So over the course of the past few months, I made a $6000 mistake.
When I was putting book 2 of Rita together, I somehow managed to completely leave out one page in the middle of chapter 10. Which is the one where the timelines involved are constantly weaving up and down, creating a strong rhythm; there’s no way I could get away with a page missing in the middle of that, even if the story still made sense without it. See where the red/orange/yellow stream turns up over the blue? That page. That page was missing.
When I realized this, I was aghast. This was a serious fuckup that basically meant I would have to throw this first print run away unless I wanted to have an errata sheet inserted into it or something, which would also be ugly. And I take pride in the fact that these books are really pretty objects that I think are worth instantiating into atoms instead of endlessly duplicating as data.
I went to the first place this could have happened, and it was entirely my fault.
I dithered about it over the weekend, and decided, yeah, I’m gonna eat this cost. I have the savings to do it; I’m basically not going to make a profit off of book 2 until I make the second print run. I’m going to have them dispose of most of the first run and only ship one box of them with the second run, which I will keep around as a reminder of this super dumb-ass thing I did.
And for the rest of my publishing career, I will hopefully remember this weekend and always check over my proofs both for making sure all the weird printing tricks come out correctly, and making sure I haven’t put half the damn book together upside down and out of sequence or something moronic like that.
Nick was visiting while this happened, and he kinda gave me shit for this. Justifiably so, it’s a pretty bonehead mistake, and for an amount of money that would have been really scary a few years ago. But he did allow that he’s never seen me make the same mistake twice – and volunteer to be a pair of eyes looking for this kind of dumbassery on the next book, as well.
Anyway. I’ll be spending the next week dealing with this, I think. Rita book 2 has taken too long already, even without this fuckup, and I just want to get it in everyone’s hands ASAP.