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POINT OF VIEW: Making Mistakes

Fail / Mistake

Mistakes. We all make them.

Yesterday I’d uploaded some changes and corrections for “The Stark Divide.” They were minor corrections – a missing quote, a grammatical error – things a reader had caught and been kind enough to pass along to me.

This morning I woke up to the email from Amazon confirming that my changes were live – for “The Rising Tide.”

Panicked, I logged into the KDP dashboard and opened the book info for “The Rising Tide.” Sure enough, I had switched the insides over to the text for “The Stark Divide.”

These things suck and make me want to pull my hair out, but they happen. Like they say, “if it isn’t one thing, it’s five other things.”

I took a deep breath, and loaded up the correct file to “The Rising Tide” first. Then I uploaded the original changes to “The Stark Divide.” In a few hours, all will be right with the world, and this mistake will be a fading memory.

As people, we’re going to make mistakes. As self-publishing authors who have the keys to the largest book promotion machine of all time, sometimes those errors will be quickly shared with tens, hundreds, or thousands of other people.

The trick is owning your mistake, and doing your best to make it better.

In my case, I was lucky. The error happened three weeks after release date on the second book in the series, and it’s a re-release. If I hadn’t told you about this, most likely no one would ever have known.

Sometimes, though, you make a bigger mistake – something that truly offends someone or lots of someones. We all screw up, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.

Still, the answer is the same. Own your mistake. Fix it if you can. Apologize. And then go on. We all screw up. But it’s how we respond to our failures that shows our true character.

When someone reaches out to you to let you know that you blew it, listen. Own it. And then act accordingly. Make it right, even if you didn’t mean to do harm. It will save you tons of heartache in the long run.

To my author friends, what mistakes have you made? How did you respond/fix them? What would you do differently?