The latest print proof has arrived!

Cover of POD version of The Melanie Chronicles

Last night I came home exhausted from an intense day at the office and all I could think about was the fish casserole I was going to eat for dinner. Then I opened my mailbox and found a slim cardboard package atop the usual bills and commercial circulars and my heart leapt: the new print proof of The Melanie Chronicles had arrived!

I just stood there in the lobby of my apartment building feeling giddy at the prospect of being able to finally check the latest proof. You may remember the first version was not really what I expected–what looked great in the digital proof looked wonky in reality. Still, it was an awesome feeling to hold my mini short story collection in my hands and see proof that I am a writer and I am capable of putting together a book–even if I suck at formatting sometimes.

Anyway, I went upstairs and forced myself to wait until after dinner to open it. I was hungry, tired and I knew I’d get a crashing headache if I didn’t eat soon. So I behaved myself–ate my dinner, didn’t rush through it–though I did make a few posts on Facebook–and then I opened my package. Overall, everything looks great. Only three things popped out at me:

  • On the even-numbered pages the outer margin is slightly narrower than on corresponding odd-numbered pages
  • A full-stop disappeared at the end of a sentence
  • A magazine title that ought to be italicized isn’t

Other than that, no spelling mistakes, no weird typos, no major problems. Tord says I should go ahead and make the book live. He says these things don’t bother him but I know how many people are. They look at self-published books and put higher demands on them than they do traditionally published books. In a way, I understand them. We expect traditionally published books to be perfect. We also expect indie writers to make sure their books are perfect because we want them to prove us wrong about the quality of self-published books, which still bear to a certain extent the stigma of the past.

So what do you all think? Should I fix the 3 tiny problems listed above? Or should I go ahead and put the book on sale and concentrate on getting the next volume of Melanie stories, A Little Night Music (working title, could change any day now) and Another Cup of Love ready for publication?

8 thoughts on “The latest print proof has arrived!

  1. Hi Kim, I really enjoy your blog. Can you live with those mistakes? Perhaps you should do a cost/benefit analysis. I could handle something so trivial but my sister would kill me! 🙂

    • I can live with them. I just worry about how picky people are. And if I fix them, it will mean another month of waiting for yet another proof before I can sell it and now I am ready to finish my other projects and get them out there.

    • Part of me wants to ignore them. Part of me says fix them now even though it will delay everything because I know how people hold self-published books to a level that is sometimes unrealistic considering how so many major mistakes slip through in traditionally-published books.

  2. Whether to fix the three tiny problems is a personal decision. If it really bothers you, then make the changes. It is true that people hold self-publishers to a higher standard, but I must say traditional publishers make mistakes, and sometimes big ones, to the point where they have to recall books from the book store. As long as there are no typos or major grammatical problems, then make the book live. You may want to test the sales and see what type of feedback you receive. As the saying goes, “Some of the greatest masterpieces have flaws.” Nevertheless, best wishes in your endeavors and contratulations to you.

  3. I don’t feel that I hold self-published books to a HIGHER standard, but I do expect them to be on an equal footing with traditionally published books. I don’t like to pay for mistakes, no matter who is behind the publishing. Just my wee humble opinion!

    • I agree–I don’t like paying for mistakes either. But no matter if you are an indie author or a traditionally published author, sometimes mistakes will slip through. I recently read an ebook by an indie author. The book was well written and had a great story and character arc. It also had two typos. I didn’t care about those typos because the book was so good. A few days later I read a book by a traditionally published author that had tons of mistakes: three fragments, around ten typos and a character whose name changed three times in the space of two chapters. When I looked for reviews of both books on Amazon.com and GoodReads, there were people ripping the indie author to shreds over two typos–they didn’t even comment on how good the story was. For the other book–the one full of mistakes?–the reviews were glowing, not a single mention of the mistakes.

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