Reality vs. Expectations—Remaining Calm When it ALL Goes Pear-Shaped

Today we are going to talk about something potentially embarrassing, but hey I have no shame. But I believe this is a cool thing because I talk about stuff A LOT of people have been through, but few are bold enough to talk about let alone post it in a blog for all to see.

The old way of being a “professional” was to portray you were perfect. Spin everything. Maybe some people still do that, but meh. Not my style. I take the hard hits then talk about them so you guys can learn and to me? That’s more important than anyone thinking I am “perfect.”


Want to know who people really are? Three ways. One. How do they act when they have everything? Two. How do they act when they have nothing? Three. How do they act (respond) when the proverbial caca hits the fan?

For the purposes of today’s blog, I’m interested in number three because it involves a lot of number two (the stinky kind). Before we start though, we must understand that….

Life is NOT Hermetically Sealed

I’d love to say that every time some land mine blew up in my face that my response soooo perfect that Mother Theresa was looking down gettin’ all jealous. That I handled said caca with grace, maturity, kindness, love, yoga, bible study and inspirational quotes. That my response did NOT involve a hell-mouth opening beneath my feet and then spewing out of my mouth. That my reaction did not involve a blast radius.

But one thing I promise on this blog is honesty.

One thing we must learn to be successful in this profession (or any other) is to forbid outside circumstances to own, control or derail us.

Sounds easy in an inspirational quote. The doing? Not so much.

How are we going to handle it when the proverbial caca hits the fan?

Because it is GOING to happen. It isn’t a matter of if, rather a matter of when.

If we allow ourselves to be at the mercy of circumstances? We’re going to be miserable and we’ll never finish the blog or the book. We’ll give up, tap out and take every carb in the house down with us.

Though I’m not where I’d like to be? I’m a hell of a lot better than I used to be. Making the decision to become a writer was the single best thing I could ever have done to grow my character, to mature me and to make me a better (not perfect) person.

Successful people don’t avoid stress, they learn to manage it….often the hard way. Yay!

Managing Expectations

A lot of why we make ourselves miserable and end up depressed is that our expectations fail to meet with what reality delivers. If you ever want to see this in action, just watch Bridezilla clips off YouTube. The bride has this absurd expectation of what the wedding day should be, an expectation that reality cannot meet (No, sorry, we cannot have cherubim deliver you to the altar on a cloud)…and they implode.

A sinkhole forms around the bride that eats all the bridesmaids, the caterer, the flower girl…and the groom is just standing there like he’s just landed at Normandy.

Expecting too much? Can be problematic.

But we need to be careful about the other side of this emotional coin—especially those of us from crazy dysfunctional families. We can stray to the opposite side of the spectrum and that’s dumb too. Maybe we’ve gone through a lot, been let down a lot so we just expect nothing. Or worse, we expect bad things to happen. We expect to be let down.

That is bad juju as well.

Thus, there is this fine dance we must master between expecting great things, but also being prepared for everything to just go sideways, too.

$h%t WILL Hit the Fan

Going to let y’all in on a little secret. Lean closer. This will blow your mind. Publishing involves…humans. Humans who screw up, make mistakes, etc. Even better? Now that we’re in the digital age? Humans can screw up much FASTER and INSTANTLY.

Great right?

Sometimes things will go great. When I self-published Rise of the Machines? It was glorious. Beautiful cover, perfect formatting, not a single typo *gets cramp patting self on back*. Of course this was all run by Control Freak Perfectionist Kristen and I damn near killed myself doing it all on my own.

That and Hubby wondered if he needed to bring me more coffee or perhaps toss holy water on me.

The power of Christ compels you!

I’d written a novel The Devil’s Dance  (ha ha). I even sent the manuscript to an agent friend who was unafraid to make me cry, just to see if the book was solid. Her answer? Great book and I don’t even like that genre. Thus, I felt cool to query. And I queried and queried and got a lot of “Love the story and the voice but not for us.”

See? Even I get rejected 😛 .

But with all the family stuff going on the past few years (my husband ordered to deploy to Afghanistan, deaths in the family, sickness, Shingles, etc. etc.)? I just didn’t have the bandwidth left to push my novel for a legacy deal and still have passion and energy for this blog and classes, etc.

Thus, the book sat and I just kept feeling inside that I needed to take that step. I needed fiction out there because 1) my original goal was to be a novelist 2) I have enough unpublished novels sitting on the hard drive, no need for one more and 3) I needed skin in the game. I can’t blog week after week challenging you guys to be brave…while hiding.


To make a long story longer, I finally let go of my novel and handed it to a new indie press. I loved the cover. They did a great job proofreading it and I was really happy with the final version. My launch date got pushed up a week. Was supposed to be May 25th and instead it was May 16th but whatever, right? Roll with it.

So we put it on sale for .99 and I am promoting it and messaging people and then all the sudden this inner is voice telling me, “You need to go look at the sample pages.” And I argued with said inner voice. “Nah. What are you talking about? I saw that final version. I approved it.” Inner voice. “Seriously, GURL. LOOK.”

May I welcome y’all to every control freak’s nightmare…

I pull up the sample pages on Amazon and the world drops out from under me. I have no idea what happened. Sun spots. Mercury in retrograde. Essential human error.

Suffice to say the wrong version was uploaded. Better than that? An un-proofed version. Good news is a lot of people bought the book. Bad news? They bought the wrong one.

Excuse me while I go shoot myself.

The publisher immediately corrects the problem, but then Amazon takes their time and it was a mess. The correct version wasn’t syncing and BLARGH. It certainly was NOT how I envisioned launching my debut novel. There were way more typos and way fewer calls from Hollywood involving talks on an HBO series.

Class, What Did We Learn?

I’m a huge fan of failure. No I’m not high on anything, and trust me. If I have a choice between failing and winning? Winning always feels way better. But failure often can be better FOR us long-term.

If we never fail, we never learn. Show me a person who never fails and I’ll show you someone who’s never done anything interesting. They’ve never done a damn thing themselves and often they have a profile that looks like this…

Then they go sprinkle one-star reviews on Goodreads like frigging fairy dust when they’re not trolling blogs.

I learned not to allow myself to be rushed. I was people-pleasing again. I’d just come off the road and was tired, emotional and thin. I went along instead of saying no, then getting rested and making sure what was being put out there. When it blew up in my face? Aside from scrambling to make it right, I refused to make any big decisions because this Kristen when she’s tired…

Yes, I do turn into Danny Trejo with an ax.

And I’d love to say this would never have happened if only I’d been a Random-Penguin! Everything is perfect for legacy published writers. Right? Yeah, no. They have their own (albeit different horror stories) and one day I am sure I will have my own to share.

See, a lot of bad things will happen to us in life and definitely in publishing. Often is it not our fault, but it is ALWAYS our responsibility. People will make mistakes. The mistake is not the core issue, rather what do they do to FIX it?

And how do we handle it when everything goes pear-shaped?

Obviously this is not me being laissez-faire about mess ups, but there is a balance. Yes, strive for excellence as a standard but also recognize there’s this inconvenient thing called reality 😉 .

I was extremely blessed, namely because of this blog. A lot of fans messaged me to tell me my digital skirt was tucked in my digital underwear instead of hammering me with one-star rants.

I was able to explain what happened and get them the correct version. This only happened (I feel) because 1) I had an established reputation for quality and 2) the fans I’ve cultivated here genuinely want me to succeed because of a long-standing relationship.

*prostrates before you*

***NOTE: If you happened to get the wrong version, feel free to email for the correct one. Send a message to captivequillpress at gmail dot com and either a screenshot of the receipt or image of it on your device and include the email for your kindle. We will get you the correct version.

All In All?

Try stuff. When it goes pear-shaped? Examine it. Study. Learn. Try new stuff. Grow, improve, evolve. Get better, change tack. Wood moths did it and surely we’re as smart as a wood moth, right?

(After coffee.)

And to quote Teddy Roosevelt…

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had something go so bad, SO sideways you thought you’d die just from the embarrassment? If so, comment and give us proof of life 😀 . A cover go wrong? Formatting that bit back? Amazon issues? Whatever it is! I like hearing from people who have failed because those are my kind of peeps! People brave enough to at least DO something and give it a go.

LOVE hearing from you guys!

****Just FYI, in an effort to combat spammers your comment won’t appear until I approve it, so don’t fret if it doesn’t appear right away.

Talk to me!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of JUNE, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).


Obviously, I have my areas of expertise, but I’ve wanted for a long time to fill in some gaps on classes I could offer.

Cait Reynolds was my answer.

She is an unbelievable editor, mentor and teacher and a serious expert in these areas. She consults numerous very successful USA Today and NYTBS authors and I highly, highly recommend her classes.

OMG, Like How to Write Fleek YA July 7th $40 with Cait Reynolds

How to Dominate Your Sex Scenes (No Safe Words Here) July 14th $40 w/ Cait Reynolds

Gaskets and Gaiters: How to Create a Compelling Steampunk World July 21st $35 w/ Cait Reynolds 

Lasers & Dragons & Swords, Oh MY! World Building for Fantasy & Science Fiction 

July 28th w/ Cait Reynolds $35/ GOLD $75/ PLATINUM $125

Classes with MOI!

Plotting for Dummies July 13th $35 ($250 for GOLD)

Blogging for Authors July 20th $50 ($150 for GOLD)

Branding for Authors  July 27th $35

OTHER Classes with Cait Reynolds

Research for Historical Romance Writing – Or, How NOT to Lose Six Hours on Pinterest July 8th $35 for Basic/ $75 for GOLD / $125 for PLATINUM

Shift Your Shifter Romance into High Gear July 15th $35 Basic/ $75 GOLD/ $125 PLATINUM

Classes with Lisa Hall-Wilson

Growing An Organic Platform On Facebook July 22nd $40




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  1. Bought your book. Loved your book. Loved the cover. I did notice the issues, and was going to private message you and see if you knew, and I’m glad I waited. I knew it was something you would address as quickly as possible, and like you said, sh*t happened. It happened to me with my book when I went through critique groups, beta readers, 4 rounds with the publisher’s editors, and then noticed that the hero’s name was used where the bad guy does something really bad, and we’d all missed it. Got it fixed, but still… The bottom line is, it’s a great book, and you knew what to do to correct issues without falling apart over it.

    1. Oh I fell apart, just was a far shorter duration than years ago, LOL. If you want the correct version just shoot over an email. And THANK YOU! Yeah was…fun.

      1. sorry…I can’t seem to comment but reply to comments is open…and I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing this…. too many people are glossing over the crap stuff making people who do fail, often,like mist of the time, like me, making us feel that we somehow haven’t got it all together… don;t feel obliged to approve the reply…just wnated to say thanks … was perfect timing x

        1. and then I noticed the typos… ffs :)))

        2. Jen I just have to approve comments. It’s the only way to keep us all from being devoured by spammers. I keep and eye on it but can be here all the time, so often I just haven’t approved you yet. I miss my old free site for only ONE reason. If I approved you once, I never had to do it again. Cannot seem to figure out that feature as a self-hosted.

          Buy YES!!!! And that is really what I have wanted to do with this blog because I remember being new and thinking all the other published writers had all their ducks in a row. MAybe some do. But many writers (even big ones) once you get to know them don’t even have ducks or a row. They have squirrels…at a rave.

          Wonderful to meet you!

  2. I feel your pain. I’ve had egg on my face so many times I should be writing at Waffle House instead of home. LOL

    1. OMG I LOVE that line! May I use it? 😀

  3. I’m reading, and enjoying, The Devil’s Dance-love that title, by the way! It sucks that happened on your big debut, but any avid readers (moi!) will overlook a few errors for the sake of a good story, so don’t worry overmuch.
    You got this!

  4. I remember that night. So glad things worked out in the end.

    I’m still in the trenches, so no stories to share. Yet. Sure they’ll be coming.

    Ah perfection. We all strive for it.

    Love that quote by Roosevelt. I may need to pin it to my computer when my own rejection letters start rolling in.

    1. me too! Love it!

  5. When age and arthritis (and a broken arm) take your hands, you learn the joy of Dragon; when Dragon conks out, there’s always Microsoft Weirdly Speaikng.

    Then the cat settles, purring, on the keyboard, telling me it’ll be all right, sooner or later and what Circle of Hell would I be stuck in if I didn’t have a cat to pet?

  6. Oh my gosh, Kristen, my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine your frustration. I recently launched my first (self-published via Page Publishing) novel. I’m pleased with the results. What I’m not pleased with is myself: I’d taken your blogging webinar, but didn’t begin blogging until after the release. Now, I’m scrambling to build my platform/readers, and every morning, I wonder, “Why the heck didn’t I listen to Kristen?” (I’d also purchased and read ROTM.) Hindsight is terrific. The good news is, because of you, I learned my lesson, and am now blogging about my second novel. Thank you for your help, sharing, and being honest. Yesterday I’d downloaded a sample of The Devil’s Dance, and after reading a few pages, I noticed several things that you’d said not to do. Puzzled, I stopped reading. Ahh, now I understand. I’ll wait a few days and purchase your novel.

    1. I dunno there was a comment that my first chapter was “What About Bob?” Syndrome but what I would say is that only applies when the ONLY purpose of the scene is to information dump. Yes my first chapter addresses why she is in the trouble she is in, but her GOAL is to get a job. Her setback is realizing she is black-balled (inciting incident) and propels her the the turning point of Act One (decision to go home). It introduces the core story problem—finding the missing money—and introduces the Big Boss Troublemaker. Beyond that? All I can say is I am on to book two a more mature and stronger writer 🙂 .

      1. Oh my gosh, Kristen, I am SO SORRY. I wish I could delete the last few sentences of my previous comment. I had no issue with how you’d structured the first chapter, or the information you conveyed; nor did I feel it was an “What About Bob?” situation. From your blogs, I’d learned about using words like said, knew, and felt. I had over-reacted to the word said only because that’s something I’m guilty of doing. Again, my deepest apology. I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings for the world; I love your blogs, your help, your knowledge, and guidance. (Nothing like opening one’s mouth and inserting one’s foot.) FYI: I’ve since purchased The Devil’s Dance and am looking forward to reading it. As you’ve often stated, authors support authors. Is there something I can do for you?

        1. ROFL. Baby if I ever get that delicate I need to retire 😀 😀 😀 . Yeah I just wasn’t in Deep POV. Getting better but honey you didn’t hurt my feelings *laughing*. But thank you for worrying you might have ((HUGS)).

          Nah I was commenting in regards to one of the reviews, if that is what you thought you saw.

    • Betty Cowart on June 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm
    • Reply

    Kristen, thank you so much for making me laugh, not once but multiple times, as I read this blog post. I needed that release. It’s rare that any writing elicits laughter from me, so kudos.

    I can 100% relate to your desire for perfection and to the freak-out that occurs when we’re reminded we don’t control everything. Don’t let it get to you. Your blog is having a bigger impact in the writing community than you realize. Thanks for being real. 🙂

  7. Great post! So far, I haven’t experienced anything too embarrassing, but I have only published one book. Actually a thought did occur to me. The local paper write an article about my debut novel. I met the reporter at a used book store (small town) for the interview and photo of me for the paper. I stood beside a book shelf for my picture. When it came out in the paper, I noticed the sign at the end of the shelf. One said one type of genre (can’t remember which) and an arrow pointing away from me. The other sign said Horror and the arrow pointed right at me. I learned I will look more closely at where I’m standing for my next photo op. ?

    • Mary Johnson on June 5, 2017 at 2:15 pm
    • Reply

    Not to worry, Kristen. Those of us out here who know and love you will love you proofed or unproofed. Have purchased Devil’s Dance but haven’t started reading yet (I had to check out the newest doomsday/EMP nightmare tome before the s**t hits the fan). Love the cover. You can’t convince me it’s not you.
    I think everyone has their turn in putting their foot in the flypaper (and in my case, keeping it there). My only consolation is that at the very least I can always serve as a bad example for other people. It’s a good thing to be helpful, neh?….

    • Angi Morgan on June 5, 2017 at 2:22 pm
    • Reply

    I needed this today.
    Thanks so much !!

  8. Hi Kristen,

    Love the posts (and the comments!). Keep ’em comin.’ I started my novel with PERFECT characters, so flat they bored me. By the zillionth edit, I finally spun these around – the imperfections – emotional, physical, spiritual …(‘ecumenically’ to quote Johnny Depp POTC). Then, they jumped off the page, enough to interest an agent for the entire manuscript.

    The love interests argued. She hated him. He blackmailed her. They fought. He did what he could to protect her, while she backslid in her new-found faith.

    So far, still waiting, but <crosses fingers, bows head in prayer, genuflects) hopeful.

    While I work on my second novel, I've come to hate the process. A little. But it is going faster. Failure failure failure brings me new found respect for the craft, patience (that I did not pray for, but got anyway, thanks God. No really, thank you Lord!)and HOPE.

    Keep on writing. I am about to go to my blog and figure out how to link blogs!

  9. Laughing… we all have those moments! I’ve had a rough draft published for several hours before catching it. I was once teaching two different workshops simultaneously, so of course I posted the wrong lesson to a loop, and once. And I was also on the receiving end of another author’s embarrassment when she was teaching a workshop and accidently uploaded her manuscript to the loop, instead of her lesson!

    1. Yeah I think we need t-shirts or something.

  10. Kristen, always read your posts to learn more about the writing game! This one I’ll remember when and if the S#%T hits the fan at publishing time. Writing the first book, so no horror tales yet. Working from a solid story structure to make sure the elements are where they should be. Appreciate you telling it (whatever it is) like it is. Thanks! ??? Christine

  11. Love your blog, Kristen. I’ve often thought it weird that writers aren’t supposed to discuss perceived or actual failures, i.e. rejection or other blunders. I admire you and your blog and appreciate that you are always willing to share your knowledge and lessons learned with the rest of us!

  12. okay….the encounter with the messy bun comparison caused an enormous snork that threatened the workings of my laptop….then came the mutant baked sheep, which provoked a grotesque squeal with snork topper….laptop has survived both.
    jeez you need warning signs, woman.

    On caca and fans, after decades of splattering and cursing, I have adopted the mantra of an old friend: …wait…

    If life pushes, don’t react. It’s out of control. You cannot stop it anymore than you can stop a car slowly rolling down a hill toward your neighbor’s caddy. When life decides to show a little muscle, you cannot fight back — you can only: wait. That wait could be two breaths or it could be two weeks. Whatever the time frame, you have to let the cray-cray vibe have its little tantrum — for now.

    With writing, I see this in the form of authors who come to me for editing, some literally throwing their manuscript at me while screaming ‘get this away from me!’. ahhhhh the beauty of creativity, eh?

    Recognize that every time you try to force your own way, when confronted with one of life’s little power plays, you run the risk of setting karma in motion. Like those toys from my youth where you stuffed a finger in both ends and pulled, only to have both impossibly stuck inside, if you fight, and sometimes if you cave too soon, you get stuck in the vortex.

    Waiting can also freak people out. People like to have their emotions mirrored. So…if you remain calm in the face of madness, those who are pushing for you-to-act-right-now!! will become confused. Especially if you yawn, and then go ooopsey my cookies (or mutant sheep) are done!

    Thanks for this post, Kristen — someday I will learn not to eat or drink anything when I read your blog…maybe there’s an app for that. har

    • Cindy Mahoney/Claire O'Sullivan on June 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Kristen,

    my WIX site allowed a shout out only. But my wordpress let me link! Yay!

    • Deb on June 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm
    • Reply

    Kristen – I loved loved loved your book! Yes, I did notice typos, occasionally extra words that didn’t belong, etc., but I just figured the final proofreader had one too many cups of coffee (or Vodka or children or cats, or Twitter accounts). Knowing what an articulate, transparent writer you are, I was certain that it was only a matter of time before you discovered those small indiscrepancies and freaked out. But please don’t.

    I loved your book (especially the protagonist and the plot) so much that I finished it in one sitting – or maybe I should say, in one laying, as I began and ended reading “The Devil’s Dance” in bed. (My husband is still considering committing me to a looney bin.)

    I’ve survived more embarrassing moments than I can count, most of which resulted either from my impulsive, “open-mouth-insert-foot” or “write-fast-edit-faster” tendencies.

    When I taught high school English, like a gazillion years ago, we had these standard progress report forms to fill out and send to students’ parents. It took me 3 nights to finish the forms and only several hours to stuff and seal them into envelopes and drop them into the school mailbox. Several days later the irate phone calls started.

    I’d addressed the envelopes properly, but had enclosed the wrong progress reports for 2 separate classes. A number of my “dream” students (talented & motivated over-achievers) received extremely poor ratings, while some students with low scores and bad attitudes were praised for their performance and cooperation.

    Needless to say, I was humiliated, and the school Principal was not a happy camper. It took the rest of the semester to even begin to repair the damage. I still shudder when I am reminded of that time, but it taught me to slow down and double check everything I do – from mailing something to clicking on “publish.”

    I spent over 3 weeks

  13. I’d gone on a night out and I was wearing 7″ platform boots – think Gene Simmons. So there’s me, thinking I look pretty badass in my boots and steel-boned corset, until I get to the top of the stairs at Oxford Circus underground station. Cue forgetting how high my boots are and tripping myself up – right down the stairs. I even remember thinking “this won’t end well” before I toppled forwards. Thankfully I only ended up with split skin over my knee and two bruises. But when I got to the bottom, I realised my fedora had fallen off, so I hauled myself to my feet, took my hat back from one of my friends, and limped away to the platform to get the train. Still went clubbing.

    To this day, I wish I’d gone back to ask security if they’d caught it on tape.

    1. NICE! I would have died…but that IS a cool way to go. Just sayin’. And if what we die in is our ghost outfit forever????? Better than my current yoga pants and scrunchee.

  14. You keep it real. I appreciate that and want your success with your book (almost!) as much as mine!

  15. Great post. I admire your honesty. We must go forward and not be afraid to make mistakes, or we’ll never get better. I put the second book of a trilogy up for free under the first one’s name. I’ll double check next time.
    Carolyn Rae

    • Monica-Marie Vincent on June 5, 2017 at 4:37 pm
    • Reply

    Yes, I too learned the hard way that being rushed just doesn’t work for me. Long story short, I let other people’s imposed deadlines bully me into picking a cover I didn’t like…wasn’t what I had asked for…& even though was “nice enough”…just wasn’t what my book needed. Now, I let things happen in their own time (or my time…whichever comes first) & it works out a lot better.

    But yes, failure DOES teach lots. It doesn’t FEEL nice, but you have to push that aside to see the deeper lesson. I’d love to say that I took CoverGate in stride, but I kinda didn’t (I privately fumed to anyone in earshot & fumed & fumed & fumed. It wasn’t all that pretty), but I have learned…take your time.

    I’m sure that I have a billion other lessons to learn in the future. And I shall do my darndest to take that in stride, but I can’t guarantee it. LOL

  16. Kristen, I feel your pain! With my first book, I wasn’t plugged in to the fab WANA writer community yet and didn’t know any editors. Someone in the publishing biz (probably pushing a friend off on me) recommended an editor who turned out to be crap. Then I was too broke to hire another, so I had to do it all myself. I was meticulous, careful…but eventually got so tired of seeing my ms I wanted to cry. Finally I hit publish…OMG, then later it turns out I had two different names for the same building (one was the name of the hall at my church), and a couple of other stupid things I had to fix.

    So glad you got your issue fixed quickly (though I’m sure it seemed like forever!). I got your book but haven’t opened it yet. When I do, will the file be automatically updated? I’ve heard Amazon does that.


  17. My out of control circumstance: I broke my foot on a wheelchair speed bump. I’d never broken anything before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Like being so tired after doing my day job that it was a struggle to finish off the last three chapters of my book and do just one short story. So the writing went on hiatus. I had to tell myself that if I were writing full time, I’d been able to get something done. And it was still hard accepting that.

  18. Sorry to hear this happened, but it’s so awesome your fans let you know right away. That’s loyalty. Kudos to you for handling the situation so well. 🙂

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed that.

  20. You’re absolutely right. People are always pushing for more. Something has to give and it’s usually the juggler. We put ourselves in the position to be perfect never to drop the ball, when in reality we’re scrambling, and spinning the fallen orb situation faster than a class 4 tornado. Thank you for keeping it real.

  21. Oh man. So so sorry, Kristen. I misspelled Jane Austen in my first book (went with the city in Texas) and my editor at that time didn’t catch it. But reviewers did. So much stuff happens that we wish wouldn’t, wish we could undo, and sometimes we can. Sometimes we can’t. But as you so beautifully pointed out, at least we entered the fray. We gave it our all, and are continuing the battle/journey. I loved your graphics. Terrific post. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  22. Yep, stuff happens. To everyone. The mistake is in thinking that it’s just to us, or that we can’t do anything about it.

    Thanks for sharing honestly!

  23. I too might want to be too perfect… But maybe that’s who I am and what I am and I made the experience once it’s not perfect you hardly get another chance – ever.
    There’s no second chance for a good first impression, right?

  24. That sounds like an adventure that will not soon be forgotten. Glad it’s fixed. Just wanted to say that I believe you can update files on Amazon, which readers can then just update in their devices, rather than email the files to the correct addresses. I recently updated several books I’d purchased. Would be way more convenient to have everyone just check for updates. Best!

  25. Thanks Kristen, your story sounds like something I would do. 🙂 Everything is correctable, and of course, trolls will be trolls. You’re right about them. They are the individuals who have never done anything worthwhile or chanced public exposure. Too scary for that lot.
    I’m working on a short story about the inner mental workings of a troll. When it’s done I’ll send you a copy, if you’d like it.

    A while back I wrote a post about the perceived difference between indie and traditional publishing. In brief, when I see an error in a traditional book, my mind doesn’t project the error onto the author. I think about all of the different hands that went into the soup.
    However, when it comes to an indie book, everyone focuses on the author. If someone doesn’t like the cover or spots a typo, it’s the author’s fault.
    On a social level, self-publishing can be more daring than taking full frontal nude close-ups and posting them on Facebook (not speaking from experience:-)).

  26. Years ago, I wrote a chapter on a book about epublishing. I was an expert on ebooks in libraries. It was the 3rd edition from a respected writer/editor and an established small press. I got my ebook copy, and I very carefully reread my chapter and checked through the book, and it looked great. I didn’t receive my trade paperback copy until seven months after it went up for sale. I almost put it on the shelf after a quick perusal, but my paranoid self told me to reread my chapter, and something was very wrong. Whole chunks of text were missing so I sounded like an idiot and imcompetent writer. I finally figured out that some weirdness between the text and the images used within the articles prevented large chunks of text from appearing when it was printed, and the whole book was all but intelligible. No one at the publisher, the editor, or the other authors had bothered to read any of the paper version, and this disaster had been out for many months. I contacted the editor, and the publisher pulled all copies, but the damage was done. This was pre-Amazon reviews, etc., and no one who had bought the book had bothered to complain.

    So I feel your pain.

  27. Thanks for sharing your story; I know that you juggle a lot of balls, but it’s so incredible to me all that you give even with everything going on – so thank you!

    I loved the quote you put in this post. It shames me a little that I let things/circumstances dictate my life for awhile this past year. I let things overwhelm me and I gave up, literally, for a few months. (almost a year) I love reading your posts, they always inspire me and make me laugh; so in part, thank you again Kristen, for knowing what I needed to hear. 🙂

  28. Wow! I needed this. Just today–three weeks from the publisher’s deadline–I looked at my manuscript and thought, This is “caca”! (Well, I didn’t use your euphemism.) Thanks for your honesty. I’ve dusted myself off and am back at the keyboard finishing the third rewrite.

  29. Awesome post Kristen. It’s nice to know that everyone has issues, even the ones that appear flawless. You help keep me believing. Thanks 🙂

  30. Holy Cow! They upload the wrong version. That is poopy!

  31. So sorry for the caca in your life, and certainly with the debut release. Your words of ‘recovery’ give all writers hope to survive the nonsense of this business. Thanks for sharing the story.

  1. […] We all have times when life throws us curve balls. Karen Woodward tells how to write through the unexpected, and Kristen Lamb explains how to handle reality vs. expectations and stay calm when things go pear-shaped. […]

  2. […] read her blog post, Reality vs. Expectations—Remaining Calm When it ALL Goes Pear-Shaped (😉 and was inspired. Kristen said, “If we never fail, we never learn. Show me a person who never […]

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