Can an old dog learn new tricks?

The short answer is yes, but it takes a ridiculous amount of patience. I, an old(ish) dog, have been learning more about the idiosyncrasies of ebook formatting and retailing than I ever wanted to know. Every day brings a fresh and unexpected obstacle, and they’re usually big, honking ones.

I wish I’d learned parkour, because how else is a girl to get over, around or through so many friggin walls that suddenly appear in the path of book launch progress?

A handy skill to have.

A handy skill to have.

Alas, since parkour is not my skill, I’ve had to use that old standby, tenacity.  Useful, for example, when uploading the ePub files to Kobo and getting a ‘we cannot upload your file’ message that contained 7 PAGES of coding errors that looked like this:

ERROR: GUMPTION_FinalEdit_Oct27_Pages.epub/OEBPS/image/”Do I look ridiculous in this hat, or does this hat look ridiculous on me?”_edited.png: File name contains characters disallowed in OCF file names: “””,”?”,”””

Sure yeah, I totally get what that means. And how to fix it.

Getting to launch has been an exercise in i) continuing to put one foot in front of the other despite daily setbacks, ii) trying not to lose my cool, because angry people don’t make others want to help them (and is rather bad for karma), and iii) constantly figuring out alternatives for achieving a task, when some gremlin leaps out of the bushes and upends the neat plan I had in mind.

Oh, and iv) hiring somebody who actually knows how to do it, after wasting weeks of fruitless effort. I’ve been slow on that one, to my detriment – my tenacity running amok.

I’m also learning that all these dates and goals and plans I make, while useful as things to shoot for, are not do-or-die. A kind of calm is coming over me now – not the kind of calm that supposedly comes to drowning folks about to sink to the bottom (I hope!) but the kind that comes from knowing that if I keep putting one foot in front of the other I will eventually get where I’m trying to go.

The patience comes in accepting that the journey doesn’t always keep to schedule.

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