Last night, someone sent me a message saying Under the Black Sand was being discussed in a reader’s group on Facebook. That is pretty cool, so I took a look. She was happy with it and the novel kept her interested and I was thrilled to read that. However…
She mentioned having to ignore typos. I immediately recognised that she must have been one of the first buyers of the book and that she had that dreaded first upload.
I worked on that story for seven years. Wrote the screenplay for the short film and shot it in 2006, finished the edit in 2008 and had it premiered at a film festival. Then I wrote a screenplay for a full movie and that was finished in 2010. I was then told to write the novel and that was done in 2011. A year later a completely different version was completed where it takes place in Scotland rather than Iceland. I was adviced, by a beta reader, to move it back to Iceland and I did. Finally, I published the finished novel in 2013.
Typos. Yeah, I guess I must have been tired of the story, I wanted it out, out of my system and into the world. After seven years, I rushed it.
When I first heard of the problems, I went through it again, fixed a few things – not just the typos – and re-uploaded it. And I learned a lesson.
Never publish a book until it’s done. Never publish a book because you want it out of your system. Publish it because it is ready to be published.
I offered her a new copy but she said it wasn’t too bad. I said I looked forward to hearing what she thought after she’d finished reading it.
Always remember, the work you publish is out in the world and revisions won’t fix copies already sold. Make you work the best it can be before you publish.