The Joys Of Tripping Over The Final Hurdle

Two days ago I took a deep breath, placed my mouse cursor over the “publish your book” button, and clicked. It may have been one of my more nerve-racking experiences of 2018. This is the same year we had our third child after a sixteen year hiatus 1, so that’s saying something. And then, I waited. Amazon warns authors that it could take up to 72 hours for a book to get through the review process, so I expected to be biting my nails all weekend 2.

Thursday morning, however, I grew excited when I saw a notice from Kindle Direct Publishing in my inbox! I then deflated when I discovered it was a notice that the book had been rejected. It turns out during my many experiments with layout, Pages became confused about my section breaks and what number page should be displayed where. This was something I would not have noticed no matter how long I tried, so I was disappointed but relieved. I fixed my manuscript and uploaded it again to KDP 3. After some hiccups with uploading, including having my cover disappear for some reason, I submitted the novel for review once again. And waited.

Thursday night, just before 11, I recieved a second rejection message from KDP. This time the cover was being flagged for having text that flowed out of the “safe” area 4.

Frustrated, I looked down at my author proof’s cover and thought, “What text?” There was no text anywhere near the edge of the cover that I could see. Then I flipped the book over and saw what had been flagged in the review. My cover designer had included my Map of The Realm on the back cover. It was just a background image in my mind so I never paid much attention to it, but in the lower left corner the map title did drift into that safe zone. I was tempted to head downstairs and fix this issue last night, but I decided instead to head to bed. As I knew how to fix the error 5 I fell asleep just fine 6.

This morning I implemented my fix, uploaded my final cover, and clicked that dreaded “publish” button again. And now, I wait.

Through this process I have learned a great many things about details I tend to take for granted, which makes me better equipped to take this journey again. I have learned that it is very cool to hold in my hand a book I have written, which does feel rather like holding a child 7. I have also learned that eBooks are easier, dang it 8.

So I’ve tripped over the last hurdle, but the finish line is just ahead. I’m just waiting…


  1. Surprise! Bump is so cute
  2. I do that anyway, but at that point I’d have cause
  3. I was tempted to use the Mellel output I generated from my experiment the other day. I feel it is better, but nerves kept me from pulling that trigger. 
  4. Printing uses “bleeds” to ensure accurate edge to edge printing. A bleed is an area larger than the final size of the output. The actual bleed is the area which will be physically trimmed from the output to bring the file size to its final form, but there is also a “safe zone” where text can’t appear because there is a small chance it can get cut out as well. And that is your educational moment for the day. 
  5. If you must know, I moved the map layer over, then created a layer mask and added a gradient fill to cause the resulting overflow into the cover’s spine to become transparent. You asked. 
  6. Minus two wake ups triggered by the aforementioned baby. He is cute, which is fortunate for all of us. 
  7. It’s a similar emotional domain, but the intensity is greater with tiny humans. I’ll place my hand on my author draft and think, “Wow.” I am compelled to hug, and kiss, and make funny faces at bump. His laughs make me melt. 
  8. Except for the footnotes, oh for Vellum! 

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