Oh my, what a strange series of events. You won’t believe what happened, but I’ll tell you anyway.
When we last left off the Golden Threads Trilogy was almost done.
The Kindle version of Thread Slivers was out, the paperback version was out, the pocket paperback was out, and the hardback was almost ready (just needed the dustjacket color issue fixed).
Thread Strands was in the same state.
Thread Skein was out in Kindle and I had all the laid out versions for printing that I was proofing.
It took three passes to get the hardback dustjacket colors to come out right every time. I was so happy I did a little dance. I hit the release buttons for Thread Slivers and Thread Strands making them both book complete, meaning no more work other than continuing marketing. All that was left to finish publishing the complete Golden Threads Trilogy was to complete proofing the laid out versions of Thread Skein.
I planned to take an entire weekend out and have some fun signing and shipping the first two books to my supporters who pre-paid for the signed and numbered first 100 hardback edition.
Little did I know a phone call and an email would change everything.
At this point you might be thinking some wonderful came my way, like a movie deal, or a big publisher stepping up saying “we’d like to sell a hundred thousand copies worldwide.” I wish that was true, but that wasn’t the outcome.
First an email came asking about a rather strange sentence deep in the book. When I went to check it out, it was in a section that was not supposed to be edited (aka no typos). There was what looked like an accidental paste in during formatting. Since this section had no typos both my proofreaders and I pretty much skipped past it when checking.
That spot checking typo corrections habit is has been taken to the wall and shot dead now, but not just because of that.
You see, I got a phone call from a friend who was on vacation on the other side of the world. He actually paid the international cell to cell rates, admittedly it was a fast phone call, still it was unbelievably good of him to call me. He’d taken an approved final proof of Thread Strands hardback on his trip to read. Basically the call was “I loved the changes to the book, but you really need to go to read page 294 and then go to page 338 and read to page 339.”
I of course did this.
Page 294 was the weird typo paste-in already mentioned.
Page 338 to 339 was far more notorious. An entire page of the story was missing, cut out, not present. But, unless you KNEW the missing scene you would NOT detect the missing page. The page numbers did not skip, the scene was simply cut out prior to the layout for the hardcover. And again, there were no typos in the missing page, so it wasn’t spot checked after the last round of corrections. What was worse was that that the missing page actually “worked” but dramatically changed the story. The only reason my friend caught this was he had read the rough draft and had particularly liked the missing scene. So he knew it wasn’t supposed to be cut.
In a panic I went and checked. All of the printed copies had the same issues. I quickly pulled them from distribution, which I had only a few days before approved. Thankfully, the “into distribution channel” process takes a bit, so no actual books were printed or worse, sold.
What does this mean? Well for one, absolutely no more spot checking for typos. From now on all final ready for publishing copies must be 100% compared to a master manuscript POST processing. That will catch any missed typo corrections as well as any accidental alterations (to both the master and the final copies). I’ve spent a few days coming up with an automated way to do this with certainty it is working. You see it is really hard to compare a laid out PDF to a docx manuscript to a kindle or epub. They just are not the same and the comparison tools are insufficient to my needs. So I had to pull a number of tools together and write my own based off of those.
While I did that my team went to work to re-do ALL of Thread Strands typo correction and layout work. We then crosschecked everything twice without skipping or gisting over anything. I also turned these tools on Thread Slivers. Thankfully Thread Slivers was exactly as it was supposed to be, all typos fixed, no missing pages, and no accidental alterations.
I’ve updated the Kindle, epub, and PDF versions ebook copies with the version I am sure matches the master manuscript for those of you who have access to all my ebooks directly. You can pick up a refreshed copy whenever you like using the same access link. The file date for the corrected version is 8/4/2015.
The pocket paperback version of Thread Strands checked out electronically and physically. The hardback copies of Thread Strands have checked out electronically and I’ll have the new proofs on Monday. We’ll have to do a page by page check and that will take another week. Once I’m sure that it is right I’ll release it again.