Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Blogger Pepper O'Neal - My Publishing Nightmare

The first I book had published was Love Potion No. 2-14, released by eTreasures Publishing in February 2011. The process was basically painless, at least for me. So call me na├»ve—or spoiled—but I wasn’t expecting to have a nightmare experience getting my second book, Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, released by Black Opal Books on April 30, 2011. Now, to be honest, the problems I experienced with Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny weren’t all my publisher’s fault.

The first problem came to light about three weeks before the book was supposed to be released. One of the beta readers discovered a plot inconsistency that was missed not only by me, but by three editors as well. But it was a problem that readers would have caught in a heartbeat. As a result, I had to rewrite nearly half the book. In two weeks! To give you a brief idea of the problem, when the shifters, or Weres, in my world mate, they have what I call werespeak, the power to communicate telepathically with their mate up to a range of 400 miles, should they happen to be apart. However, I forgot this small detail as I wrote the last half of the book, in which two of my characters were mated. The power to speak telepathically made a BIG difference to the plot. As you can see, it had to be fixed. My editors at Black Opal were great. They spent a lot of late night hours working with me on the revisions. My local writing group was also a big help. Although, some of them wanted to start a betting pool on whether or not I’d get the book finished on time. At one point, I honestly didn’t know whether to put $20 on myself to finish in time or to put $20 on myself to miss my deadline. But in spite of it all, we managed to get the book released on time.

So imagine my chagrin after going through all that when I discovered a draft copy of the book had inadvertently been uploaded to the ebook distributors. Although, the mistake was not really the fault of my publisher, they took full responsibility. They also took measures to ensure that anyone who had purchased a draft copy got a free replacement copy of the correct version. I have heard, although I’ve luckily never had to suffer through the experience, that some publishers just ignore these kinds of mistakes, leaving their author to apologize to her/his fans and beg those fans to come back and buy the next book the author puts out. So I was very relieved to find I had a publisher who actually cared and tried to make it right.

The print version comes out today, and at least I know that is the right version. I’ve seen the proof. So I’m hoping my nightmare experience in publishing is over. I have the second book in the Blood Fest series, Blood Fest: Cursing Fate, under contract with Black Opal, and it is supposed to be released in October of this year. So as long as there aren’t any last minute plot problems, when Cursing Fate is released, it should be a breeze. If I didn’t think I’d jinx myself, I would say it couldn’t be any worse than Chasing Destiny. But if there is one thing I’ve learned about life, it’s that things can always get worse.

Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.

O’Neal loves a good romance but that feels today’s readers deserve more than just the same old love story. So O’Neal writes Romance on the Edge of Your Seat—romantic thrillers with pulse-pumping action, mind-numbing suspense, and heart-warming true love. She attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, O’Neal spends her time talking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.


Nine Naughty Novelists said...

Hi Pepper, welcome to the Naughty Nine. Glad things finally were straightened out, but thank heaven somebody caught the error before it went to print!

PG Forte said...

Oh, those plot inconsistencies! You must have the world's best beta reader. Congrats on today's release and fingers crossed that everything runs smoothly with your next book.

Juniper Bell said...

Hi Pepper - That sounds like an author's worst nightmare! I'm glad it all got worked out in the end. Congratulations on your series!

Jean P said...

You must have been tearing your hair out, glad everything worked out. Congratulations on the release.