“Don’t kill your husband,” says Tre from behind the bar. “We really like him here.”
I really like him too, but right now, my pride has been ripped out of my chest and he’s the easiest person to blame.
You see, we’ve been working for over two years on an album called Love Lemonade. This is our second studio album, and it has literally become our baby. We’ve sunken thousands of dollars and thousands of hours into her well-being. Every day when I come home from eight hours of product marketing at a tech company, I work on my other product – the album. It comes before everything – family, friends, health, fitness, our savings, and our relationship. It’s our primary goal – the apple of our eyes.
So you can imagine how I felt when, after coming home from a long day’s work, I opened up the fresh box of albums to find not one – but four typos. FOUR TYPOS – on my own album.
You see, my day job is to provide quality messaging for every product built by a high profile tech company. I write every piece of UI copy that appears throughout our products. I review everything before it reaches our users. I do it well, and I take great pride in perfection. So as you can imagine, having typos in MY OWN product – this very thing I’ve been sinking my entire life into for the past two years – is completely unacceptable.
You may be asking – how did this even happen?
I asked myself this too initially. It seems impossible. How could someone, whose entire livelihood is based on producing flawless product copy, be a part of putting out such a hot mess of an album cover? Well, it actually makes sense if you think about it.
My husband typed up the copy in a Google doc and sent it to our designer. By the time the design got back to him, we were overdue on our deadline and knee deep in stress. The art looked good at a glance and matched the specifications, so my husband sent it off. He showed it to me over happy hour and I thought it was beautiful. I was really just looking at the artwork. Afterall, I had already proofed the copy before it was sent to design. I never considered that four of the words my husband had typed and I had reviewed could have ended up being spelled incorrectly. But they were. It turns out that this wasn’t a simple copy and paste job. The font was original and everything was done by hand. To add another layer, English isn’t the first language of our friend who did the design. This disaster didn’t belong to my husband, it didn’t belong to our designer, and it didn’t belong to me. It was simply a perfect storm of events.
So what do you do when you find yourself in such a situation? You remember the words of your title track. You squeeze those lemons into lemonade. Our keyboard player, who discovered the typos with me in the first place, helped us to problem solve instead of drunkenly sitting in our sorrows.
We knew there was no moving forward with the album the way it was. We had to move fast if we were going to fix this. We had to look at our assets. What did we have to work with?
We had time, which was afforded to us by our decision to go to press a month prior to our release so that our publicist could distribute. We had money, since we had been diligently saving for our upcoming Euro tour. We had resources, since our designer is our drummer and is always just a quick message away. We were able to stop our publicist from sending our album to every independent radio station in the U.S.. We were able to get our designer to rework the art overnight. We were able to get the printer to expedite a new order of sleeves. We were able to overnight them so that we could have a restuffing party and still get everything sent out for publicity by next week. No word yet on how many hundreds of dollars this will cost us, but in the long run it doesn’t matter. We’re all here. We’re all happy and healthy. We all love each other, and are lucky to be making music together. We’re doing what we love, and we’re learning lessons as we go.
At the end of the night, we were able to see solutions instead of problems. We were able to stop blaming ourselves and learn from the honest mistakes we each made.
Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the details behind the things that are most important to us. We don’t pay attention to the “easy stuff” – the stuff that we think just runs on autopilot. Oftentimes, this is our own personal relationships. Sometimes, it’s the cover of our next album. The good news is that everything is fixable. No matter what, you can always turn lemons into lemonade.
Look out for our new album, available (and free of typos) everywhere on August 11th, 2018.
*This post itself likely contains lots of typos because I’m pretty drunk. The good news is that my husband is still alive, and I still do love him very much.