One of the most terrifying things an author can experience happened to me yesterday. I opened up the master file (which I had saved in multiple locations) of my memoir (Candy Apple Butterscotch) to correct a minor formatting issue that had been bothering me since the initial release back in 2018.
I was plodding along tweaking the formatting in each chapter when I suddenly discovered that six chapters were MISSING from the document! I thought maybe it was a fluke and that the copies I had saved elsewhere were complete. Much to my dismay, they were NOT.
At some point my youngest son got into my files on Drive and added his own “revision” to my manuscript unbeknownst to me. When I went to back up the files I inadvertently saved the version he changed. HOLY PANIC BATMAN. Thankfully, Amazon was kind enough to send me a copy of the file they had saved on their server and I was able to correct the issue fairly quickly. Be still my heart, it was a tense few hours as I figured everything out. lol.
After I repaired the missing chapters I began to comb through the manuscript looking for any additional “revisions” my son might have made when he found his way into the file. Since I was already picking through it, I decided to go ahead and enter my own revisions as well.
The bulk of the book remains the same, but I was able to add in a few stories that got cut during the original publication and correct my inaccurate portrayal of Noah’s parents. The inaccuracy wasn’t intentional, and I wasn’t obligated to change it, but I felt it was the least I could do given the circumstances. My vision of his parents and their character was clouded by Noah’s dishonesty. As I went back and began to uncover the truth I felt that it needed to be addressed.
I know they don’t care, and likely haven’t nor plan on ever reading the book. I also took great care to make sure their identities were protected. Unless Noah, or Mia hand deliver the book, Bo and Cheri will never know about it. Still, my own conscious would not rest until I made the necessary corrections. Now that I have, I feel much better about it.
The nifty thing about publishing primarily to Kindle is that everyone who purchased the digital first edition will automatically receive the new edition for free. I think there are only five paperback copies out in the wild so to speak. I don’t have to have thousands of inaccurate copies to worry about just the small handful of paperbacks which mostly went to friends and family, and my friends and family already know I was misguided.
So, while it was a project I didn’t exactly plan on tackling right now, at least it’s complete. My master copy is saved (my Drive password is changed) and I can finally put it behind me.