I MADE A MISTAKE . . .
When a new book comes out, as my ALL THE LITTLE LIARS just did, I wait for reader reaction. I don’t read Amazon reviews, since they are not signed, but I do get feedback on my website and on my Facebook page. I read it all, unless it’s from an obvious nut (“I will hate you forever”).
Here’s the snag: observant readers tell me about mistakes they found in the book. It’s a terrible truth that no matter how many people read a manuscript, some error may leak through. In the case of ATTL, one person gets told the same information twice. Obviously, this is what I call an “artifact.” I wrote the passage one way, amended it pages later, and then did not catch the first iteration. (I rewrote ATLL more than any other book I’ve written.)
Though I appreciate the readers being so alert, I am at a loss as to what I can do with this information, and it simply makes me feel bad . . . especially when someone points it out for the thirtieth time.
The only upside is that possibly the mistake can be rectified if there’s a second printing. Otherwise, it’s just a sore spot. And every time I think of it – or it’s drawn to my attention again – I feel like a failure.
I also feel that I’m the only writer this happens to. Have you been caught like this in your books? Readers, does such an error throw you out of the narrative?