The defeating of ABC gremlins

My first two books were traditional published, but over the past few years I’ve learnt a lot about what actually goes into producing a book. Obviously, I now know everything there is to know, Right? Wrong!ABC final ebook cover 13.8.18

It ‘seemed a good idea at the time’ to self-publish, and although I’m not particularly ‘techie,’ I was determined, (or, as my late mother would say, stubborn.) I learnt how to format for Kindle, and as a reader am now expert at detecting an extra space from twenty feet.   feet-150541_1280 4.11.18

The next logical step was to produce a cover. Luckily, I had a friend and fellow author who was experienced with Photoshop, and as I had a pretty good idea what I wanted, all I had to do was relay the picture in my brain, via cyberspace, to turn into a photo at the receiving end. It shouldn’t be difficult, after all I am a writer. (Short pause for hysterics.)

Despite two million e-mails along the lines of ‘Yes, sort of like that, but…’ she is still speaking to me. I didn’t use this cover although it nicely sums up her exasperation at the time.ABC 34567 Dancing frustrations 6.5.18

On the verge of publishing the paperback, Amazon decided to close Createspace, and incorporate all their files into their own publishing arm. If I had problems with one little book, imagine what fun a devilry of gremlins could have with thousands of them all trying to rush together into one little space. Other authors had suffered the delights of trying to upload new books without success, so I decided to hang fire until they had sorted themselves out.

Cover sorted, innards sorted, upload, sorted. Preview looked fine, download their preview PDF- Gremlins attack! It looked like they’d been having a teenagers’ party. A few days of frustration until I realised Amazon no longer accepted Word files (which had always worked perfectly before.) Did they tell anyone? Er.. No.

Never mind, save as PDF, upload – fine. Preview? – spent hours watching the circle do its thing, but didn’t follow the instructions to have a sandwich. Gremlins upset again but finally mollycoddled, although they got their own back by saying,
‘HaHa, we’ve shifted the cover a millionth of an inch so it no longer fits.’

Stress out my cover-maker, after all, she’s only trying to cope with particularly difficult work weeks, ‘If this is Tuesday it might be Glasgow, ’as well as writing and editing her own books. Cover version ten million and ninety-two produced and uploaded. Gremlins then decide to try a new tack. Wouldn’t it be fun to go into a loop so it takes so long to bring the preview up, the computer automatically signs out the uploader so they have to start again? After playing this game over several days they finally got bored. What can they do next?

I know,’ says evil monster number five, ‘we’ll crash in the middle and wipe out everything. Won’t that be fun?’

Time to fight back. (Quick author chorus of ‘We shall overcome’ can be heard in the background.) Start the upload, gremlins creep out of hiding places to stick spokes in the wheels to stop them going round.

Author counterattacks. Opens another tab, starts upload again, gremlins realise and try to block. Open a new tab and start again, leaving previous uploading armies fighting the first wave, and hope the foe does not realise the originals were a diversionary tactic. Bring in more reinforcements by digging out old laptop and starting another upload as a rear-guard action.

Realise the sun is now rising, time for all good vampire authors to retire to bed and unwind their goggle-eyes. Close down all the tabs, go to switch off the laptop and discover one lonely soldier is still battling. Against all the odds he has achieved what whole armies cannot.

Upload successful! Now to await the email from the goblins who can still destroy months of hard work in one fell swoop.

The next morning (well, OK then, afternoon) author opens emails.
Reads a heading ‘ABC Destiny paperback now available on Amazon.’
Poof! The email fairies now join in the game and the email disappears before author-person has time to read it properly.

We have lift-off.

Will the paperback be printed upside down and inside out?

Will it cross the pond and appear on

Should the author stop destroying trees and only publish on Kindle in future?

Will she ever clear the original stock of paperback copies with an ungremlined cover?

To find the answers to these and many other questions buy the book and leave your review. Invisible anti-gremlin spray will be supplied on request.

Having defeated the upload gremlins, the author is now building up confidence to tackle the marketing fairies.

If you want to find out a little more about either her or the book, check out these links.

Interview with Paula Harmon

Interview with Black Books
(A note from Simon of Black Books Blog -)
I am running my first ever half marathon in March for Heartline charity and would appreciate all donations. I have chosen Heartline as they have helped us immensely throughout the life of our eldest daughter, who has an enlarged heart (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) – Please feel free to donate here –           

 In those immortal words, I’ll be back.

© Voinks November 2018
Cover photos courtesy of Paula Harmon.



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