Time To Fix That Typo

One of the great things about self-publishing is that after a book is out you can still go back and fix a typo if you happen to catch it later.  (Also one of the bad things as it turns out…)

I like to think my books are cleanly written, but typos still slip through here or there.  And when I’m rereading a book in order to write the sequel, or reading the paperback to verify formatting, or listening to the audio version, I will sometimes find that I used “full” instead of “fool” or “he’d” instead of “he’s” and I’ll want to fix that so any new writers don’t read it and think what an idiot I am.

So, I go back and fix it.

When I was ebook only on Amazon, this was easy breezy, piece of cake.

Step 1: Edit the Word file.

Step 2: Upload to Amazon.

Step 3: Use the previewer to make sure it looks good and hit publish.

Took about ten minutes.  Maybe.  If the uploader was slow.

But now I have my books up all over the place and some are in print and audio, too.  (Fortunately, by the time it gets to audio, it’s good to go.  I’m not going to have the narrator go back and fix a passage later.  But listening to audio has led me to find a few errors in the ebook and print versions that need fixed.)

Being wide and in print means it’s a multi-day potentially hours-long process to get books updated to fix a teeny tiny little typo.  It goes something like this:

Steps 1 – 3: As above.  I always do Amazon first.

Step 4: Take Word file used for Amazon and strip out links in the back matter to other books by the same pen name.

Step 5: Upload that Word file to D2D.

Step 6: Download a preview of the file without the “Also By” pages populated.  Review.  Rename.

Step 7: Go back to D2D and create a new version with the Also By pages.

Step 8: Download and preview.

Step 9: Approve.  (Assuming there weren’t changes/issues, which sometimes there are.  I just had a book where five of the chapter headings were for some reason formatted differently in the .EPUB file even though the Word file looked fine.)

Step 10: Take the .EPUB file without the Also By pages and load to Kobo.

Step 11: Download and preview file.

Step 12: Approve.  (Assuming there aren’t issues.  I started doing it this way when Kobo started adding page breaks between each paragraph because I was using the Enter key between paragraphs.)

Step 13: Take the .EPUB file without the Also By pages and load to Google.

Step 14: Pray it’s okay on Google.

Step 15: Modify the Word file used for the print version.

Step 16: PDF the Word file.

Step 17: Upload the PDF to Createspace and submit for review.

Step 18: Wait for CS to approve the new file and then approve it for distribution.

Step 19: Drink a celebratory beer and swear to myself I’m never going to reread anything I’ve written ever again and send a prayer that no reader ever contacts me with a typo I’ll feel compelled to fix.

Step 20: Find a sticky note the next day with one more error I’d forgotten about.  Do whole process over again while wondering why I never have enough time to write.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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