Time for the monthly tally of my #yearofwriting. It’s past time, since we’re already to the fifth day of July. After a robust May, I was disappointed in June’s number, which was 66,091 words. There’s no reason that I should be disappointed in writing a little over sixty-six thousand words in one month, except that I had hoped to reach a half million words in June. That goal was reached on July 3, which means I wrote half a million words in exactly seven months. When I look back on the daily word counts, it’s still hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m on pace to write one million, eight hundred thousand words in a year. Even more mind-boggling is that I have edited over half a million words in the last seven months.
It’s the editing that is taking most of the time, as I have continued traditional young adult publishing and launched a career in independently publishing adult fiction. It’s much more difficult to indie publish than it is to publish traditionally. There is more control, but there is also a penalty for letting go of that control. Here’s a prime example: I set up a promotion to give away copies of Tin City Tinder to promote the publication of Steel City Smithereens and Bronzeville Blowback. To get ready for it, I made some tweaks to the Kindle file and asked a formatter to upload the file for me because I was so busy with my day job and also nursing a back injury.
Six hours into the giveaway, which eventually put 52k free copies of TCT into readers’ hands, the first reviews came up, and they complained about all the typographical errors. I’ had the book proofread twice, so I was confident there were very few errors in the text. When I looked at the online version, my jaw dropped. The formatter had uploaded an old version of the book. That meant 52k people were reading a rough draft. There is simply no way to damage control for that, except to grin and bear it and make sure that the correct file was uploaded.
Ultimately, my name is on the book, so it’s my fault the wrong version was given to readers. Over time, the readers of the correct version may swing the reviews upward. If not, you live and you learn and no matter what, you write every day because whether you’re a traditional, indie, or hybrid author, writing is the one thing you can absolutely control.