I screwed up. Not the ‘oh man, the world is going to end’ kind of screw up, thankfully. More of the ‘oh man, I am such an idiot’ and the ‘my brand is going to take such a beating’ kind of screw up. Let me explain…
I have had this idea for a book called The Toye Shoppe for years.The book idea grew into a series idea and eventually I came up with an idea for five books, each looking at a different couple and a different kink set against the backdrop of a sex store called The Toye Shoppe. An overarching story would link the characters and couples so while each book could be read as a stand alone, they would make sense if read in order. I knew my characters, I knew their kinks, I knew the pairings, I even knew the titles.
Fast forward to June 2021… and let me set the scene: Book 1 – Pet Me – is on pre-order with Amazon. A virtual book tour is booked. A Facebook blitz is booked. A video book trailer is created. Research had been done. This was my most planned book ever.
And I’m struggling to get the book finished. Not because I don’t know what to write but because life keeps interrupting. As July 1 – publication day – approaches, I begin to worry. I start pulling longer days than usual, racing the clock. Finally, I am faced with the option of either delaying the publication date or cancelling the pre-order completely. I took the first option and delayed publication by three days.
And then I screwed up.
As the upload time approached, my hoped for word count was nowhere in sight. I felt I wasn’t doing Bailey the justice he deserved. That my story was struggling. I was writing like mad, comfort eating my weight in food daily, and all but mainlining coffee.
With minutes to spare, I uploaded the file. Now… I knew it was unedited (cue half a chocolate bar), and not really the story I wanted it to be (cue my sixth cup of coffee for the day), and that the book I had been excited about for months was probably about to crash and burn. And as the cyber-gremlins did their job, I glanced at the screen and realized I had uploaded the wrong file. I had done the Save As and given the file a new name as I always do and then clicked the original file to upload. So not only was the file unedited… IT WAS IN-FUCKING-COMPLETE.
Cue donuts, wine, and a lot of tears.
A panicked Facebook post garnered replies from the awesome Nora Phoenix and Susi Hawke. Watch the clock, email Amazon, upload the correct one ASAP, and social media blitz explaing that you’ve made a mistake.
Which I did – there was just one problem… it was complete but unedited. My poor editor was pulling double time but there was only so much she could humanly do.
Today I got the edits uploaded and by the time this post goes live, the correct version should finally be available.
So how did it happen? Well, I could tell you about being hospitalized in January. I could tell you about being in and out of Doctor’s offices so often that I spent more time in their office than in mine. I could tell you about finally getting a fibromyalgia diagnosis after months of going back and forth. I could tell you about having to get used to 17 pills a day to remain functional. About the awful brain fog and the chronic pain. About how hard it was to admit I was going to need an extension for my Master’s thesis. About my son’s fabulous wedding – and all the fun and emotions that were involved.
All of it is true – and none of it excuses dropping the ball. Did I mean to? Absolutely not. At the end of the day. thought, I got totally overwhelmed by everything happening and I lost control.
I also got extremely lucky – most people like the story. Pet Me ranked very well considering the issues surrounding the release. It has in fact been my best release to date. Have there been complaints about the editing? Yes – there have been – in fact I’ve received a few abusive emails over the editing. The former are warranted, the latter are not but that’s a different blog post.
So, what now?
Well… I’m working on Peaceful Seas (San Cap 8) and Uncover Me (Toye Shoppe 2) because that’s what writers do. They start work on the next book. I am – and always will be – sorry that I messed up the release of Pet Me but I won’t mess up the next release. I’m human so I’m sure I’m going to mess up something else – but it won’t be a book release.