wooHOO! New Book Posted on Amazon

Wow! It was like giving birth…with a LONG labor. But finally the “Publish” button has been clicked for How I Lost 30 Pounds in 4 Months. It’s not available yet, but as soon as I have a link, I’ll post it here. In the meantime, just covet this fan-freaking-tastic cover art:

F&B cookbook coverThis is the wrap-around for the print version. It still needs a bar code, but since I may not sell it on Amazon at all (the plan is to use it to help with fund-raising for my fave cause), I decided to hold off for awhile on spending extra money on that detail.

I have to say, I’ve never had such a difficult experience with a project like this. The PoD version went together fine and uploaded happily to the printer of choice. I used a Book Design Templates choice called “Pulp,” which is specifically designed to save on the number of pages and also switch-hits between e-book publication and print layout. Compared with the “Focus” design I’d used for Slave Labor, the effect in page proofs was disappointing: in print, “Focus” is much more polished and handsome. Easily solved, though: I just pasted it from “Pulp” into “Focus,” did a few adjustments, and re-uploaded.

“A few adjustments” turned into a long, time-sucking slog. Probably worth it, though. In a review of the PDFs as the printer’s software received them, the new format looks very handsome.

But the e-book conversion…oh gawd. I thought I was gunna DIE. NOTHING that I did would make it work to upload to Amazon.

It did upload once. But then I needed to make some corrections, and after that… Bleyagh!!!! The main problem was it wouldn’t upload the TofC. And wouldn’t. And wouldn’t. And wouldn’t. And wouldn’t…

Word, which my associate editor and I justly call “Wyrd” (the Old English cognate for modern English “weird”), came up with every glitch it could contrive. Several of these required me to comb through all 363 pages several times removing bugs and fixing copy. It was BRAIN-BANGING tedious.

I’m pretty sure the main reason was the complexity of the book’s organization. It starts with four chapters on the diet strategy. Then it presents about 125 recipes, organized in 14 sections. So we had chapters, then sections, then chapters (i.e., the recipe titles) within the sections.

So I’ve spent a fair amount of today and of the past two or three days groaning in front of a computer and ripping at my hair.

Finally, Tracy Atkins of Book Design Templates came to my rescue. Tracy thinks it’s my version of Wyrd — 2008, the buggiest version Microsoft every produced, wouldncha know — and suggests I should pay the price to connect with Wyrd online.

I’ve resisted this, because

a) I hate, loathe, and despise the effing “Ribbon”;
b) Signing up for Wyrd represents ANOTHER monthly drain on my checking account, which I do not welcome by any means whatsoever; and
c) I welcome yet another goddamn learning curve even less than I welcome yet another monthly budget drain.

In a draftig way, I uploaded the content of a short novel and thought it worked  just fine. But no. On second look, I see it ALSO didn’t upload the TofC links.

So obviously, I’m going to have to find a way to get an updated version of Wyrd. And that’s going to be a hassle of the ongoing variety.

But I must say, I am utterly hassled out right this minute. I’ve wasted three full days on this shit, during which I’ve written all of about four paragraphs in the current Bobbi & the Biker series.

You know, if I had wanted to do book production, I would have gotten a degree in graphic arts, not in English. I would have made myself unemployable with an MFA in design, dammit, not with a Ph.D. in late Renaissance and Early Jacobean literature and history!!!!!

Claro que I am not a creature of the endlessly dystopic 21st Century.