This one, I mean. My first picture ebook about a quiet boy finding his place in this big, noisy world. My precious work. The one I stepped into fiction publishing with. Yeah, don't buy it. Here's why:
Years ago, after I picked my ebook distributor, I sent in my manuscript (good, approved text and artwork -> let's call it 'The Original') for formatting into mobi and epub files. My distributor is quite a reputable company, and their staff is friendly. I like their wide extent of distribution. I still do.
BUT here's where I made my first mistake: they are professional distributors, not professional formatters. Ah ... gave my script a few typos. Something about embedded text. (Let's call that 'The Oops Files.') They didn't mean it, of course, but still, the damage was done.
I flipped and notified them of the mistakes. We went several rounds before all the typos got cleared up. Yep, several rounds. So the updated files became the ebook version of 'The Original' (I checked again) and were sent to all major ebookstores.
I announced the book release. People came and bought them. We were all happy.
Fast forward to this week. On a particularly stuffy night, I decided to flip through My Clearest Me on my Kindle app. (I don't remember why I checked. Perhaps the Indie Publishing God was nudging at me. )
Anyway. I suppose you can guess ...
The Oops Files. The typos. What the heck are they doing there? Again?
I bought another copy from Amazon. Yes, still there. I felt faint.
And panicky. When did The Oops Files return? Have readers been buying the corrupted files? What will they think of me as a writer ~ that I can't even proofread a picture book? What if they never trust me enough to buy my next story? (Honestly, I'm pretty sure most of them won't trust me again. If I were a reader, I might not give me a second chance either.) I wanted to shout, "It's not my fault! I sent in perfect text and files!"
No, not my fault, but still my responsibility. I am an independent publisher. I am responsible for everything regarding my book. I feel terrible towards those who've bought MCM.
Emails were sent to the distributor. Three days. No reply yet.
I've asked for My Clearest Me to be removed from the ebookstores. Not asking for amendments but a removal. Because I can imagine this happening again.
I'm not mad. Let down, yes, but not that upset because a new, exciting path has cleared up. I only hope they revert soon.
In the meantime, I have plans for a new, old home for MCM. It is still my precious and proud work. I want it to sail out farther. I want people to know this is my taste, my voice. But I can't do anything concrete until the issue is resolved and my ebook taken down from the bookstores. (I know the disadvantages to this and I am still willing to take the risk.)
So readers, bear with me and don't buy MCM, please.
For those who have, don't worry. I will let you have MCM (The Original) as soon as I can. I will work things out so that both you and MCM benefit.
In case you are wondering, I haven't ended things with my distributor. I still have two ebooks with them and I still enjoy their reach of distribution. (They make prompt payments as well.) Brightness Sailors and Little Orchid are fine. No errors. For Little Orchid, I sent my manuscript to a professional formatting company (52 Novels <- excellent folks) before sending it to my distributor. Beautiful partnership so far.
So my two cents for those thinking of going independent:
~ Approach each service for what they are professional for. (E.g.: Hire a distributor for its distribution effectiveness and not for its offer of distribution + formatting + editorial services. Unless you know FOR SURE that their formatters and editors are professionals.)
~ When things get screwed up (as they do in publishing), don't flip. There is no need to lose sleep for days over them. There are always solutions. Fix them and move on.
~ Keep working hard at building a readership. There will be some you lose along the way. Those people are your lessons. There will be some who will follow you despite your mistakes. Those people are your stars.
Thank you for hearing me out! I will follow up on where MCM will be made available when the issue is resolved. I hope you will like my new plan.
* Don't buy MCM, but please go ahead and buy Little Orchid! No errors to annoy you there. I know because a meticulous reviewer just told me so. Buy an e-truckload of it! For everyone can use a giant cuttlefish with an inferiority complex in their library ... hehehe.
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
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