Blog No. 279
The Thinking Machine is in the proof stage (as stressful as they come) and with any luck, I should have some physical copies by the end of the week. There always seems to be something in the proof that looks weird, has to be quadruple checked, or is just a screw-up. The looks weird stuff is mostly out of my hands. I can read all the printer’s documentation and review my own constructed pages, but no matter how much it seems like things should come out fine in the printed copies, there is doubt. I’ve sent an email, but got a stock response that tells me to look at the documentation. I’ve reviewed my own files and everything should be okay, but. As soon as I give my okay, I am responsible for how the book looks, errors or not (my fault or not). You can see my dilemma. I suppose working with a smaller, more local printer would solve that issue, but I’ve tried that route, and there is a whole mess of other issues that come out of that. Plus, you don’t get any distribution that way.
I feel like I’m in some kind of limbo, but the person keeping me there is me. I could throw caution to the wind and just approve the proofs (chances are they are fine) but I don’t have a lot of money to toss around willy-nilly. If I approve it and there are mistakes, I am stuck with those books and have to pay to submit new files. That’s many hundreds of dollars. For now, I am busy with all the other things I’m busy with all the time. I’m trying to get season two of Flags and High Fives going with Arvin, I’m planning the ChiSeries events with Christian, I’m working the day job as much as ever, and I have the gauntlet of events starting mid April. I want this book finished (because I want it to be done and because I’m excited to share it) and I want to get started on the next one.
I’m banking on this novella thing to be a success so much so, that I’ve already started writing the unconnected sequel. My idea is to have a novella series where I write and release a twenty to twenty-five thousand word book every year (writing in January, release in the summer). That way I have a new book every summer for local readers and something new for every event I go to every year. The stories will be loosely (very loosely) connected by a single scene and will follow new characters for their mini adventure. I should be able to knock out a good novella in a short amount of time (getting faster every year) and spend the rest of the year working on a novel.
This year (since I wanted to start last year) I’m trying to double up. Release the first novella now and have another one for the summer (probably late summer), and knock out the first draft (hopefully more) of a novel. Then in January, I write novella number three, kicking the cycle into place. That’s the plan, anyway. I have to get this first book out before I can worry too much about any of that. I have a firm deadline of getting-it-the-hell-done and the Windsor Small Press Book Fair on April 14th. By the way, if you aren’t checking my Events page regularly this time of year, you are going to miss out. It’s currently hopping. Anyway. With luck and a bit of bravery, I should have some physical copies in the next week or two.