Had a few “oops” moments recently, with regards to my writing. In an attempt to move further along the path of writing-as-a-business, I seem to have taken a couple of missteps.
The first misstep began earlier this week when I was contacted by customer service/tech support from GoDaddy.com, the hosting site I signed up with for my new website. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I ran into an issue initially when I tried to transfer my blog to GoDaddy. I found out then that you can’t transfer a domain until it is at least sixty days old. Well, when GoDaddy’s tech support called me, they were apparently unaware that I had run into that particular problem, and wanted to know if I was having any problems with their service. When I explained the issue, the kind lady informed me that, while I might not be able to transfer the blog, I could go ahead and forward it by changing the name servers on the WordPress side, and point the blog at GoDaddy’s site. She gave me the names of the proper servers, making it seem like an easy thing to do.
Well last night, I did just that. She was right. It was easy. I changed the name servers, saved the settings, and patted myself on the back for a job well done.
And this morning I found that my blog was AWOL. ACK!!! Luckily, I remembered what changes I had made, and was able to undo the damage, which is the only reason I’m able to post this entry at all.
The other misstep was with my podcast. When I initially began recording for the podcast version of the novel, I ran into a problem with the quality of my source files. Without mincing words, they sounded like crap.
After a few days of searching through the various settings on all the programs I was using to compile and edit the sound files, I finally discovered that the problem wasn’t in any of them. The problem was that I had my mic set to a 64 kbps bit rate, which was well below Podiobooks.com’s 128 kbps requirement. As I commented at that point, garbage in-garbage out.
Well, I decided that it made more sense to set everything at a higher quality than was required, and then drop down after all the editing, splicing, and sound production was done. It seemed logical to me that this should give me the best possible sound for my podcasts. It was too late to get best quality for episode one, since the source files were still the original ones recorded at 64 bit, but the software conversion brought them up to where they were technically within specs, even though the quality was still not great. Quality should go up for future episodes, but as posted before, episode one is my learning curve.
Unfortunately, when I submitted to Podiobooks.com, I submitted the original, high-level version of the file. I forgot to send the version where I had dropped the encoding values back down.
And Podiobooks.com uses those values the same way a publishing house uses submission guidelines to weed out idiots who can’t follow directions. Actually, I think that analogy is VERY accurate. And since I had managed to not follow directions, I was deservedly tossed into the “idiot” pile. I received an email, informing me that I had not encoded the file properly, and was therefore being rejected for the time being. They were professional in what they said, but I still felt like an idiot.
Realizing what the problem was, I reformatted, re-uploaded, and re-submitted the file. This time, I had concentrated so much on making sure I sent them the file with the proper encoding values, that I completely missed that I’d messed up on the naming convention, leaving spaces in the filename.
Once again, I was politely informed that I was in the idiot pile. (sigh) No, they didn’t say that, but I know they have to be thinking that. Hell, I would have.
So I renamed the file and once again uploaded it to SendSpace.com. When the upload completed, I then downloaded it and imported it into iTunes, using iTunes to check the encoding values and to make sure that I had uploaded the correct file (by now, I’m getting so many different versions of this thing that I can’t see straight), and that it was named properly. After confirming, I sent one more email to Podiobooks.com, once again apologizing, and listing all the values in the body of the email.
That was an hour ago, and so far, I haven’t gotten another “Dear Idiot” email. I think at this point that if I do, I’ll just go hide my head in shame, change my name, and pretend that the guy who made all those mistakes was someone else.