I’ve got two reader questions to answer, but let’s start out with a freebie! Mark your calendars, on April 1, Life Reader will be free in honor of Asher and Aron–a pair of socially awkward practical pranksters! Pick up a copy to witness their fun!
And into the questions we go! Lauren asks How do your family and friends respond to you as a fairy tale romance writer? Do they take your work seriously?
To me being taken “Seriously” means that my family and friends don’t judge and/or lecture me about my career choice, and that they’re happy for me. So yes, my family takes my work very seriously! To begin with, my cover-artist, Myrhlynn, is my sister. She reads my work and has listened to me talk storylines and characters for hours, and she does a lot of marketing. My mother helps me proofread, and she is good at catching the times I accidentally let a character fall off. (You have her to thank for the scene in Farewell to the MBRC when Doggie attacks Krad.) My father and other sister are still quite proud of me, even if they don’t read my work. (My non-reader sister thinks it’s a stitch that I’m an author, and she goes around collecting names, amusing stories, and fun facts for me. 80% of the animals in my books are based off her pets.)
I have a handful of close friends who are so supportive, and who have served as cheerleaders along my journey. Moreover, my extended family is also quite supportive and happy for me. Being supportive does not mean I don’t occasionally receive a good ribbing, but that’s half the fun of being an author!
I will say what has surprised me is the people I meet and/or am introduced to, who ask me inexcusably rude questions about my financial status and stability. It seems that people who have a passing acquaintance with my family feel it is within their right to pass judgement on me and my career, and they have no qualms about inquiring how I pay for things.
I try not to let them bother me, though, because I’ve read about and met a few authors that have the reverse problem–their families are the judgmental ones and strangers are the ones who accept it. I am so blessed that the people closest to me–the ones I spend the most time with and love the most–are the ones who are happiest for me. A few sour grapes will not be allowed to steal my joy from me when I have such an amazing family and wonderful friends!
And now for an editing question! JB says: I’m one of those readers who spots typos in everything I read. I can’t help it; they just seem to jump right off the page at me. I’ve always wondered – do authors want to know when readers spot a typo or an error of some sort as they’re reading through their books? Or do they wish readers would turn a blind eye to any minor mistakes that managed to slip into the final version and just enjoy the story they’ve worked so hard to tell?
This is a tough topic to tackle for me, not because I’m particularly emotionally charged about people finding errors–goodness knows what horrors I’ve put you poor Champions through with this blog post alone–but because of the Amazon update/edition policy. I love Amazon. They have my loyalty and my thankfulness because without them I wouldn’t be able to do any of this. However…trying to get updated books to readers is a nightmare.
Here’s what happens. Reader $ finds an error and lets me know, I correct and upload a new version of the story. Reader % finds two errors and let’s me know. The thing is, Reader % bought her copy before Reader $, but she is rereading it, or perhaps she hasn’t had a chance to read it yet, so one of the two errors Reader % found has already been corrected and uploaded, she just doesn’t know it. And then Reader @ comes along, and she bought her copy after Reader $’s correction went live, but before Reader %’s correct error went live…. You see how things can get confusing? Just wait, it gets worse.
Nothing makes me into a sad/cranky panda like the Amazon update policy.
Amazon will only update a book (That means allow readers to update their copy OR force an update onto their Kindle) if a book shows “significant” change. I uploaded a new version of B&B in January, and it has about three new paragraphs of text in the ending scene, and about 50 punctuation corrections. I’ve gone back and forth with Amazon a couple of times, but they won’t update it. What is even more terrible is that as a reader you cannot delete your old copy off your kindle and account and repurchase the new edition. You’ll get the same book you deleted off your kindle, even though you repurchased it. I have only once been able to successfully convince Amazon to update one of my books, and it took many errors. So what happens when I upload copies of my books–correcting only a few errors at a time? Even if I go through 30 editions and the last book is far more professional/edited than the first, it won’t show significant improvement over the previous edition, so Amazon won’t change it.
That being said, I have a few abandoned children–cough Robyn Hood cough–that could really use some attention, but my schedule won’t allow for it. I’m far more picky about tracking errors through Timeless Fairy Tales than I am through Princess Ahira or Red Rope of Fate. It’s unfortunate, but I have to play favorites.
I do know some authors get downright offended over readers sending in corrections–which is silly–and others just don’t have the time to track the errors through the editions and uploads. But here’s my take on it: I do like it if people let me know about terrible errors, (I say terrible because once or twice I’ve had people try and correct dialog that I purposely wrote errors into) but I recognize it’s better in the long run if I sit on all the errors and have an editor go over it another time or two before I update it again, in hopes that Amazon might be kind and let me send this update out to all readers who previously bought the book. My goal as a writer is to make my books as entertaining and enchanting as possible. If there was an error that really threw you off, that is not a good thing, and that’s my fault, not yours.
That’s all for today, Champions! Enjoy your free copy of Life Reader, and good luck avoiding the usual tricks on April 1!