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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrate! Multiple Sclerosis an Enigma is now at Smashwords! Free!

After many months of trying on my own, I finally admitted defeat and hired an expert book formatter to get my book into the demanding format Smashwords required. It is now available in many e-reader forms: Nook, Sony, Kindle and more.  To celebrate this achievement, I'm offering a coupon for a FREE DOWNLOAD FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW (APRIL 17 AND 18)  Here's the information you'll need:

Generating coupon code for Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma
Your coupon code is CJ23V

The print version remains discounted at Create Space: here is the information you'll need for that:
and enter this discount code at the checkout: VXXURQMH

Please consider writing a review at Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads or in an email to me - I would love to post the reviews here for others to read.

And now,
Day 17 Health Awareness Prompt: 
What is a lesson you learned the hard way?

Sometimes we let our ego get in the way of logic. After trying to meet the requirements of Smashwords' e-pub format and failing repeatedly, you would think I could have allowed myself to seek help ... well, I did seek help - I asked my son to take a look at the mess I had made at the time of the first failure ... the helpful directions at Smashwords were highly technical in language ... and as my son wasn't there when I made the errors, he couldn't help me puzzle out the solution.

I tried again. I tried a third time. I read the difficult guidelines over and over, trying to absorb by osmosis their meaning.  As best I could tell, my computer was unable to leave Microsoft Office and work solely in Word, and so my file was continually rejected. 

Only when I learned that other authors left the formatting woes to folks who offered to work with their files for a nominal fee (in my case, offers ranged between twenty and fifty dollars) did I let myself seek that help. 

The first formatter advertised his rates as between twenty-five and fifty, and when he learned that my book had twenty chapters he quoted at the high end but advised that his work was guaranteed and would be completed within 72 hours.  I said thank you very much, but I can't afford that right now.

Discouraged, I went back to the other authors, and asked what they thought of the offer. One gave me the name of another formatter on the list, who had done the work slowly and carefully and for less money. I contacted that person, sent her my file, and she agreed that she could do it in a matter of two weeks. She sent me the completed file last night.

But in transferring it from my email to my desktop, and then on to Smashwords, the issue of Works to Word again reared its head. Her file was apparently corrupted by the process. She had an answer, though, and sent the file again through something called I was able to save from the email without opening the document, and forwarded it on successfully to Smashwords. 

Once again, though, Smashwords rejected my submission, saying that the jpeg cover image was too small. I had encountered that problem before, when I submit the cover for a Rack Card order with Vistaprint. I had enlarged it to their required size, but it became 'pixelated'  and the result was blurry. I ordered it anyway, not expecting perfection and happy to settle with what I had. Smashwords wasn't of a like mind. They don't settle.

The formatter helped me again, this time in somehow enlarging the jpeg without blurring the image, bless her.

What does this teach me about myself, and how do I connect this to health?  A year ago, when I was trying to submit my first book to Smashwords, I was in a different place, emotionally. I was continually butting my head against the proverbial brick wall, seeing no way around or over it. Calmer now, I am often remembering my dad's advice ... to turn to a new direction that will benefit others as well as myself. 

Hiring someone to do the work for me made sense, just as it makes sense for other authors to hire me to improve their drafts through proofreading, or editing. We cannot all be good at everything; knowing that, and choosing to do what we are good at, is a privilege adults have. Schools expect students to succeed in every subject - which is why Edison, Einstein and other highly intelligent creative thinkers do better learning in their own smaller sphere.  The cartoon that so eloquently addresses this issue is one that shows a rabbit, a bear, a turtle, a fish and some other creature. They are all asked to demonstrate proficiency in climbing a tree. Point made. 
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