On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Betraying Readers?

First a note that this will be cross posted on my pitiful MySpace Blog and my not-quite-as-pitiful amazon "plog."

I received the galleys for the mass market production of Heart Dance. As those of you know who follow my work closely, I screwed up something between Heart Quest and Heart Dance. In Heart Quest, I had Saille T'Willow say his creative talent was perfumery. In Heart Dance his talent is definitely pottery.

I think I spoke here about adding a line to Heart Dance to the extent that Saille had fibbed when he said that in Heart Quest.

But I'm thinking that fixing this problem might be considered a betrayal of my readers who bought Heart Dance in trade paperback. Would they think that they wasted their money? Would they think that I wanted them to buy BOTH copies? That I'm greedy?

I DO intend to clean up some very minor points that I doubt people will realize -- I used inches/miles instead of the metric system, I believe. And I screwed up a couple of titles (GreatLord instead of GrandLord).

But the above questions haunt me. If even one person (ok, reviewer or keep-in-touch-fan) thought the book they'd previously bought was no good, it's not right.

So, advice please.

And may you face no dilemmas today.


Anonymous Kaite said...

I think you're overthinking. Most people realize that even authors screw up sometimes (shocking!) and that stuff gets changed between printings.

Actually, since the readers in question already have the trade paperback, they aren't likely to buy another copy in order to realize you changed anything--the only people who will know are the geeks like me, who read your blog. And I don't mind, I've made mistakes before, too, so I know how it goes. :-)

5:36 AM  
Blogger fiberfanatic said...

I agree, you are sweating the small stuff. I honor the fact that you wish to correct errors, you aren't substantially changing the story. Go for it!

8:23 AM  
Blogger Catie said...

Dude. Let it go. Nobody's going to come for you with pitchforks and torches. :)


8:36 AM  
Anonymous A reader said...

I was going to get the paperback anyway, since I like to have all the books of a series in the same format; and now there is the added fun to see if I can dectect the changes!.
Usually when reading I automatically "edit" as I go: like when it should say she and they put "he", etc. I imagine everybody does.
As a reader the only think I cannot avide is being talked down to; notice it happens a lot with the USA Book industry, they seem to despise their readers; one of many examples is the title of the first book by J.K. Rollins, the American industry thought that their public would not only be ignorant of the meaning of the tittle but that even the teachers and parents would not be able or willing to research!! they are wrong, it is fun to find the meaning of new words and/or a new twist or old meaning in a commonly used one; learning someting new is part of the joy of reading, I am always very grateful to the writers that do this for me and read them again and again.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I'm with Kaite and FF. :)

11:32 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I'm not a writer but at work we send deliverables to clients and sometimes we notice minor, miniscule errors after they go out. Even if it's something tiny that no one but I would notice, we fix it so that it will be correct in the next version. A few errors this time, plus a few later on, and it starts to add up. Much easier to fix as you go. If our clients notice a difference, they understand that the intention is to give them the best possible product so we usually don't get any complaints.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Thanks all, I've had some suggestions and I think I'll post the line (or two) on my website and maybe have a pdf file or something as an insert if they want it...

I HAVE heard about this error, but it's the only "big" problem in the book, I think...

11:00 PM  
OpenID khasenfratz said...

Robin - I think you are being to hard on yourself. S**t happens, and by correcting the art with the mass market paperback, the readers not as familiar (okay - obsessed with every detail) of your books will only have the correct data to go forward with as they read more stories in the series.

If you want to point it out for those of us who read the trade paperback first, make a funny note of it in the forward or dedication, or even better - make it a challege - I made a mistake in the trade paperback and corrected it here - can you find the difference between the two versions - it only referenced once in one line......

BTW - counting the days down for Keepers of the Flame.


11:05 PM  
Blogger Gina, Book Dragon said...

Correct it for your own peace of mind then let it go. I do like the challenge idea.... it would acknowledge that you know about it but not bring too much attention to it.

I usually edit as I read but the newer cover on Heart Mate has really thrown me. I'm glad he's not wearing the necklace anymore but a tattoo? sigh

waiting for the next but I'm okay for a while. I repurchased Heart Mate, now I've got the find the rest. I know they're around here somewhere.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Again, thanks all. Gina, I actually did an interview with T'Ash regarding the tattoo and it's posted on my Worlds page under HeartMate. I thought it came out well....


8:15 PM  

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