Writing with my best friend -Black and White

This is the coda to an earlier blog entitled Writing with my best friend – Royalties? Er….No.

After disengaging from the process thinking that we’d never be able to recoup on the book, another writer in our family, Jen, encouraged me, saying that according to her writer friends, publishing the book again in black and white shouldn’t be too hard. So back into Createspace I went, and began what I hoped would be a simple process.

I created a new project, because the book, though only different in the black and white version of three photos, had to have separate ISBN numbers to identify it clearly from the full color version.

After speaking with a helpful associate at Createspace, who provided me with a pdf of the finalized book,  I downloaded it, then realized I needed Adobe Pro to edit the text.

Kaching! A mere $187 later, I was in business.

Oh wait…I don’t have the Garamond type face. Easy. Nothing a little money can’t solve. $178.50 later I downloaded the fonts, changed the two ISBN numbers, saved the document and uploaded it, waiting as the page processed and the document was launched in the Interior Reviewer. Upon opening it, my heart sank – a lot of the formatting of the book was gone, and the book’s first pages were completely missing. Back to the drawing board –

After about forty five minutes of downloading, editing, uploading over and over, nearly in tears with frustration, and after speaking by phone with yet another Createspace associate, I had worked myself up into quite a lather. Jimmie, seeing my consternation, encouraged me, even ordered me to abandon the project. Reluctantly, but at the end of my editorial rope, I closed up the computer and moved on with the rest of my life. Fuming all the way.

This failure was extremely unsettling for me. I really don’t like the f word. FAILURE. I’m normally used to being able to control the outcome of at least my own efforts, if not anyone else’s. I have been so invested and dedicated to the success of Jimmie’s hard work on the book, that this setback was an extreme disappointment, not to mention pretty expensive in the software pocketbook.

But the great thing about Createspace.com is that they send automated emails throughout the process, each with a handy survey link embedded so that you can provide feedback on your experience on working with their associates to resolve your issues. When I received the link, I unleashed a torrent of my frustration about how outrageous it was that I couldn’t easily accomplish this edit to black and white and how the folks on the phone hadn’t been able to resolve the technical issues… yada yada yada. I’m usually quite even-keeled, but this episode completely unhinged me. Instead of the normal 5s I had been rating their services at throughout the process, I dropped a few 2s, which was even a little generous, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to dropping 1s.

Sure enough, and rather quickly, back came a very solicitous and personal email from Createspace, apologizing for Jimmie’s frustrations and asking for an appropriate time to be able to reach him to address these issues. I arranged 11:00 on Saturday to speak with someone to get this straightened out.

At 10:30, I figured I’d go online and review the process so I could be somewhat lucid about what the steps I’d taken were, since it had all transpired more than a week ago. I repeated the steps, downloading the master block version of the book from Jimmie’s project toolbox, changing the ISBN numbers on the copyright page, saving the document and uploading it back into the Interior Reviewer.

It ran the automated print check and after about 5 minutes, launched the Interior Reviewer. This time, much to my delight and surprise, the proof of the book was correct and I was able to easily submit the manuscript with the new ISBN numbers.

I set the new price of the book, the revised distribution – now available to bookstores, etc. and all seems fantastic.

In about a week you should be able to buy the black and white version of A View from the Wings for $10.00 cheaper than the original book. And sometimes things may not be black and white for a reason. It seems I had to work my way through my frustrations and perhaps someone behind the scenes at Createspace paved my path to success the second time around. There’s always room for growth and learning.

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