Picture me — I’m warm, a little too warm. Hot, really. I wipe a trickle of sweat off my forehead, before it runs into my eye. My heartbeats thud in my throat, choking me. I can smell my fear: it’s like burned mushrooms, and with my thudding pulse, it brings on the nausea.

I didn’t know. No one told me, specifically, although I don’t know whether it would have made a difference if someone had told me. I’m stupid this way, you know? I think I can do anything. I don’t believe I have limits.

I should never have tackled the first-time-for-me formatting of five NONFICTION books for print and digital distribution at once.

I’m smart, though, and I’m educated. I’m determined. I’m an endurance athlete, a writer, for God’s sake. Why would formatting daunt me? Why? Why, indeed, foolish one, prideful one. Why, indeed.

Day eight. I have accomplished — almost — the ebooks. They were difficult, and I shed tears. I thought they would test me. I did them first, because I wanted to get the hard part over with.

Had I but only known. Print formatting. Print was to be my Waterloo. I’ve tried the CreateSpace template. I’ve tried Book Wizard. I even tried to do it myself using Word. Finally, I settled on Book Wizard. I was almost happy. I had books that paginated correctly, that looked professional, whose sections flowed without demon possession one to the other, that printed on the correct pages, in the correct orientation. And then I tried to upload to CreateSpace.

I wasted days — DAYS — of my life that I won’t get back, only to discover that my (purchased just for this exercise, for $323 dollars totale) Adobe Acrobat won’t convert my Book Wizard documents to PDFs. “Macros disabled” it mocks me, over and over. I enable them. It ignores me. I enable them again. It gives me the finger. I Google for solutions, but it’s an endless loop on a racetrack to hell, and I’m eating my own exhaust.

I decided to go with the free add-on PDF converter. It worked. Eureka, I screamed. My joy was short-lived. It wouldn’t embed my fonts.

Help me, help me, someone please help me,  a voice cried. Was that me? Had I sunk to this level?

Yes. Yes. Yes. YES. YES! A million times yes!!!


So, that’s how it’s going at my house.


Yes, I’m feeling a little dramatic.


Yes, it really is this bad.


Alas, I must get back to it.






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17 Responses to Deepest Hades

  1. Heidi Dorey says:

    Dang, woman.
    I know that feeling.
    It does cause nausea.

    I’m so sorry to hear this.
    The bright side…it will make you a better publisher.
    You will have super skills and we won’t have to make those mistakes.

    So thanks for taking one for the team.

    • Pamela says:

      Yeah, I keep thinking about all I wish I had known before I got to this point, and all I will know that is useful for everybody else. I will feel better about it in about 6 weeks :)
      Healing time.

  2. suck it up, buttercup….BAHAHAHAHAHAHA….
    Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Adobe Acrobat….
    Here’s to a nice relaxing glass of whine…errrr…wine (sorry!) while Eric massages your feet this weekend….

  3. Oh man, I can totally feel your frustrations, Pamela. Sometimes something that should be so easy to do online can become a huge time consumer and totally raise the stress levels. I hope it all sorts itself out soon. Yes, I am in awe of you putting out 5 books at once and I know one day you’ll look back on all this and see how awesome it all was. Have a happy weekend.


  4. Eric Hutchins via Facebook says:

    I wish I could help

  5. Turn toward me and pull my hands off the keys. Then strangle me.

  6. Actually, this time Puppa is going to upload with no errors, leaving me only 2 to go. So…9 days in…can I have Sunday off?????

  7. ~~~~~Pamela,
    I love how you describe the smell of fear: “like burned mushrooms”

    I could smell it. Seriously.

    Please keep us informed on your wonderful project.

    YOU. Will. Do. It.

    …even thru the horrible smell of burnt mushrooms.

    Xxx Kisssss

  8. Sandy Webb says:

    I am sure by now you have it all figured out.
    YOU. CAN. DO. IT!

  9. Wow – that does stink! I only know how to use PDF995 – a free PDF file creator (http://www.pdf995.com/) but I am sure it will have drawbacks what with being free and all. Or there is a trick down the line like you have to pay for it to do something you really need! I can’t wait for your HOW TO book about self-publishing to come out! I will be first in line to buy it.

  10. Ally says:

    Trying to find the bright side: it’s all lessons learned to help you in the future, right? Seriously, I would be missing hair by now… big chunks, ripped from my head by my own hands. You, my friend, will seriously rock this world when you get through all this!

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