I found a Typo!!!

Somewhere in the world a typo is slippgni threuw teh craks, hiding in the shadows, waiting to ruin your day. Chances are the scenario below has happened to you:

You wrote for hundreds of hours finishing and fine tuning your manuscript. Now it’s off to the editor, cringe. It comes back from the editor and your critique partners and beta readers. Wow, that’s a lot of red ink (digitally speaking of course). You now hate Track Changes with a fiery passion, but you push through and get the changes in, and even make some more of your own.

OK! Now it’s done and ready to go to Lee at IRONHORSE Formatting. So I get your awesome book, free from any possible errors…right?

Well…possibly. So, I format the book and send you all the e-book versions and a Createspace print version for good measure. You publish the book. Ahhhh…deep sigh of relief.

But you can’t resist one last look through. Now that the world is reading it, it’s only natural to want to make sure all your hard work looks the way it’s supposed to. “Wait…what’s that? A typo?!?! ‘Drake kissed her lungingly.’ Lungingly?!?! How could I miss that? How did other people miss that? It even has the ^^^^^^ under it. Nooooooooooo!”

Typos!  They happen to every author I’ve ever worked with or talked to. Typos suck, but they are a nasty reality of the business. When you type tens of thousands of words, there will be at least one, and probably more that come out wrong. Whether it’s a misspelled word or some other issue, every book has them.

The great thing about self-publishing is that you now have the option of fixing any mistakes you find and uploading the new version of your book quickly. Though traditional publishing (New York publishing) has it’s benefits, one of the drawbacks is that your book will languish on shelves until the next printing, typos and all. That can take months or years, depending on sell through and publisher support. But a self-pubbed novel can be fixed and re-uploaded before your use of the word “Lungingly” starts trending on Twitter.

Here’s the catch. Once I’ve formatted your books and sent them to you, most of those versions (.mobi and .epub files) are, for all intents and purposes, “locked”. That’s to prevent errors from being introduced into the book no matter what machine or device the file is opened with. They are basically the completed e-books that readers get. The publishing sites do very little to them before making them available for sale.

I found typos. Now what?

So, if you find that you need some typos fixed let me know. You won’t be able to make any changes to the file I sent you for Kindle or Nook. The only file that is fixable by you is the Smashwords file, since it’s in MS Word. To fix the others I have to delete the incorrect .mobi and .epub versions, make the changes to the MS Word file that I use as a base working copy, then re-convert the files for you. Then you can upload those new files.

Getting Minor Changes made to your book:

Since the Smashwords file can be altered by you, my advice is to make any minor changes you need to, highlight those changes in Yellow, add red text notations which I will delete after the changes are made, save the file and send it to me. So far that has been a great way to get minor changes fixed. I’ll definitely find them and know how you’d like them fixed by using your highlights and notations. Another method is to simply cut and paste the line that needs changing into an email, then add a notation about how it should be changed. See my lame example below:

“See run Jane.” Please change this to “See Jane run.”

When I say minor changes I’m talking about 5 to 10 fixes. Any more than that and we’re now into major changes. It’s all about how much time it takes to apply the changes. If I can make the changes and reconvert the files in about an hour, you’re still in minor changes land, and the fee I charge for minor fixes is $20. That’s for all the fixes and the reconversions.

Getting Major Changes made to your book:

 Sometimes the changes required are more extensive. Either they’re issues that were missed during edits, or you want to change a scene or even a chapter. If that’s the case then we’ll have to re-do the formatting from scratch. When large scale things are changed you have to start over simply to ensure that the formatting is intact throughout the book. Splicing in large chunks of text has a nasty habit of leaving tiny coding errors that can ruin the finished product. So, it’s best to go ahead and make all the changes you need to in either your original manuscript or the Smashwords version, then save and send me the file. Then I’ll re-do the formatting and conversion as quick as I can. Since major changes require a full reformat, the full formatting fee is applied again.

So my advice is to edit your book like you have a neurotic twitch about typos before you send me the book to be formatted. Small fixes are quick and cheap, but there’s no reason to pay the full price twice if you can avoid it.

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