Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Posted by Linda

I waited patiently for my new book to arrive. At last the UPS truck backed onto our driveway and opened the rear door. I saw my nine boxes of books and went out to help him unload. Once piled in my small office, I broke open a box and started autographing. I gave one to my husband to read.

“Linda.” I barely heard him call through the wall separating our offices. “Come here.” He showed me a misspelled word. I stopped all activity and started reading. I found a second word, then, emailed the publisher. 

At a networking event, I spoke to a former employee of one of the big houses and discovered they felt it too expensive to correct the mistakes before the second printing. He suggested I accept it and go on.

When my mom received her copy, she called, “I have bad news.” My stomach churned.  “I found a mistake.” And that made three. For days I walked around in a funk. Tears welled behind my eyes but I refused to let them fall. I met a friend who wanted a book and I explained the situation. He didn’t care. I received a wonderful review from Horses in Art Magazine. She either didn’t notice or ignored the mistakes in favor of the positive features of looking at Remington’s art.

What to do? I was handed lemons and needed to figure out how to make lemonade. My conscience rebelled at treating the book as if it were perfect. I just couldn't’t do it. Even though my editor and probably nine other people previewed the text, none noticed the errors. A librarian told me almost all books have such errors. A judge for a contest said every entry had misspelled words. Not one book, but all in her genre! I felt better but still couldn’t ignore the problem. I laughed when my son said in 200 years after we are all gone, this first edition will be worth a lot.

I resolved the problem by putting a small disclaimer in the book. If you name the three print errors in an email, I’ll return an email Eagle Eye Award certificate. It isn’t perfect, but, I feel better and it turns my lemons into lemonade.

By the way, if there are any mistakes in this post, don't tell me!


Dianne K. Salerni said...

There's a whole repeated line in my book. During the line edits, it was suggested that I reword a sentence. I did. Then I deleted the original sentence. Somehow, both sentences were printed in the book.

Every time someone tells me they read my book, I wonder what they thought of that repeated line. However, almost 2 years after the publication date, only ONE person has ever mentioned it.


Linda Osmundson said...

LOL! I think my mom delighted in being able to find a mistake. She also decided to correct something in the books she bought to give away. Oh, well. What can I expect; she's 92. Thank the Lord.

Stacy S. Jensen said...

I see errors in all the times in books. I just keep reading. Has anyone taken you up on the award yet? I like your son's idea that in 200 years it will be worth a lot.

Dean K Miller said...

I'd probably just put some vodka in the lemonade, sample a few glasses, and then see if I noticed the errors. If not, good news. If I did, I'd end up laughing until I feel off the stool, knocked my head and drooled myself to sleep on the floor.

Either way, the errors don't matter...the collective beauty of your work outshines any tiny detail that is out of place.

Linda Osmundson said...

No one has asked for the award yet. My youngest son said he knew and still didn't see the mistakes. I like you idea, Dean. I'll try that after the book release party. I'll just add some vodka to the leftover punch. Think that will work???? So far no one seems to mind. They buy the book anyway.

Linda Osmundson said...

"your" idea, Dean!

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