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The book gets a new cover

Almost a month has passed since my last posting and because I don't want to sound like a broken record I didn't name this post "the proofing stage", although to do so would have been appropriate since the proofing stage seems to drag on forever.

I wish I had bottled some of the fresh, cool Canadian spring air to bring back to the island with me. Steamy, sticky and smoky is what I returned to. The temperature reads 88 degrees but the "heat index", similar to our Canadian "humidex" reads at 100. I suppose that means it cannot possibly be any hotter!

At first I chalked the smoky air up to burning of vegetation on the mainland being carried across to the island by the prevailing winds but then someone told me that a volcano in Nicaragua has been spewing ash for the past month and sending it our way. They call it "vog".

Martha did a great job of proofreading for me and took the proof and 5 pages of notes containing 149 changes/corrections to the courier and shipped it to Clearwater, Florida, where another friend from Roatan, Marcia, was visiting her mother. The package was scheduled to arrive on Friday May 20th and Marcia was leaving Clearwater around 2-3 pm to drive to Miami on Monday May 23rd to catch an early Tuesday flight.

The tracking information showed a delay at US customs and the delivery was rescheduled for end of day Monday. Thankfullly Marcia waited for the delivery before leaving for Miami and I was sitting at the airport in Roatan waiting for her when her plane landed on Tuesday morning.

After making the 149 changes, which took about 4 hours of uninterrupted work, I gave some thought to my cover, which I really hadn't liked since seeing the first proof. Martha had given me her honest impression of the cover and I knew deep down that she was right. It stunk!

The self publishing program includes a "cover creator", which lets me choose from several designs but doesn't allow for much flexibility within each design. So I went back to the drawing board and spent a couple of days trying to find a better design, which I believe I have done.

Solving the issue of the low resolution photos was the next task at hand. This has been baffling me for weeks. My jpeg resizer program allowed me to increase the resolution to 300 dpi on all my photos but as soon as I convert the word document to a PDF file the photos revert back to their original resolution. I found advice on google and clicked off a default setting on my Adobe program. YES, it seemed to correct the problem. I submitted a new PDF file for review and did not receive a nasty message about low resolution photos. However, when I resumbit my latest PDF file, with the default setting still clicked off, I am told once again that my photos are not 300 dpi. AHHHHHHHH.

The 1-800 # help line won't work from Honduras so I emailed another in a long series of HELP messages to the support staff at to ask for a regular (non 1-800) number so I can call.

Because Amazon is an American company and I am a Canadian citizen, I had to file for a US taxpayer ID number. This I did by filing a W-7 form (downloaded from the internet), along with a letter from Amazon stating that they are acting as a withholding agent for me and a copy of my passport photo which we had to have notarized by our lawyer here on the island.

Once I receive my US taxpayer ID I then have to file a W-8BEN form, on which the number will be entered. This will prevent Amazon from withholding 30% of my royalties for taxes. Canada has a non-withholding treaty with the US but the paperwork must be filed. DOUBLE AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Once again we turned to island friends returning to civilization to send our mail, in this case Cindy and Troy who flew back last week and agreed to mail my letter to the IRS from the States.

My next challenge is to order the 3rd and hopefully final proof and have it sent to Chuck, who has his sailboat docked in front of Diamond Lil here at La Punta and who is flying to the island from California on June 2nd. I was aiming for May 27th as the date to order the proof so he would receive it in time and YIKES that is today!

So here I sit waiting for the support people to email me a non 1-800 number so I can phone and see what's up with my photos.

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