It’s pub day for your first book. It’s a small book, but important to you–there was a point at which you’d given this project up for dead, but lo and behold, here it is, with an ISBN number and everything. That’s when you realize, with horror, that there’s a typo in your book. In the title.
Correction: the entire title is a typo.
Oh, and this is important: you’re a professional editor.
Did your gut drop even just a little whilst reading that, dear one? Because mine certainly did, yesterday, when I found myself in this situation exactly. My fiction chapbook, Pyrophitic, had finally gone on sale online, and on a whim, I googled the title.
When I originally searched for this rather unusual word–which refers to plants that require fire to germinate–I found page after page of scientific papers and books cited with both pyrophyte and pyrophite. I’d decided on the latter. But this time around, Google revealed page after page of nothing more than one guy’s Instagram posts and asked me, in bold, at the top of the page, if I meant pyrophyte.
I emailed the publisher in panic. Sadly, she told me, there really wasn’t anything she could do.
I am normally a person who accepts my own mistakes as part of the educational, not to mention creative, process. I am also sort of a congenital Pollyanna (just ask my husband). But yesterday, I journeyed far and deep in the valley of darkness, friends. And here is what I decided, ultimately: this will not be the last book I publish. It is, in fact, only one part of my first novel, and this novel is only the first of many. Someday, I’d look back at this and laugh. So I might as well just go ahead and laugh right now.
Then, just for the hell of it, I googled pyrophite on a different browser. This time, I got my original results: page after page of respectable scientific folks using the same spelling I’d chosen. WTH?
Recently, one of my friends who’s into astrology circulated a link that indicated there’d be some strong influence this month from Pluto, the cosmic trickster. You will make a fool of yourself, the astrologer predicted, but in a way that actually shows you something important.
I’m big enough on magical thinking to believe that cosmic forces may be at work here. And big enough on human psychology to realize that making a fool of yourself probably aways shows you something important.
At this same time, I’m really, really glad that I didn’t just publish a book with a typo for a title. =)
Here are the links! Pyrophitic runs $2.99 for the ebook (it’s free if you’ve got that whole Kindle Unlimited thing) and $8.99 for the print edition.
(You can also get the print book from Amazon, but this one is the better deal.)
And to every one of you who has accompanied me on this journey, who accompanies me still, and who cares enough to purchase this little book–thank you, thank you, thank you.
Oh, and while we’re at it, thanks for helping me pick the cover image! I’ve had nothing but compliments so far. =)