John Laidler

Motorhome Travels in Europe

Finally Printed!

The print book suddenly came good today. The good news for readers is I also dropped the price to £6.99 as I felt the previous £8.99 was a bit steep.

I have ordered a copy for myself and when it arrives I will go through it and see if there any typos I missed.  The website currently isn’t showing the correct “Look Inside” as it has colour images and the cover is the old one but Amazon tell me this will catch up with the amendments in a few days.

And now on Kobo!

I have just now uploaded a copy of Two Go to Spain to Kobo.  It will take a day or two before it goes live if all checks out.  I also had a look at Nook, which is the epublishing side of Banes & Noble. Unfortunately, they have a maximum file size of just 20Mb ans mine is near 80!  I won’t give up though and I think I will have a look at uploading a version with fewer maps and everything in black and white – which is probably best for their ereaders anyway.

On the print front I’ve sent another message to Amazon telling them I’m being vocal on Facebook and Kindle KDP Forum about my problems.  No reply yet but perhaps finally they will take notice!

Two Go to Italy Started

While I sit waiting for the problem on the print version of Two Go to Spain to be resolved I have made a start on the sequel: Two Go to Italy. This will cover our eleven week trip made last year when we went almost down to the bottom of Italy.  It was quite an epic, a broken down ferry meant we started in France rather than Spain, we drove over some scary passes with snow beside the road and found by sheer accident a French cheese festival – in France I hasten to add, if we had found a French cheese festival in Italy that would have been surprising.

The biggest surprise of the whole trip was Italy itself.  My previous recollections of the country are limited to a drive with my parents across the northern plain to reach Yugoslavia when I was about eleven and more recently a walking holiday in the Dolomites.  Neither of these journeys gave any hint of the extraordinary variety to be found in Italy.  It is a place we will certainly be going back to and planning for 2017 has already started!

Twiddling thumbs…

The print version is still stuck and I’m really not convinced anyone has had time to look at the problem yet.  I’ll give it until the end of the week then start moaning a bit more loudly.  I did email them and had a prompt reply back – but it didn’t really tell me anything new and there was certainly no reassurance the problem was being dealt with as opposed to sitting in someone’s in-tray.

I haven’t been sitting idle though, I realised all the illustrations need to be changed to black and white.  I had assumed this would happen automatically and no doubt it would have been, but because I submitted a file with colour illustrations the Look Inside feature shows colour pictures which the print book will not have.  This was very misleading so I decided to submit a new manuscript file with black and white photographs. A bit of research suggested Adobe Lightroom was the best way to do this and I soon discovered it does a very good job. What it does, which is very clever, is gives you the option to make light or dark separate colours.  So for example, if there is a blue sky a straight conversion to black and white will probably make the sky quite light and any clouds will be invisible. However, if you adjust the blue slider you can make the sky darker, highlighting the clouds better.  You can also adjust the colours to make flowers or fruit stand out better.  My close up of a bunch of cherries was a bit flat until I tweaked the red slider and now they really stand out.  It was possible to create a pre-set which I then applied to all the images and then went through them one by one making little tweaks.  It didn’t take too long and neither did going through the manuscript file to replace them all. About two days work I suppose but the results look very good on screen. If I ever get to the position I can order a print copy I will be able to check for real. 🙁

I also had another look at the formatting and realised I should really have set the indent on the first paragraph of each chapter to zero, which is a sort of standard these days.  So that is what I’ve also done. 🙂

But Nothing Happening…

The print version is ready to go but everything has ground to a halt in Amazon.  The problems started when I tried to upload a revised cover for the book.  It uploaded without trouble but I cannot go any further as it is asking me to both review the book and enter an ISBN but the fields to do this are both greyed out.  I have been on to KDP help but apart from friendly answers promising to investigate, nothing is happening. It has been like this for nearly a week.  Grrrr…

Pressed the Button!

I’ve spent all week creating a print version of the book to be available on Kindle using their Print on Demand service.  It has been a good exercise for learning the basics book design.  Things like gutters, margins, fonts and so on have all had to be wrestled with if not exactly mastered yet!

The print book will have black and white illustrations, it would simply have been too expensive to produce a colour version.  This is disappointing, but the finished book in colour would have been around £25 a copy and though we would have bought one copy to put on the bookshelf I suspect no one else would! The black and white version will retail at £8.99 a copy.

The book is now in the review stage on the Amazon website and should go live and be available to buy early next week.


The book went live on the iTunes/iBooks store yesterday. Another minor hurdle overcome. 🙂

Might have it sorted!

Apple took down the book yesterday so I could resubmit it with the correct ISBN this time. It has now been uploaded and it should be available on the iBooks store later today.  All fingers crossed. 🙂

May be Sorted Now

It looks like the problem with my iBooks submission was I hadn’t included a separate cover. Which might sound like a basic sort of error but I had read the cover for iBooks should be included in the ePub file, which mine was.

It has now been resubmitted and hopefully will go through this time. 🙂

The account problem has also now been resolved and the second rogue account deleted. I must admit to being impressed by the Apple service.

Problems with my Apple

While trying to log in to my Apple account to see what was happening on iBooks this morning I somehow ended up creating a new account which has left me locked out of the original account!  After a lot of searching I found a number to ring and spoke to someone who seemed to know what to do.  They sent me an email with instructions to clear the cache and browsing history, which I did but the problem remains.

Just had a reply back by email and the problem has been “escalated” which sounds hopeful. 🙂

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