I was sick last weekend. As in, spent most of Saturday in bed and most of Sunday bundled up on the couch, tight-chested, sniffly, fuzzy-brained sick. I made zero progress in preparing the ebook version of my latest hiking book. And, in part, I believe, because of the illness, I had the worst possible time getting my cover in shape for the print version.

See, there is no way to preview what your printed cover will look like other than submitting your files for review. And that process takes 24 (or more) hours. I’ve submitted that damn file 7 times in the last week. The first few times were rejected, and I own that that was my own fault. I didn’t calculate the spine width correctly, so they couldn’t use the cover I submitted. Okay. Fine.

But once I got the spine right, they kept giving me covers with random lines. I know from experience that what you see on the digital proof is what you get. I learned the hard way not to order thinking that it would fix itself in printing. No, it has to be perfect before I approve it for sale and buy my author copies. And nothing I was doing was providing the perfection I sought.

I even got to the point where I couldn’t make the pdf come out right on my own end. But I think I’ve got it now. I just had to create an entirely new image file in GIMP, copy the visible layers and paste so that there’s no room for any sliding or extra lines. If it doesn’t come out right this time, then I’m going to scream.

Next, I’ve got to finish reformatting the word file for Kindle and Smashwords formats. Smashwords is more difficult because they have a fairly low bar on file size. Although I should be alright this year, because this book is much shorter than last year’s. Less pictures, a bit less text. It’s tight. This should be the easy part, but when you’re sick, sitting in front of a computer reformatting isn’t an easy task.

Okay, when I’m sick. The last thing I want to do is sit at a desk and try to think. Hard enough to push through the sick-fuzz at work. Which I did – I didn’t take any sick days, I just lost a whole weekend. Grrrr.

So the ebook should be out this weekend, with any luck the print book will be available before that. If I can just get them to make the cover look like it should. Might be time to try bribes. . .

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