I made a mistake.
And it wasn’t a small one.
I Couldn’t Believe It
Earlier today, I’d been putting together an ebook for a short story that will be available for free to anyone who comes by my booth during the Edmonton Expo this weekend. It was when I copy-pasted my copyright text from Hidden in Sealskin and went to make the appropriate changes that I noticed it.
I opened back up the Hidden in Sealskin Scrivener file. I thought maybe it was only in the ebook text, which I could update and change without a fuss. But it wasn’t just the ebook text.
Frantic, I opened the pdf I’d sent to Createspace, but the error was still there.
I opened one of the 20 copies I’d ordered to sell at the Edmonton Expo, praying that they had been spared. But they weren’t.
Instead of 2015 for the copyright year, I had typed in 2105… eighty years in the future.
I stopped everything and immediately went to create and upload the appropriate files (the updated ebook is now live, the files for the paperback are in review).
And then I went to a couple Facebook groups for entrepreneurs and asked them about it. They found the whole situation quite funny and told me about books where a similar thing had happened (the official gaming guide for Batman Arkham Knight, for example, which had misspelled Knight on the spine… for thousands of copies) and told me not to worry about it.
Later in the day, I told some other people about it. They laughed, and one told me that she definitely wants a copy of it now.
The Best Thing That Could Have Happened
As it turns out, this is the best thing that could have happened to me.
I’d been freaking out all through editing Hidden in Sealskin, all through prepping it for publication, all through launching it, freaking out that I would miss a detail and ruin everything. People would reject me and my writing, my authorial career would be destroyed… every worst-case scenario you could imagine flashed across my eyes through every step of the process.
Everything had to be perfect. Or else.
Until it wasn’t.
My first thought, when I discovered 2105 leering at me from the copyright page of my beloved new book, was to laugh. But then terror grabbed my stomach and held my humour in a vise, saying “What if?”
Funny how the words that can be the most freeing can also be the most encaging.
I had failed. And I had failed big.
But the way people responded to my mistake – fellow entrepreneurs with high standards – drew me back to that laughter. Their responses told me, with utter clarity, that it’s okay to fail. Failure happens.
It can even be a good thing.
Not just years in the future, when hindsight and distance allows you to joke about it at family reunions.
It can be a good thing now.
The Book from the Future
Anyone who bought the ebook from Amazon will receive an update that will fix the error, and the errorless version will be live in about 12 hours, so there is no way to get The Book from the Future there.
The people who bought the paperback of Hidden in Sealskin on Amazon before today did so just in time, and will receive copies of The Book from the Future. People who buy it between now and tomorrow morning might also get it, depending on if Createspace will print from the old file or wait until the new one is approved first.
EDIT: The paperback file has been approved, so there’ll be no more future books from that avenue. :(
But not all hope is lost!
If you sign up to become a patron of my work on Patreon and pledge $5 or more, you will find in the most recent post on my page a download link for the ebook version of The Book from the Future.
But if you like the feel of paper, come by my booth (C3- in the artists alley) at the Edmonton Expo this weekend, and get one of the 20 copies left of this edition. I’ll even sign it for you.