On a recent Saturday afternoon, I received a panicked email from a long-time editing acquaintance of mine. Her award-winning book needed some updates, so, being über-competent in making her own ebooks, she made the changes and uploaded the book. She checked back a few hours later, and it was one of those, “good news, bad news” moments. The good news? The LITB (Look Inside The Book) had updated, almost immediately. The bad news?
Holy Typography, Batman! Her entire Look Inside The Book was in italics.
What happened? She asked me if I could very quickly fix the book, because she had recently received a prestigious award, and sales were brisk. She had had such a shock about the “all italics” that she’d taken the book off sale.
Now, I would love to say that I’m a genius, but the truth was the same thing had recently happened to another client of mine, who had not updated her book, a mobi file that she got from us. So: what the heck had happened?
Both author-publishers had created their own nightmares, through sheer inadvertence. Both had read recent blog posts or “how-to” information on how to use HTML in their book descriptions in order to draw more attention to their books. They used header tags, bold, italic; all the things that any diligent publisher would do. But they had made one mistake.