The Shame in Every Typpo

The Epitaph paperback is so close, I can smell that new-book paper smell. Literally, since I have the proof copy in my hand.

After months of upheaval in my life, I pushed Epitaph out the door in June because it was already overdue and I knew I was likely to fiddle with it forever if I didn’t make an effort to part ways. Of course, that made for a number of imperfections, which triggers a lot of OCD anxiety in a perfectionist.

Having typos in any of my books keeps me up at night. I guess I’m the last of a dying breed because even the biggest publishing houses out there don’t seem to give that much of a shit. The bestselling, most mainstream novels in existence still go out with errors. Most editors don’t care, most readers don’t notice. And, admittedly, when I spot one in someone else’s book, I shrug, read the word as obviously intended, and move on.

But dammit, it irks me when I know there’s one in something I published. Several times now I’ve updated the ebook, to correct tiny things few people will ever see, when one of my late-stage proofers spots something. I’m haunted by the x-number of people who downloaded an earlier version and now own a copy that is anything less than precise.

Normally, I would have preferred to let all of my eagle-eyed proofreaders have a go at the text before going live, but schedules vary, and the more people I wait on, the more months get appended to any eventual release date.

Now I have the paperback in hand. Usually I go through several drafts of the design before Amazon prints me up a copy I’m happy with. But this time, I think I got it right on the first go.

Except another typo has been spotted by the last of my proofreaders and she’s only 2/3 of the way through the book.

It’s so minor, everyone else in my stable of beta readers missed it. If any paying readers spot it—big if—they won’t care. And yet I’m pathologically compelled to delay the paperback some more until I can correct it and get any last-minute notes from my final copy editor once she finishes.

In the meantime, I shot this video last night while I was on the toilet.

Pants up, of course. It was just a convenient place to sit.