Incompetence, Sheer Incompetence

My author copies of my latest romance, A Love For All Seasons, were delivered yesterday. My husband and I were on our way out, so the box sat in a corner for a few hours. It was after 10PM when we returned and I was exhausted, but something told me to open the box and look at one of my books. I recognized that "Something's wrong" feeling.

I examined a book. There were my Acknowledgments in the beginning (my goodness, did I recognize so many people?), my dedication. So far, so good.

My chapter titles were there. I remembered that I'd chosen them carefully, with the plan of running a months-long contest that I mentioned in my reader letter. I made a mental note to put the details on my web site.

Then I turned to the end to see what else I'd said in my reader letter.

It wasn't there.

Instead, there was a scene from a chapter more than halfway into the book. My eyebrows shot up. What the hell was this doing here? Is this how they ended my story?

I quickly backtracked a couple of pages. There was my original ending, thank God. But there on the very next page was this out-of-place scene, looking like a continuation of the book that is sure to confuse readers.

Then it hit me.

This was the scene I'd chosen for my "teaser," something I'd submitted under the publisher-described title "Page One," (there's a clue, Sherlock), to indicate its placement in the finished product. So how did this end up at the end? And what the hell happened to my reader letter? (Hint: Look at the title of this blog.)

A flood of memories came back. Me muttering curses as I read the "page proofs" (which had obviously not been, well, proofed) that I had to return because of run-on and repeated lines. A high school dropout could have done a better job. And who knows if all the corrections I pointed out were even made.

I think I already ended a blog these two words, but in this case they fit just as well, so I'm going to say it again.

I'm disgusted.