#Writer Beware: Not All Fame Is Good Fame

From time to time, people contact me to say how much they’ve appreciated one of my health columns. It’s nice to get those emails, social media messages or comments via the website; I like to feel the articles are being read and that they’re helping people. If one of my columns has been published in a local magazine, I sometimes get some rather lovely pleasant face-to-face feedback, too.

However, I was reminded recently that my control over how my humble Word documents are transformed into printed articles in magazines is limited – and that not all fame is good fame…

“They’re talking about your article!!” chirruped a Facebook message from a friend last month. I frowned at her link, which was to a post on the FB page of a local village. What was that image? Why were they laughing about my article? I squinted. Wasn’t that a picture of the short version of my article, printed in a local magazine?

I leaned closer. Why had somebody drawn a circle around th-

Oh.

World Blood Donor Day Blooper

No. I don’t know how that made it to print, either.

I went straight on the internet to see if I could find digital versions of other print magazines in which it might have appeared.

Phew! Luckily, the article has appeared in other publications with a less embarrassing graphic. People in Birmingham and various parts of Yorkshire have been spared potential blushes, as have many others across the country.world blood donor day 3

Unfortunately, people in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire weren’t so lucky. I would apologise, but honestly, that side of it is nothing to do with me!

The moral of this story? Never write an article with a title that could be turned into something dubious by a graphic designer’s one-letter typo. It’s certainly made me give my titles a second look…

 

2 thoughts on “#Writer Beware: Not All Fame Is Good Fame

  1. That ‘Oh’ of yours really made me laugh ….

    I wonder how many readers know that article ‘sundries’ (title, sell, sub-headings, graphics etc) aren’t usually written by the writer? Most would, I’d guess – meaning you’re unlikely to be thought of badly by your readership! Perhaps the editor will feel so guilty at the slip up he or she will offer you more work ….

    🙂

    • Ha! Good. It’s great to give people a laugh. Perhaps I should go back to ghost-writing rom-com.
      As for your public awareness point, I can only hope they do realise. I’ve comforted myself with the thought that it’s better than an embarrassing typo of mine making it to print… 🙂
      The mag in question often buys a syndicated short version of my health column (and sometimes topical articles) from the Editor I write them for, so I can’t really play the shame-them-into-offering-me-work game here. I have whinged at them before when they missed out my byline, though. They also once chose a wildly irrelevant picture of a baby eating in a highchair to accompany an article of mine about detoxing and fasting!

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