Sunday, March 4, 2018


As writers, we have to be very careful when we write and market our business in order to avoid embarrassment.  A wrong fact or imprecise spelling may seem like not a big deal...until you do it in some monstrous way.

While writing Akeldama, I wanted to include real-world stuff in order to give the novel a more authentic feel.  In one of the scenes, the main character visits a business in Los Angeles that is supposedly acting as a front for a CIA department.  I chose a real-life business - Philippe The Original.  I contacted Philippe's for permission, and they sounded pretty excited to be included in my work.  I was jazzed, thinking that maybe this could lead to some real publicity for Akeldama...only to later discover that I'd misspelled their name(I wrote them as Phillipe's rather than Philippe's).  I was mortified.  I went back to my print and ebook formatters and made the correction, but that was after I'd already sent them a copy.  I want to send them a replacement, but nearly a year later, the embarrassment is still too much for me to show my face to them.

This is why double and triple checking our work is so important.  The right use of something can help, but the wrong use in any way can set us back and even contribute to poor reputations.  And it's far easier to destroy a reputation than to build it back up after it went south.

I've gone back through my other works and looked at any instance I've used a brand name or a historical fact to make sure that I won't make the same mistake, but it's still possible I could miss something.  Now that is happened once, it has me worried what I'll miss next time, as well as whether I could recover from a second mistake in such a public way.

What mistakes have you made that caused you embarrassment?  How have you worked to make sure it doesn't happen again?

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