Surprises in your published work

Who cares for the spelling of a name they can’t even pronounce? A recent publication where one of my narrations appears alongside the stories of my fellow writers was sent out to me on a high holiday. Yes, 11/11 is a high holiday. Where I come from, the Rhineland, it’s the beginning of the Carnival season. Returning from my home country, I found the publication waiting in my mailbox in New York City. After opening it I started reading. Of course, I read my piece first. Nothing more exciting than to read your work printed in a book. Aside from a small change in the narration made after my final proof read it was the story I remembered. I was pleased that half a year later I still stood behind every word and I couldn’t find a flaw. 

I read the following story and the next and was excited to see how all these stories contributed to the publication in their unique way, offering the reader a comprehensive look on the subject matter which bound the writers to the publication’s theme. I studied the table of content to pick my next writer when it hit me. My name. Misspelled. Not my complicated last name. My first name was missing a letter. How could that happen? The document’s title bore my name. My email contains my name. The bio at the end of the piece spells my name correctly. I opened the book to my story again.

There it was. The only thing added not by me but by the editors of the publication was my name below the title. Misspelled. I hadn’t noticed because I read my story, not my name. I checked the documents that had been sent back and forth. None of the early to last stages contained my name below the title. Only the last document had my name and indeed I had, like right now, overlooked the misspelling.

Lesson learned: If checking and editing your writing in preparation for a publication, don’t forget to check your author’s name. Don’t assume that because your contract shows your name right that it will also show up spelled correctly in your published work. My oversight put a dent into my otherwise joyous day. Turns out, I do care for the correct spelling of my name.

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