It has been a while since I blogged. My interview series with authors of literary fiction is going strong thanks largely to the contributions of the many talented members of the Alliance of Independent Authors and other committed authors. Those interviews have done a good job of keeping my blog busy.
I have been planning a post nevertheless, which, when I publish it in the not-too-distant future, will share some interesting insights from the literary fiction survey I have conducted over the past few months with the above-mentioned authors.
Before then, though, I have to publish this post. And THIS post is born from the fact that I need to eat some humble pie.
I consider myself a professional.
Not perfect, since no one is perfect. But professional in the sense that I try to do what I need to do without fanfare or drama. I also attempt to consistently deliver high quality “stuff”.
As a father, I like to hope I am a good parent; I strive to be one every day. As a marketer, I consider myself a professional marketer. And as an independent author, I hope that the work I publish reflects well on the profession, especially since I recognize the stigma still occasionally attached to independent authors.
“Oh,” a certain type might say. “You couldn’t get a traditional publishing contract, so you reverted to…this??”
We don’t need any of that nonsense or misdirected thinking, no sir-ee.
Well, I screwed up, and my first published novel, Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, unfortunately offers reinforcement to prejudices and stereotypes of the independent author as someone less than professional…as someone who is willing to just throw out crap.
My novel was professionally edited and proofread. But somewhere in the process of learning how to convert a manuscript to a format that renders well in Kindle e-readers, an earlier version of Billy Maddox Takes His Shot somehow managed to rear its ugly head—an earlier version, I should add, rife with apostrophe and quotation mistakes, and a handful of spelling errors.
As I mentioned, I consider myself a professional. And so it is professionalism now that is making me publicly apologize to those readers who have received a copy of my novel, Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, and to that establishment of high-quality independent authors who already take full responsibility for their books—both in the quality of the storytelling and in the quality of the formatting, design and user experience.
So what have I done to remedy this mistake?
I took the time to go back and proofread the manuscript, made the necessary corrections and uploaded a clean copy of the book to Amazon. I also asked Amazon to please push out the newer version of the manuscript to readers who purchased the original copy so that they would receive the corrections. Amazon obliged.
I need to thank Mike Sahno, another writer of literary fiction who I recently met online. Mike was good enough to read Billy Maddox Takes His Shot and he was even better enough to point out its shortcomings. Indeed he took the time to create a list of errors. For that, I thank him. Without Mike’s feedback, I would have no idea a flawed manuscript existed in a publicly available location.
As one independent writer in a community of other indie writers, I think it’s important we hold each other accountable to high standards, even if (as in this situation) I am the one being held accountable. As mentioned a few paragraphs ago, prejudice continues to exist against independent authors and I believe it is imperative that we do what we must, to provide detractors with no reason to continue thinking the way they do.
So let me apologize one more time. I will continue to learn and improve the manner in which I provide readers with high-quality books. This won’t happen again.
Long live our community of independent authors.
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