it doesn't matter what others think; it's whether you have something that you're proud of. And I think you did an amazing job with your book! Thank you for sharing so openly with us so that we can all learn from your journey! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hey, thanks for following along, Tee. My friends here who attended the launch, etc, who are not in the biz all felt I needed to share my errors so that other authors could benefit. I felt the same way. Only thing was, I needed to get over the emotional blitz before I could put it together in a coherent fashion. I now have the corrected copy of the book to proof, so we’re getting there. But, wow, what a rollercoaster ride.
      Maria just wrote to say she got her copy in the post! She said that seeing the book on screen did not do it justice and she’s amazed at how beautiful it is. Now, to get the text inside to match!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree with Maria! I thought it looked nice in your photos, but the photos on the blog are so tiny. But you can only see the terrific nuances and details once you hold the real thing in your hands!

        It will be a thing of perfection when you’re done!

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Yes! I hope so 🙂
        Thanks for the feedback on the cover, too – it means a lot, coming from an artist like yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. emaginette says:

    I’m doing my final read through right now and am very worried I’ll miss something. It’s hard to imagine what you must be feeling right now. Sorry. 😦

    Anna from Elements of Writing

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great advice. It drives me nuts to find typos in my e-books, but at least those are easier to fix–in theory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes, I know what you mean! The focus required for the editing is intense, and I find it a real challenge. The thing driving me mad now is that each change we make seems to change something else! I think the key is to keep at it and be consistent.
      Thanks for stopping by, Tamara!

      Like

  7. The only thing that matters is the book. YES! It’s all going to be okay. Everything you learn with this one will help you with the next one, dear sweet pal. If you need another week you can have one. If not, I’m ready to rock! BTW, it took guts to write this post. And by writing it you have helped others not to make the same mistakes. That’s a hero in my book. ❤ xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, pal! Yes, it was a bit scary owning up to it all. However, I really wanted to share what I’d learned so it seemed the best way. Thank you for that 🙂
      As to starting work, nope, I’m ready to roll. Put us together and that makes rock ‘n roll! Let’s go! I’ll send you the first chapter in the morning. Yeeha! 🙂

      Like

  8. Pinar Tarhan says:

    I’m sorry for the disappointment, but I’m so proud of and inspired by how you’ve handled this. I pride myself in being a little OCD about sending articles/pitches/manuscripts, but there comes a time after having read your own stuff so many times that you stop seeing the mistakes. It feels like an unnecessary burden to proofread and recheck for the hundredth time, and unfortunately that’s when you catch the mistakes. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve, despite my supposed care, have made mistakes, and I continue to make them.

    We will survive and make up for them with a vengeance is all I can say. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, hun. I feel your empathy, in fact I’m teary-eyed reading your response. I know you understand, and I think I should start calling myself ‘a little OCD’ too, instead of thinking of myself as ‘anal’ because I always try to make everything perfect all the time!

      I don’t know if you read my Newsletter or not, but the comment in there from one of the friends of the family who bought two books at my launch, was that, she thought it was good I tried out the first version on friends because that way I’d put out an even better version! She was one of the kind folks who refused to discard the first copy, but wanted to retain the originals. My niece even said she was going to shrink-wrap hers, to sell when I’m famous! Ha ha. The support has been truly wonderful. And I thank you for yours, too, Pinar. As you said so brilliantly, look out for us on the rebound, boy. We’re going to rock this joint! 🙂

      Like

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