I had a client recently go through a public relations nightmare that could have been much worse had it not been caught quickly enough. She had just published her books and was reading me an excerpt when we found something that may be hurtful to some people in the trans community.  It would not have even registered if I hadn’t had a talk with a very good friend about this very subject. Most people would not have even noticed the wrong pronouns were being used but because it was found we may have helped someone’s feelings from being hurt or worse yet, the whole community being angered by a simple mistake.



There are two things you can do in this situation, fix it or ignore it and hope no one notices. When the mistake was found, my client was in tears because she was so afraid that she would offend someone.  She is very supportive of the community and empathetic of the plight that anyone in the queer community and would never wish to hurt even one person.  She chose to do the right thing and fix it immediately and although the book was already late, and up to eighty percent of her sales are usually on day one, she took it down and fixed every instance she could find.  She then posted an apology through her social media taking the book down, explaining that there was a serious issue with the book and that she would offer refunds or exchanges to anyone that had bought the book during the brief time that it was there.

If she had ignored it and it offended someone, it would have started a firestorm. If there is any example of what not to do it would be the Gay Romance Literature Convention.  Everyone I know was excited to be going to this convention until they sent out their first press release.  In it, they had said that there were “Must Have Authors” that they were saving a huge chunk of the limited slots for.  They completed the class system with “Supporting Authors” which they were also saving slots for which, I can only speculate they were trying to encourage new authors to be included. Neither system was explained well in the first press release which alienated many authors, but the real issue was that in their second press release the organizers didn’t do anything in which to correct the problem. This caused the whole community to be outraged and many authors to cancel plans to be there and the authors that I have talked to that are going to be leery of going again.


So Here Are My Steps for Getting Through a Crisis Situation:

1.       Admit the problem exists.  GRL could have saved a lot of problems if that had just done that.

2.       Fix the problem no matter what the cost. Typically my client’s first day sales generally account for 80% of her first month sales and yet she still chose to take down the book.

3.       Apologize Publicly.  Even though you have fixed the issue, still apologize for making the mistake to begin with.


My client did the right thing and only time will tell what the impact will be, but I believe people will rally behind her and it will not tarnish her reputation in the future.

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