Sunday, March 10, 2013

AutoVettor Error

I've spent the past two weeks formatting my book Base Ball: Coming to the Show for ebook publication through Smashwords.  Attention to detail is the keyword to format a book.  I followed the Style Guide to a 't', I thought.  I hired a professional cover designer on  Great deal.  Anticipating, with format complete and cover, beautiful cover, all ready, I uploaded.  I was 123rd in the queue.  The page refreshed.  I stared on it.  Reminded me of the spinning wheel of the early computer connections, or the test pattern of the even earlier television connection, that was also so fascinating and alluring.  Gave some understanding to me of why so many of us sit transfixed while watching a car chase on tv, when the newscasters have nothing left to say and produce monologs of mirthful ridiculousness.  We stare.  I stared at the screen as it refreshed and randomly exhibited lower and lower numbers until the boxes with the various downloadable forms turned color with spinning circular pattern to green.  From box to box this pattern repeated.   Complete.  Complete.  Complete.  Seven different conversions.  I was complete.  Until "AutoVettor Error".  Mr. Vettor-Error told me that my cover was too small and that I had mixed paragraph formats.  I could not have, he scolded, block paragraphs and indented paragraphs mixed.  I wrote an email to my cover designer and asked for more pixels.  I went through all the paragraphs in the book and removed the spaces before the first line of the next paragraph.  I uploaded again.  AutoVettor Error.  Over two days I looked for those damn dots in front of a word that signaled the paragraph was not block, I uploaded again.  I could not escape the man.  My new cover came back, still beautiful, with the required number of pixels.  Yesterday I went back to the Style Guide and  followed the Nuclear Method exactly and uploaded.  Damn!  I stared at the TextEdit document looking for a sign.  Click!  No indents, but my format code for paragraph was there.  I highlighted the document and hit "apply".  Indented paragraphs appeared.  I smiled.  How could I have missed this? Was this it?  I uploaded the new cover, the new document.  "Congratulations" was on the screen that had previously been shaded in red and now was shaded in green.  I did it!  I have published my first ebook.  Take that Mr. AutoVettor Error! The next time I'll know what to do from the start.  It's really not so difficult, just tedious, just learning to follow every direction and wait for the aha!  This is the beginning of my learning curve.  Now to the marketing, to the finding of an agent.  I will learn to follow every direction and wait for the aha!  But for now, I'll just take a breather.  After all, it's baseball season, and that is important in and of itself.

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