Have you ever anxiously awaited the release of a book, marked your calendar so you’d be sure not to miss it, cursed your online retailer for not downloading or delivering it on its release date only to find out that the book doesn’t release for a whole other week?
Has this happened to you only after publicly embarrassing yourself by complaining about said retailer or after blogging about the fact that you plan on reading it the instant it lands in your hands?
Have you perhaps wished an author a happy book birthday only to find out that the book’s birthday is nowhere in the vicinity of the date you sent out your overly enthusiastic wish?
If you can answer “yes” to all of those questions then you’ve reached the same level of FAIL that I have. And that level is of the EPIC FAIL variety.
Perhaps you have a legitimate reason for erring. Maybe you marked your calendar or created your post months in advance and the book’s publication schedule changed. Maybe the date printed on the side of the ARC you’ve been reading got stuck in your head even though you knew it was only tentative. And maybe you forgot to check its accuracy just one last time before posting or tweeting.
Or maybe you had no excuse.
Maybe your error was due to the fact that you’ve been relying on some random date that you latched on to that had nothing to do with anything. Maybe you heard someone on Twitter or Facebook talking and instead of confirming the validity of the conversation you assumed it to be true. Maybe you were thinking of a completely different book and got the two mixed up in your head.
But whether you have a legitimate-ish excuse or none at all, it doesn’t matter when you’ve publicly shamed yourself.
And while you can quietly sneak back onto your blog and alter the date in a post, it’s that much harder to take back a tweet. Especially when you don’t realize the error of your ways until hours later.
While it’s not as heinous a mistake as attributing a book to an author that didn’t write it and then proceed to insist to that author they did – no I didn’t do this, but there was this book signing I went to where things got majorly awkward – it’s still really, really embarrassing.
If you’re lucky, the mistaken date just happens to coincide with an electronic version’s release date or an international edition’s release. Legitimizing your error, combined with an “I meant to do that” and a chuckle, helps to mitigate that feeling of mortification.
What also helps is just owning it. If you can laugh at yourself it doesn’t quite hurt as much when others laugh. Because they’re laughing with you, not at you… right?
Being wrong never feels good. Neither does feeling like an idiot. More so when it is pointed out to you, rather than discovering it all by yourself. But either way it feels pretty darn lousy.
I should know. This has happened to me. More than once. Typically because I associate some random date in my head with a release that I clearly pulled out of the aether. And even if I were to check Amazon, I’d still likely not see the truth in front of my eyes. Not until it was too late.
My most recent FAIL…
… involved a book I was participating on a tour for. My fail did not involve the post for the tour but one of my reading pile posts in which I went on and on… and on about said book’s upcoming release.
Not once did my brain alert me to the fact that just recently I’d been listing a completely different date as its release date. Not once. And I was so sure in my rightness that I never bothered to check, just to be sure. Because I was sure. So sure.
The imagined release date came and went and the book had not downloaded to my Kindle which prompted a frustrated call from me to Amazon inquiring as to what could possibly have happened to my pre-order. It was only then, after having it pointed out to me – repeatedly I might add, as the reality didn’t quite sink in the first or second or third time – that the book wasn’t slated for release until the next Tuesday, that I realized my mistake. And even still I accepted this only grudgingly.
After all, I knew when the book was releasing. The eBook’s release must have been on a week’s delay. I couldn’t have been mistaken.
When checking the post I created for the tour I saw the true release date listed. No amount of rubbing my eyes would change that number from an eleven to a four. I then checked a book watch post I’d done prior to that. And again, it showed the eleventh.
It was a definite FAIL on my part. One I hope to never repeat.
My not-too-long-ago EPIC FAIL…
…involved me tweeting out book birthday wishes to an author – pretty much the only time I’ll “@” an author in a tweet that’s not a conversation.
Usually I double, triple, quadruple check the date before potentially making an a** out of myself. But I’d just seen this book listed among the book releases I compiled for my Book Watch post. What I forgot was that while it was among those originally listed as releasing on that date, either the release date had changed or Amazon was initially incorrect. So when creating my post and discovering that this title wasn’t releasing as originally thought, I’d moved it to its new date in my calendar.
Clearly my brain didn’t catch up with the reality. But this is why it was top-of-mind and why I’d associated it with an incorrect date. Legitimate mistake, sure. Still no less embarrassing.
By not checking before sending out that tweet, I ended up doing something that caused me to mentally kick myself repeatedly, delete my tweet – but not before it was likely seen by the author – and hide from Twitter for no less than three days.
If I was the type of blogger who chatted with authors on a regular basis I could probably have just laughed this one off. But I’m not. I over think ever single word before I actually say one to these rockstar authors. So when I make a mistake like this it sets me back. Way back.
Hence the reason this is one of the most EPIC types of FAIL I can have.
What about you?
Have you ever been incorrect about a book’s release date and blathered on and on about it only to find out you were wrong? Have you ever reached out to an author, brimming with excitement, only to be told that you must be mistaken?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the author was too kind to point our your error, but you found out the truth later and cringed thinking back on the conversation?
Have you quietly gone back to a post and made the fix or do you just let the error stand, because it’s no big deal?
Does being wrong about something that you should be an authority on make you feel like a FAIL? Or are you only embarrassed if someone calls you out on your mistake or the author politely sets you straight?
To you, are release date errors a FAIL, an EPIC FAIL or not something you’d ever think twice about?