In retrospect

There are a number of things Amazon does well for indie authors and some they don’t do so well. One thing they do kinda-sorta well is offering us the chance to put books up for pre-order. They were major outlet to offer us that option. It’s a great tool in a lot of ways. We can have an actual link to a product page when we promote the upcoming book. We can go ahead and set up the book and series information, etc. But there’s a downside.

Unlike traditional presses that can push the pre-order date back, indies aren’t given that chance. In fact, if we miss the date, we can (and will) lose the potential of offering anything else for pre-order for a year. Normally, that isn’t a problem. However, when a problem does arise, it can wind up biting you in the butt. You either push the book out, even if you have a gut feeling there might be problems still with it, or you don’t and you risk your ability to put anything up for pre-order for a year (or worse).

That’s the situation I found myself in with Fire from Ashes. My usual copy editor was unavailable for this book so I hired one who had come recommended. Under usual circumstances, that wouldn’t be an issue. I give myself time between getting all edits back and a book going live to make sure there are no issues. This time, however, a family emergency got in the way and I had to send the book out the door without doing my final check.

The result was it went out with more copy edit — actually proofreading — problems than I like. Not nearly as many as I see in a lot of books, both traditional and indie, but more than I’m happy with. Hell, let’s face it. I don’t like seeing any errors in my work. No author does.

Thanks to several great fans and an awesome author friend, they jumped in and helped by sending me errata lists. I took time away from writing Rattling Chains over the weekend to input the changes and look for others that needed to be made. The updated file for Fire from Ashes has been uploaded and is now live.

That means, if you’ve already purchased or borrowed the book, you’ll need to go to “Your Content and Devices” under “Accounts and Lists”. Click on “Manage Your Content and Devices”. Find Fire from Ashes in your list of e-books. There should be a note under it showing “Update Available”. Click on that button and tell it to update. It’s as simple as that.

I’ve learned two lessons from this situation. The first is to try to talk with Amazon instead of rushing to meet the pre-order deadline. Under most circumstances I would have done so. But the situation was such that I wasn’t thinking too clearly, being focused instead on what the family problem happened to be. The second is to never, ever go with a copy editor at the last minute — especially one who touts their ability to proofread at the same time — unless I’ve already worked with them and know how they perform under pressure.

And now, it’s time to get back to work on Rattling Chains.

Thanks to those who stepped up to help me with the corrections, especially to Margaret Ball. If you haven’t checked out her books, do so. She’s an awesome writer. Here’s a link to her Amazon page.

Please check back tomorrow for the first snippet from Rattling Chains.

Until then.

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