In a perfect world, the hours and hours of time you’ve spent writing, proofreading, and meticulously preparing your book for self-publishing will guarantee that once you hit the “Publish” button, your book will be error-free and flawless. But unfortunately, mistakes have a way of sneaking into even the most thoroughly checked manuscripts. And the experts here at Self-Publishing Relief know that errors are a big reason why a self-published book might get bad reviews—which can be the kiss of death for your book sales. Aside from wishing you could buy back every copy, what should you do if you find an error in your self-published book?
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to fix most mistakes in a self-published book. The process for changing or updating your self-published book will vary slightly depending on which publishing company you used, but the basic steps should be similar.
How To Fix An Error In Your Self-Published Book
First: Identify any and all mistakes. You should minimize the number of times you need to make changes to your self-published book. If you found one or two typos, recheck the manuscript to make sure no other errors have slipped through. Check to be sure formatting issues haven’t been missed—or created by the changes you’re making. If you’re making changes to the cover, you want to confirm that the new version fits properly within the template.
Second: Make the updates/corrections to your original file. Use the most current version of your interior and cover files when you fix the errors. You’ll need to re-upload this file in order to republish, so make sure you’ve made all the corrections and changes needed and save it as an updated copy. Pro tip: Have someone proofread and double-check the manuscript and changes to ensure you didn’t introduce new errors while inputting the revisions.
Third: Carefully check your proof from the publishing company. You want to be sure that you’ve uploaded the correct file and that the changes are in place before you publish the book again. If you’ve made significant changes or changes to the front or back cover, you may want to order a print proof so that you can review it in person.
Fourth: Hit “Publish”…again! Once you’re sure everything looks good, you’re ready to go! Republish your book and let potential buyers know it’s available for purchase.
When you’ve completed these steps, you can take a deep breath, relax, and feel confident about the quality of your self-published book.
If You Made A Lot Of Changes To Your Self-Published Book…
Sometimes feedback you get on your self-published book involves more than tweaking a few grammar errors or typos. If you make major changes to your book—plot revisions or extensive character alterations to fix story flaws—it may be considered a new edition. If this is the case, you will need a new ISBN. Some self-publishing companies (like IngramSpark) may also charge a fee for republishing an updated version of your book, so be sure to read the fine print in your contract and know what it may cost you.
You may even choose to have a new cover designed to let potential buyers know this is an updated version of your book. Be sure to promote the relaunch of your self-published book to attract attention and boost sales.
Question: What errors have you found in books you’ve read?