Finding that (major) error in your published work

My name is…?

It happens to the best of us. It happens to the worst of us even more. I’m talking about that major error you find in something you’ve published. It’s usually followed by stomach ulcers and weeping and gnashing of teeth. How could you have possibly missed this?! I’m not talking typo or grammar goof. I’m talking a major plot point. You know… like changing the character’s name from book #1 to book #2. We’ve all done this, though, right? Right?

Oy. I was glancing through Divisible by Six the other night. In preparation of crafting book #3, it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember Agent Norris’ first name. Robert or Richard. It’s a bit understandable given the fact that 98% of the time, I refer to him as “Norris.” I did a quick search of the manuscript and stared at a word on the page in horror. “John.”

Wait a second.

I quickly went to the manuscript for book #1. His name’s not John! It’s Richard! WTF?! Well, maybe I’d only done it once. No… despite an early introduction as Agent Richard Norris, he later introduces himself as John… and then for the remainder of the book, he and another character engage in a conversation where he’s called John the entire time.

[Insert F-bomb here.]

I quickly searched the entire document and fixed every mention in both the ebook and paperback. Luckily, a) no one had purchased a paperback (lucky? hmmm) and b) I had yet to produce paperback versions for myself. Crisis slightly averted. Still, several hundred (~1200) folks now have e-copies with a curious change of character. I’m not so surprised that no one caught it, but I went so far as posting a “request to re-upload” the latest version on the Amazon page. It’d make me feel better.

As a self-published author, you’re inevitably responsible for what you publish. But, in the same sense, you also have the ability to go in and fix what you’ve published at any time. A perk to having control over everything.

In the end, on the scale of mistakes, it could have been much worse. With all the erring I do, there’s now no doubt that I’m human. 😉

How about you? Ever discovered (or worse, had a reader point out) an error in your published work? Share in the comments and thanks for stopping by! 

3 thoughts on “Finding that (major) error in your published work

  1. Ahahahahahaha!! I couldn’t stop laughing reading this. I reacted the same way when something similar happened to me. I published one of my books on a creative writing website where you get feedback from other writers. I created a character that you only meet once in the story towards the beginning of the book, her name is August. Later on in the book you’re introduced to one of the main characters named Augustine (why I choose similar names is beyond me lol) Towards the end of my writing I wanted to give Augustine a nick name and I obviously went with August. People were thinking Augustine was August  lol. Finally someone said they were confused and I felt so retarded ahahahaha WTF indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are far too funny. I’m laughing over here.

    I actually just hired an editor for my second novel in my trilogy and she started by reading the first book – which I’ve published. She shot me a note today and said she’d found a few errors, so I agreed to let her edit it as well. It’s a bit depressing after editing it myself like 1000000000000000000000000000000 times and having 25 different people look at it, but what can you do?

    Thank God for the ability to fix and reupload.

    *Insert multiple F-bombs* 🙂



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