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MY BOOK IS FINALLY DONE!!!!!

May 1, 2012

I have two really important announcements to make to my friends, the first is I have finished the first e-book version of my newly expanded book, “Small Mountain Rambles.”
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The other one is that I closed a long standing legal hassle that has had me trapped in the tar pits for way too long. Last Friday I received the last bit of paper work to close this chapter in my life. When I raise a few more dollars, I can put a nasty chapter to bed. I’m very relieved. For those of you who know about it, you can appreciate my relief. For those of you who don’t, it is not worth talking about, it’s gone.
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The e-book is what I want to talk about. My editor finished proofreading the 350 pages several months ago. I worked on the formal formatting for several weeks afterwards and when that was completed, I uploaded it to Lulu.com, an e-book conversion site. Sites like Lulu take your MSWord file or Adobe “.pdf” files and converts them to a format used by the e-book readers like Kindle, Nook, etc. I’ve learned that you want to have the book converted to several file formats to reach the greatest number of potential purchasers. I had an Adobe PDF version that went through Lulu without a hitch. That was like at the beginning of April. Then I attempted to get Lulu to convert my book for the Kindle and Nook readers. Because the reading devices allow the user to change font styles, sizes, etc. the conversion sites have very strict formatting specifications.
Over the last month I have done many hundreds of uploads to the Lulu site which have been sent back to me, unconverted, because of obscure software ghosts and programming glitches in this very large file. My “software professional” friends have been giving me lots of help because they were tiring of watching me pull my long hair out of my scalp. Two nights ago we finally got the entire book to be uploaded and converted by the automated software at Lulu. Yesterday morning I received an email from Lulu. It said that the human editors rejected the entire book, once more, because of further esoteric formatting errors which they found that the automated stuff didn’t catch.
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I AM TAKING A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!
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As you all must have figured by now, I am very much a traditionalist. Though I’ve always been a writer, if only in the closet, I have also long been a fan of fine books, books which themselves are works of art; professionally laid out, finely bound, paying great attention to detail. This final manuscript which I have been trying to upload started out with lots of these sorts of details included in its composition. The PDF upload retained nearly all of these considerations. I think it’s a pretty good looking presentation. However, when the Lulu automatic conversion process sent me a copy of what the e-book would look like, I was appalled. It came out looking like one of those itchy-bitsy teeny little disclaimers that you find in an aspirin bottle, one you can barely unfold and can only read with a microscope. My book shouldn’t look like that. Such a result is something like reading a Tolstoy novel produced on a mimeograph machine.
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So, as a died in the wool traditionalist and a budding new writer (published writer) I have to compromise. While I am frustrated by what the e-book will look like in the end, and while being totally trashed by the frustration of just trying to get the file to simply upload at all for the past million weeks, I’m either committing suicide or I’m taking a break and after the break, gathering my software guru’s together and take another stab at the e-book conversion dragon.
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The point is I’m supposed to be a prodigious writer in the end, not a struggling student of software.
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This new addition has about four new stories, a bunch of pictures and much more organization and professionalism (hopefully). I have set the price at $9.99. You and your friends can download it from www.lulu.com within the next few days.
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Now that I’ve made the decision to go ahead and sell the PDF version by itself I have to make a few adjustments to the settings on the Lulu web site.
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I have to start trying to sell something in the retail market to see if this is worth all the effort, a whole lot of effort.
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`Ed
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p.s.: I’ve just found out that lots of the e-book authors hire specialized “editors” to groom their manuscripts before attempting the upload conversion process. As usual, I have no money to hire anyone.
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p.p.s.: Try to make it to Mountain Charley’s this afternoon for an Art Bridge afternoon “happy hour” drinks, hopefully a little music and collecting of old times.

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