| David Gane

The blame game

Our fun started yesterday.

Ang sent me a note on Slack, saying someone had read my post about Along Comes a Wolfe the other day and found a repeated sentence on the first page!

Gah!

We had four pairs of eyes on this revised version of the book and not one of us had picked up this rather noticeable mistake.

Since we had already submitted the manuscript to the printer, we got worried and decided to make sure there weren't any other surprises.

I ran it through grammar checking software (not something I'd recommend to anyone as a solution) hoping it might catch any instances where other text was repeated.

Unfortunately, different errors popped up and we knew we had a problem.

All Hands on Deck

Ang was away for the afternoon, but when she returned onto Slack, I think it felt a little like this:

Heather and I were catching as many mistakes we could find and fixing them but we knew we should probably do a serious read. With the help of my wife, the four of us each took a section and started working through it.

"Why did this even happen?"

When we first released the book, we had a lot of eyes on it and a lot of mistakes were caught. We kept fixing them, thinking that was the last of them, but they kept popping up.

They finally tapered off and we felt we had a fairly solid book.

But then when we decided to rerelease it with Heather, we revisited every part of it, including the words themselves.

I've spoken in the past about the challenges of editing, but what I didn't talk about was how doing this type of work often causes new cracks to appear between the words. Every time you make a correction or an edit, you open yourself to possible new problems and the only way to be certain you catch them is to do another read.

This all works when you have time, but when you try and rush it, not all the mistakes may be found.

I should have done a final read on the text, however I saw a deadline for a competition I wanted and I pushed ahead, hoping for the best. Unfortunately, this decision bit us in the butt and the book had problems that needed to fixed.

"Well, whose fault is it?"

While we worked through the book, the one thing that impressed me is that no one was blaming anyone.

Everyone took equal responsibility, pushed it to the side, and did the work that is needed.

I love that.

The blame game is easy to do but I hate when it happens because it doesn't solve the problem at hand.

Best of all, as each of us worked, we all came up with solutions how to not let this happen in the future like giving more time for publishing, so we don't rush the edits or adding an extra set of eyes to do a fresh pass.

Fallout

This rush to print cost us. The printer had proofed the book and now we have to drop a little bit of cash for each page of those mistakes.

We may not hit our deadline for the competition, which sucks because it would have been nice to be considered—or possibly nominated.

However, it also made me really proud of us as a team. We attacked the problem and learned from it. We may make future mistakes, but I trust that we'll work together to solve them.

To me, that is a success.


Ang, I honestly didn't think I was going to post this today since we were busy trying to work on the book. But look at me, I did it!

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