I had a steep learning curve lately to do with self-publishing when I had a technical glitch on one of my books. I’ve decided to write about the things I have discovered on my writing journey and the tips I have been given by other authors in a section of my blog, which I’m calling Lizzie’s Learning Curve.
I had a couple of recent reviews on my latest book which said they enjoyed the story, but the grammar wasn’t great. I looked over the book and to my horror, found that not only had the book got a glitch, the wrong copy of the manuscript had been uploaded.
How did this happen?
For the first time since I have begun writing, I removed a sentence from one of my books, then felt I should have left it in after publication as it was integral to a chapter in the story. I added the sentence back and the book went live again. Having uploaded the updated book, I misread the document name and added the wrong version. I quickly checked for errors after doing this, but I had meticuosly checked the previous version which had been on sale for a while and thought I was sending the same proofed and edited manuscript. The old one did have grammatical errors as it was in an unfinished state of revision and hadn’t been for another round of proofing and editing.
To top everything off, the new book conversion developed technical glitches. It does say in the small print of some online retailers that this can happen occasionally with files, but I had never seen it before, so didn’t look for it. In this instance, the glitch separated full stops from the end of a sentence and moved letters away from the rest of the words. Disaster!
What to do?
I spoke with several authors who advised me to numerically number manuscripts, so that I would always know which one was the latest version. Unfortunately I had taken a completely different route, which was to label them, ‘book name latest’ and ‘book name latest version’ etc! Not a great way to store my work.
I spoke to the online retailer who told me how to sort out the glitches and upload the correct file in HTML code, which I had checked by a technical designer and it uploaded perfectly without a glitch. Once corrected the retailer very kindly sent out an email to all of the customers who had bought the book and told them there had been a glitch and there was a new version to update.
Obviously, this is a solution, but I really wish I hadn’t meddled with my original file and will never call my manuscripts, latest, newest, updated, or any other current name that I can think of! They are safely numbered and the highest is the book I am working on. All previous versions are now moved to a completely different file, so that the only file in my folder is the number I am working on.
It’s a learning curve!