Last weekend, my husband and I spent some time in a laundromat. We were there to wash some down filled items that we can’t wash in our machine at home. While we waited, I worked on a new idea that Ambrose had helped me come up with for my book. In past books, I’ve used chapter headings, usually including the day (e.g. Day 1) and sometimes a description of the day. After I showed Ambrose an elevation profile of my first day’s hike, he told me I should put that in the book. And thus was born a new way of labeling chapters: 

So now, each day begins with a little illustration of the trail and elevation profile. All of it is hand drawn, based on observations from Gaia GPS, which I’m starting to like a lot. 

At the laundromat, I roughed out the concept and drew the lines, using the Surface’s pen. And after I got home, I didn’t do much with it, beyond emailing the files to myself so I could use them on the main computer (which is where I do all my publishing). 

On Sunday, I didn’t feel like running, and I figured if I wasn’t going to run, I really ought to work on my book. At that point, unusually for me, I hadn’t even picked out the cover photos. I was glad that I hadn’t finished placing all the photo plates in the document, because adding the header images moved everything that I had placed around. 

So, first, I adjusted the headers that I made at the laundromat to a format that would fit my books (which is what you see above). Then I did placement work, rewrote my about the author page, added an additional works page and made the cover. 

All that was left was to upload the file to Amazon KDP and then request a proof copy. 

See, I have been planning all year to get a printed proof for this book before publishing it. After last year, when I published a version that included numerous typos, I was determined to do a real read through – on paper – before publishing. 

Naturally, this desire is what is currently thwarting me. 

KDP has a new process for ordering proof copies. You click a button, and it tells you to wait no longer than 4 hours to receive an email that lets you know the proof is in your cart and ready to order. At least, that’s what they say will happen. 

In reality, I clicked that button 4 separate times over the course of two days (starting Sunday evening) and have yet to receive a single email from KDP. Since their help/FAQ provides no information on what to do if this happens, and is even a bit rude, in my opinion (see below), I had to reach out to their customer service. I still haven’t been able to order a proof. 

And so, I must wait upon the graces of customer service, and hope and pray that they do not redirect my request in an eternal loop like they did for the last thing I needed help with. My book is all but ready to go I’m so frustrated!

*Note – I wrote this Tuesday night, before Amazon KDP finally got back to me. The proof copy has been ordered, but the bad customer service experience lives on forever. 

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