In a stunning display of arrogance and stupidity, I ventured out into the wild and woolly world of self-publishing on Amazon’s KDP platform. I’ve done it before, five times in fact, twice with the help of outside agencies, and three times by myself. It’s been a little more than a year since I published my last book, ‘All Quiet on the Midwestern Plains,’ and apart from help from my designer and computer-whizz son Eitan with the cover of the paperback version, I managed it pretty well by myself.

So I was taken aback when all did not go smoothly with my new book, ‘A Ruffled Calm, (affectionately known by my typo-riddled version, ‘A Ruggled Clam’). The first hitch was when I was unable to even access my KDP account, where my previous five books were published and are listed. I struggled and stumbled, appealed to KDP, and was delighted to receive a prompt reply. Yes, silly me (or is it senile me?) had forgotten that I have two email accounts and had been using the wrong address.

But that was not the end of my troubles. In my haste (and more stupidity?), I had somehow managed to delete my last novel while uploading the new one. Good golly, Miss Molly! How on earth did I manage that? The usual st-p-d-ty, I suppose. Another appeal gets sent to KDP, to which I receive two different replies (each from a different person, and each to a different address). One of them (a woman) kindly tells me that she will merge my two accounts and restore my deleted novel. The other (a male) tells me that I will have to go through the whole lengthy process of uploading the deleted book all over again.

I had to follow both courses of advice.

Having finally at last managed to get the text of my new book uploaded, the next hurdle was the cover. I am not the world’s best artist, but to date I have managed to use a painting of mine as the cover for each of my novels, so that I regard it as almost part of my signature as an author. For several weeks I have been trying to paint a picture of a woman sitting in an armchair, in keeping with the subject-matter of the book. It sounds a simple enough task, but my efforts were invariably unsatisfactory. Arms too long, legs too short, or vice versa. The colors weren’t right or the armchair was all crooked. I wanted the woman to be holding a cup, but it seems I’m unable to paint even that. An artist friend, with whom I am in correspondence, suggested that I use a smaller brush, and upon doing so I found that the result was much improved. Thanks, Michele.

Uploading the cover wasn’t all plain sailing either. At first I could get the image to appear as the cover, but without the title or my name. I tried a few times, but couldn’t get the desired result, so I stopped and waited for help from Eitan. Life intervened, however, and I was unable to get to my computer for a couple of days. When I returned to it, lo and behold, there was my cover, with the title and my name in place. I tried to rearrange the text and coloring to my satisfaction, and although it’s not perfect, it will do for the ebook.

So now I’ve completed the process, I think. The ebook is now up on Amazon, and can be purchased for just $2.99. However, from the 11th to the 13th of November it can be downloaded for free. So if anyone is interested in finding out how an eccentric visitor turns an ordinary family’s life upside-down, they’re invited to take a look at ‘A Ruffled Calm.’ It’s a relatively short book, and should make for easy reading. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for something to read during a flight.

Hopefully the paperback version will be available in the not-too-distant future. But that process inevitably takes a little longer to complete. The main thing as far as I’m concerned is that the ebook is up and running, and I’m looking forward to hearing from anyone who reads it what they think of it, or better still, to reading a kind review of it on Amazon.