It doesn’t feel like it, but it’s over 6 weeks since Carrion became available as an eBook. Early reviews are good, and I know there are people out there who’ve read it and also said how much they enjoyed it (please do pop on to Amazon and/or Goodreads and add your own reviews!). The mad rush to get the book ready seems to overwhelm you, and it was only afterwards I had time to reflect on the book itself and how I felt about it.
Obviously, I was happy with it. I’ve said here before that it’s taken me years to get it right, so the mad rush wasn’t in the writing. But the more I’ve thought about the story and the way I’ve told it, the prouder I am of what I’ve produced. There are a range of technical issues in the story which I can’t explain (spoilers!), but took a lot of getting right. Having to rewrite big sections at different times has also meant there was an increased risk of inadvertently leaving stuff in from old drafts that’d no longer make sense in the latest version. From that point of view, there were challenges.
Someone asked me recently which of my books was the best one. At the time, I dismissed the idea. Depending on what you like reading, you might prefer one over the other, regardless of how well written either of them are. I am still immensely proud of Ravens Gathering, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m even more proud of Carrion.
And I was very proud of the efforts that’d been made to get it right before publication. Countless re-writes and read-throughs, always tweaking as I went along. Beta readers, two full edits (I know! My bank account is still in the recovery position…), three versions read through by my partner – who’s also an editor – and still I kept going in and fine-tuning. So you’d think everything would be perfect, wouldn’t you? I thought so, too, until it came to preparing the paperback for publication.
There was a three year gap between the eBook and paperback of Ravens Gathering, and before I got the paperback ready I’d had several reader and book bloggers comment on the lack of mistakes in the book. It was something I was proud of. Naturally, a lack of typos and decent formatting still won’t hide a crap story, but a lot of typos and formatting errors can detract from a good one. So it came as quite a surprise when I received the paperback proofs from the publisher and they seemed to be littered with errors. Littered is probably over-stating it, but considering how confident I’d been that it was perfect, I was horrified.
I didn’t want to leave as long a gap for the Carrion paperback, so I started the ball rolling on that very shortly after the eBook launch. Naturally, part of the process involved me being provided with a proof copy. I’d clearly forgotten about my previous experience, because yet again I was horrified by what I found.
In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t much. Mainly it was typos, but there were also a couple of places where what I’d written contradicted what came later in the story. But why didn’t I notice them before? The only thing I can put it down to was having it presented in a different format.
To be fair, considering the feedback from readers so far, no one has commented on the errors – and two of them are very successful authors. So they were clearly minor points that didn’t ruin the story for anyone. Nevertheless, I wasn’t happy about them, so they’ve now been fixed. If you have the eBook already and would prefer it to be error free, let me know in the comments below or email me and I’ll make sure you get a copy. If you’ve already read it and didn’t spot the mistakes, don’t worry – they don’t change how it all turns out.
For me, the moral of the story is that, when I get round to publishing my next book, I’ll check the proofs for the paperback before I launch the eBook.
That said, you may well have different experiences and tips to share. As Prince Charles once said: I’m all ears…
The first assault came without warning. As the birds smashed into the cottage, the impact startled him, and he fell back from the wall, dropping the sword with a clatter on the stone floor. Another wave of thuds sounded from all sides, and he realised they weren’t concentrating on one point, they were trying to break through wherever they could.
Above his head, the timbers on the window bowed with each impact. Not enough for them to splinter, but almost. Leaning against the wall, he could even feel the birds smashing into the other side. Overhead, he could hear a different sound, though equally rhythmic, as the roof was pounded as well.
Tempted to get an error-free copy?
Just click on the Kindle below