It started out as a fantasy.
An editor at an esteemed publishing house contacted me and asked if I had a book for them. He admired my previous work and wanted me on their list. The timing was right and I did have a book, so I was soon signing a contract that gave me an advance big enough to pay for my wedding.
And then things went south. The editing process was fine until the day before I left for a book tour in Germany when the editor told me the book was being moved up a season because the publisher loved it. Ordinarily that would have been great news, but he asked me to correct the edited manuscript and get it back to him (via email) in two weeks.
I explained that I was on a tightly scheduled book tour the next two weeks, doing daily events and would be in transit when I wasn’t speaking and reading. I also worked on a PC and didn’t have a laptop, which would mean going to internet cafes.
He insisted. When I got to Germany I discovered that even if I tried to squeeze in some time at an internet cafe every day, there was no way I could work on German keypads because they laid out differently and very confusing. My emails home were garbled and I didn’t want to risk any errors creeping into the book.
He said fine, he would get it taken care of.
To my horror, when I got the book back in page proofs, there was one passage that was repeated. I deleted the repetition while making other minor corrections. Back home, I got a call from the publisher telling me that it would be too expensive to re-do the book since it had gone too far in the publishing process. He refused to fix the problem.
While I loved the book’s cover, I was mortified that it was being published with a glaring flaw. And even more so when a reviewer blamed me for letting the book appear like that.
That’s what publishing is like, filled with ups and downs, and nothing is predictable. I felt burned, but luckily fans enjoyed the book despite the screw-up.