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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Getting technical now

When it comes to a learning curve, most of us have to struggle. But when the advice comes in unrecognisable instructions, the struggle takes on an unseemly desperation to make an advance up the learning curve, knowing you’re not going to make it. And so it was when I tried to upload a book jacket to Ingram Spark. It was rejected because of colour issues along with the need to select something like CYMX and ensure the image resolution was 300 ppi etc. etc. But! All this could be resolved simply by saving as a default setting of PDF/X-1a:2001. And that, as they say, was where it all began. Sounds like the opening line of a mystery, doesn’t it?

So what did I do? I did what anyone in desperate need of help: I Googled PDF/X-1a:2001. And there it was: an explanation as clear as mud. Several in fact. So I floundered and tried other ways around my problem, but to no avail. Then, quite without warming, and not in the mood to do battle, I chanced upon something in Photoshop called Adobe Presets. What was this, I wondered? Could it be? You bet it could. There, nestling in this drop down window was the PDF/X-1a:2001 in the smallest of fonts as though it was afraid to show itself. I did a quick scramble, whistled up my book jacket, saved it with the default setting and successfully uploaded it to Ingram Spark. So why didn’t they suggest that in the first place? Probably because we are all expected to be computer savvy. Fat chance! But its another piece of the jigsaw in place and another hurdle I should be able to get over without a second thought. Fingers crossed.

I’ve had a busy week with a mixture of gardening, publishing but no writing. Try as I might, I am still finding it increasingly difficult to make any headway with my current novel. I have prepared North Slope and Shadow of the Wolf for publication on Amazon. At the moment both titles are available on Amazon, but under the publisher name of Acclaimed Books (AB.c). I have asked Peter Lihou, the CEO at AB.c, to de-list those two, which means I will then be free to publish them with me as publisher. This brings all my seven titles under my account with Amazon. Now I can begin to handle the books, change the pricing, promote etc., without having to ask Pete to do this for me. This was a long standing arrangement: something I intended to do once we had moved back to UK from Spain.

My e-mail subscription list is growing, and hopefully this will help propel me to bigger and better things in the book world. For anyone reading this blog who might want to download a free copy of The Devil’s Trinity and join my subscription list, the link to obtain your free copy is

Apart from the literary world, I have dug up a quantity of soil in our garden to remove the weeds so we can lay turf down. I purchased this today, and also laid in some lawn edging to tidy up the lawn edges. I also bought a patio set. I changed some light fittings for Pat and put up a couple of hanging baskets. The garden will look great come the summer but I doubt if I’ll have my book finished by then. Let’s hope so. Wish me luck!

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