Monday, 24 January 2022

T The Pro-Active Author

When You Miss Your Mark

As writers, we have big goals and dreams. We work at it every day and sometimes we hit it and most often not. What happens when you miss your mark or goal? Do you quit or do you find the courage to continue with new efforts?

It's one of the constant tensions in our work. Mistakes happen. Things you want to do, do not get done. Interruptions spring into your day. Or you pitch your heart out and hear nothing. Crickets. Yes, it happens to me as well. Your mindset and next action steps when this happens is important.

On October 5thg, the revised edition of my Book Proposals That $ell will launch. I wrote this book as a frustrated editor but publishing has changed a great deal since 2004. In this article, I'm going to tell a behind the scenes story that I don't have to tell. I include it here to illustrate an important point for every writer.

Several months ago, I rushed through the printing process on this book so I could have copies for a writer's conference. Because of the audience (writers) I sold a number of copies at the event. One of the participants emailed me about some typos in the book. It turns out there were typos and missing words in the first couple of paragraphs. I was chagrined with this news but determined not to ignore it because the details matter and the book had to be right. I reached out to a proofreader who worked through the book and changed a number of things (mostly for consistency). The entire book has re-done. That means the type was completely reflowed into the book so that everything to the best of our ability was fixed before the launch and release date next month.

While I was chagrined at the typos, I knew for the life of the book and the readership of the book that it had to be fixed. Yes it cost me extra time and expense. I'll be ordering the revised version of the book to autograph and send with my appreciation to the various authors, literary agents and others who endorsed the book. Revising this error was not easy and took a lot of effort from a number of people but it's important to get it right from the beginning.

I wrote about this error and how it was fixed to point out the principle of extreme ownership, which is also the title of a bestselling book that I recently heard.  Fixing these mistakes was a choice. I could have ignored the person who wrote me about the typos. Or I could have learned, fixed and moved forward.  

What happens when you miss the mark? Do you ignore it and continue or fix it? 


Tweetable:

Sometimes as authors, we miss the mark and have a choice about our response. Learn the details here from this prolific editor and author. (ClickToTweet)

 Book Proposals

Columnist: Terry Whalin

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W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com.

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