Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rough Drafts

This is just a quick update to say that the rough drafts for all four of the books in the first arc of my Qol books are complete and are either with or being sent to editors right now. I'm working on a few novellas at the moment, all four of which will hopefully be complete by the end of the month. If I focus on editing until mid-March next year, I hope to be able to release a short story bundle, novella, or novel at least once every month for the remainder of the year. I'll be sure to keep you updated as I do so!

In other news, I'm not totally sure whether the second arc will go exactly as I'd expected. It depends on whether I end up deciding that a particular subplot needs to be cut. If it does, then the following story line will change rather drastically. That may result in fewer books being needed to wrap up all of the loose ends, but it may result in other subplots cropping up, so I can't say anything for sure just yet.

Regardless, I've been making great strides and am several months ahead of where I'd planned to be by this point. If you want to know more details, please feel free to ask! I'd be happy to elaborate.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday through Cyber Monday: FREE Promotion

Pendular Motion is available for free from now through Tuesday night at 11:59pm PST. If you're interested, please download a copy! You're also more than welcome to spread the link to others.

Monday, November 19, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

First of all: A number of backers have yet to respond to the surveys about their rewards. All of the rewards that can be fulfilled at this point in time have been; those that aren't yet filled are either in the works, or have not yet been requested. If you're waiting on your special reward, please check to make sure you sent in your survey!

With that out of the way, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I've been hard at work this month, and I've not only finished rewriting book three ahead of schedule, but I've also written a lot of new short stories for a series of bundles (and, ultimately, a paperback) to be released over the next year.

If you're curious about my progress, you can track my daily word count here. Some days are more productive than others, but I've been progressing at a steady clip. If you want to convert the word count to a page count, 250 words per page is generally held as the standard, as I understand it.

For those interested in this month's project, I'll include summaries and sample covers under the cut.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Progress Report 17: Audiobook COMPLETE!



All backers have now received their copies of the audiobook, which has also gone on sale on at least one website! As more go live, this site should be updated.

The audiobook is really strong, I think, and I feel honored to have worked with the people at Open Book Audio on this project! I hope that other people enjoy the results as much as I have.

All but the very last rewards have been fully taken care of! I'm still waiting on survey responses to fill the last of the rewards. With luck, I'll be able to fulfill those within 24 hours of hearing back from everyone! It has been incredibly exciting to go through this journey.

As this project finishes up, I might start using this blog to talk about other projects that I'm working on at any given moment. Some examples are under the cut.


Friday, November 2, 2012

GoodReads Giveaway!

I'm holding a giveaway on GoodReads! It'll run from today through November 6, and the free paperback will ship anywhere in the world. Not only will it be a signed copy, but it might include a special bonus inside--I never can resist including extras in these!

Details at GoodReads and under the cut!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Audiobook Review

Quick update--I've finished reviewing the audiobook. It really sounds incredible, and I'm very proud to have worked with Open Book Audio on this production. There are a handful of changes to make, but the book may be available within the next week or two!

I'll keep you all posted as this progresses! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Progress Report 16: Paperbacks sent, audiobook in review


What a day! I spent nine hours yesterday and today organizing and shipping the paperback packages. Everyone who gave me their address should expect their package by first class parcel post in the coming weeks. People from all over the world ordered copies, so I'm sorry that I can't give estimates! In general, I was told to expect 2~3 weeks to reach other countries, and then it depends on customs and that country's postal system. Not quite as fast as I'd hoped, but it would have cost far more money than I had to send them any faster. As it is, I covered the extra shipping costs myself on behalf of the backers.

It was an interesting and somewhat fun experience, but I almost certainly won't be doing it again!

In other news, today I received an edited/mastered copy of the audiobook to review! I've only listened to the first couple of chapters, but it sounds phenomenal. I'm going to begin again with the paperback in hand and follow along to check for errors. Hopefully I'll be able to get through the entire book by the end of the weekend!

The thing is, I have hearing problems, so I won't be able to do anything else while reviewing it, and it'll probably take me about twice the actual length of the audio to listen to it. Even so, I'm hoping to get through all of it by Monday. I'll keep you all updated!

Finally, every non-time sensitive backer who has responded to my survey has received their rewards! I still don't want to rush anyone; I just want to be sure that I deliver rewards ASAP after receiving the responses. If you haven't heard back from me and/or feel concerned, please do feel free to contact me any time!

For now, though, I'm off to work on proofing the audiobook!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mini Update: Paperback Packages

I received the paperbacks for the packages! I'll be able to sign them later tonight. I'm not sure whether I'll be able to mail them out tomorrow (Saturday) or if I'll have to wait until Monday; it depends on whether I can purchase all of the shipping materials before the post ships tomorrow.

Regardless, you can rest assured that they'll be on their way by Monday night at the latest, barring some kind of unforeseen disaster! I'll update again once they're in the mail. If people who receive the packages could let me know when they receive them, it'd certainly be a load off of my mind.

Here's hoping that I'll be able to mail them out tomorrow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rewritten I: Fallacy



A scientist mad with grief; a mother trying to escape guilt; a little girl’s worst nightmare; a mistake with unforeseen consequences.
What if your lifeyour worldyour memorieswere a lie?
This is the premise for Rewritten, a fantasy book series. Along the way, readers are invited to unravel characters’ motivations, identify the causes that set the story into motion, and put together the pieces while immersed in a fantasy world where any false move could have dreadful ramifications. 
The characters in Rewritten must work with limited information, deal with the consequences of their assumptions, and struggle to cooperate despite drastic differences in their own perceptions of their world and situation. The setting of the first book is a highly regulated and controlled society that utilizes the inherent magic of different castes to maintain a rigid, hierarchical order. 
Links

***

That's right! It's the moment you've all been waiting for--Rewritten I: Fallacy is now available for purchase by everyone, whether or not you backed the KickStarter! If you missed the chance to order a paperback package, you can still order a paperback on Amazon for $9.99, which is literally the cheapest I can make it and not lose money on Expanded Distribution channels.

If you've had a chance to read the book, please consider leaving a review on GoodReads or Amazon! It would mean the world to me. 

Even if you don't, I want to extend my most sincere thanks to everyone who helped me get this far! This would truly have been impossible without all of you. I hope that the final product is worth your time and effort! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Progress Report 15: Wrapping up!


Rewritten I: Fallacy now has a GoodReads page! If you've read the book (as a backer), plan to read the book, or want to write a scathing review denouncing the book as a travesty, you now have a place to do so!

I'll officially release Fallacy this Thursday, so stay tuned!

Also, of those who responded to surveys, all rewards that don't have a timed element have been filled! Unfortunately, since not everyone has responded to the survey, it's not at 100% complete just yet. Soon, though! I've been managing a turnaround time of at most two days for getting digital rewards to people, which I hope has been prompt enough!

If anyone is dissatisfied with the quality of their reward, I wholeheartedly encourage them to contact me!

Also, the audiobooks are moving forward! Last night I received word that the edits have been rolling along, and everything is proceeding according to plan! With luck, backers will have their audiobooks not long after Halloween. There's no guaranteeing when the books will be available in various stores, as that's out of our hands. I'll try to keep you all posted!

Speaking of post, the paperbacks are on their way to me! I might have them as early as this Friday if I'm lucky enough to get them before the weekend. I'll then sign them immediately and ship out the packages the next business day after I receive them. (If they arrive on Friday, I'll ship them out on Saturday or Monday, depending on what's open.) I can't control the postal service, but I can do my best to get it into their hands ASAP.

Right now, I'm kind of in limbo. Every time something I can do personally crops up, I do it immediately. But most of the remaining work is out of my hands. It really feels like everything is wrapping up! I can't wait to see what next week brings.

For now, I'll try to get the next book ready and work on more short stories! If you need me for anything, you're always more than welcome to contact me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Progress Report 14: Rewards!


I sent out surveys to backers. Of the responses that I received, I've fulfilled all but two of them. (One of those two will be filled when the second book comes out; the other will be mailed out over the course of a year.) If you had any problem with your rewards, please don't hesitate to contact me!

There are still a few backers who haven't responded to the surveys. I'll try to fulfill their rewards as soon as possible after I hear back from them! I understand that some people would prefer to wait until they've read the first book before making such requests, so I don't want to rush anyone. I just want to be prompt in fulfilling my promises!

I haven't heard any progress reports on the audiobooks, but I'm confident that the editing is underway, and that backers will be able to listen to them before the year's end. They'll be available for sale, too, if you're not a backer and like audiobooks--I'll make sure to keep everyone posted.

Oh, last of all, the paperbacks for the paperback packages have been ordered! They're scheduled to arrive November 1 or so. As soon as they arrive, I'll sign them and ship them off.

Basically, I've been hard at work keeping up with my schedule, and I'm very close to being done, which is very exciting for me! If I hear back from the other backers in the next two weeks, there's a fair chance that I'll hit 100% completion on all of the tasks! (At which point I'll need a new list for the next books, haha.)

Make sure that you contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I'm always happy to clarify things if I've made them needlessly confusing. Or even if you just want more detail than I've offered. I hope you're all staying healthy as the seasons change!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pendular Motion

Pendular Motion - Three Short SF Stories for 99¢

I've just released a 99¢ bundle with three micro short stories. Backers had a chance to preview this collection before it went live, but now I've finished polishing it. The description is below the cut!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rewards!


Just a quick update: I shared the ebooks with the backers, so all but 15% of the rewards are now filled!

I also received the final proof copy of the paperback, and it looks like it's entirely set to print! That means that both the ebooks and the paperbacks will be available as of October 25.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me! I'll keep chugging along, otherwise. So far, I'm well ahead of all of the schedules I promised, thankfully! Fingers crossed, I'll manage to maintain that momentum for a while yet.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Short Stories

I've been working on some short stories, and I'm hoping that working in other genres will develop my writing skills as a whole. At the moment, when not working on the third book in the series, I'm focusing on a small bundle with three pieces of flash fiction (altogether about 5200 words long). I'll be offering a copy of this bundle to my backers; it'll be waiting in the dropbox along with their copies of the ebook and possibly a couple of other short stories.

I've also been going over the short stories that interconnect with my series, and I'm thinking of releasing them one by one when they're no longer spoilers, then compiling them into one big book after all of the series has concluded. That would mean less waiting for readers between books, which might be a real benefit! It depends on what readers prefer, of course; I have several of the stories ready right now, but they have spoilers through the end of the second book, so I can't share them just yet.

As it is, though, I'm hard at work on the third book in the series and trying to produce as much quality work as I can! I've ordered the final proof copy to double check all of the details, and I have things set up so that I can send my readers their copies of the ebooks at any time. I'd send the ebooks out now, but I want to take a look at the proof first if at all possible. I want the ebook and paperback to be as similar as possible.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Progress Report 13: Audiobooks and Paperbacks!


Wow, it sure feels good to watch that fill up!

I have some great news to share! Last night I received word from Open Book Audio that the recording portion of the audiobook is complete. This surprised me, since I hadn't actually heard who would be the narrator yet and hadn't realized that they'd already begun recording. Still, I think that's probably the best kind of surprise there is, right?

The narrator for the audiobook is Alexis O’Donahue; I listened to a few samples of other books she's narrated, and she's got a clear, easy to understand voice, and she seems to do a good job of putting tone into the story, so I'm looking forward to hearing the final product! Since I have hearing problems, though, I'll probably have to ask a friend with better ears for assistance during my part of the proofing process.

Now, some of you might be wondering why the audiobook is only listed at 75% when the recording is already done. Well, the editing and mastering process take a fair chunk of time, so I counted them as 25% of the total. The audiobook probably won't release on the same day as the ebook and paperback (October 25), but it won't be long after that!

As for the paperback, I recently received what looks like it'll be my final proof. The little tweaks that I have left are ones that I can check with an e-proof, rather than ordering another paperback, so I think I'll be able to release the paperback at the same time as the ebook.

Finally, as for the ebooks, I'm still considering KDP Select. I've spoken with Amazon, and they've said that I would be able to offer to send buyers the format of their choice after purchasing it through Amazon, so it shouldn't keep non-Kindle owners from being able to read it. I'm still up in the air, though. Also, I have to decide on my list price--I charged ebook backers $5, but they're also getting a free audiobook, which will retail at around $15. They also get a number of special privileges, including an early download of the book. But I don't know if it would be unfair to charge $2.99 for the book, even so. What do all of you think?

Aside from that, I'm considering releasing a few unrelated short stories through Amazon, as well. In recent months, I've had two short stories accepted by publishers, but I have several others that don't fit any anthologies that are currently open. If I do release them, I won't charge more than $0.99 for them. I wonder if anyone would be interested?

Finally, the agenda for the coming weeks:

  • Go over proofs (paperback, ebook, audiobook)
  • Set up ebook downloads
  • Arrange paperback packages
  • Rewrite the third/fourth books in the series (2000 words a day)
If things go according to plan, the ebook/paperback will be available on October 25, and the audiobook will be available by the end of the following month. After that, I'll be poised to fulfill all other rewards as soon as backers finish their surveys! (More than a month ahead of all promises made during the campaign itself.)

Back to work with me!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Considering KDP Select

In determining where to release my ebooks, I came across the KDP Select program.

Pros:

  • Included in the Kindle lending library
  • Can be promoted for free for five days every three months
  • Can opt out after 90 days

Cons:

  • Can only distribute my ebook through Amazon

I would only release my book via Amazon after making sure that I'd made all of the formats available to my backers, of course. As it's possible to read books for the Kindle without a Kindle (I read one on my laptop very recently), I don't know whether this would actually be a significant hurdle for potential readers. I've sent Amazon a message asking whether I can send people other formats after receiving proof of purchase and still qualify, but I'm not sure when they'll reply.

No matter what, it would still be available in paperback, so don't worry about that!

What do you think? If you're interested in reading the ebook, would the Amazon exclusivity make it impossible for you to buy it?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Last Call For Paperback Packages!

If you're a backer and would like to order a paperback package, this is your last opportunity! You'll be able to order the paperback on its own, but it'll cost a bit more, and it won't come with the nifty bonus materials.

The deadline for ordering them is October 15, so please leave a comment or send me an email at mbauman@qolpress.com if you'd like one for yourself. They're still $8 plus shipping from Portland to you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Release Date


I am pleased to announce that Rewritten I: Fallacy will be released in various ebook formats on October 25, 2012. Backers will receive their copies on October 18, 2012. The paperback version will hopefully be released at or around the same time.

A sample of the revised book can be found here. It includes the first eight chapters, just like the KickStarter sample did.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    Progress Report 12: Nearing Completion


    I apologize for forgetting to write an update when I got the last of the art, but I've since incorporated the art into the file, ordered the new proof, and received it. After making some final adjustments, I think that I have the absolutely final and complete book ready to go--I just need to order one more proof to be sure.

    If I haven't heard back from the review backer by this Friday, I'm going to have to arrange other compensation. That's the final step before I can order what will hopefully be the final proof. I'll have to wait until I see it to be sure that it's up to snuff, but I should be exactly on track to release the book on the new, faster schedule!

    As a result, this is your last chance to order paperback packages with the bonus goods if you're a backer! Once they're shipped, I won't be making any more of them. If you contact me by 10/10/12, you can still get one.

    I have no updates on the audiobook progress as of yet. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted, though.

    Aside from progress toward the publication of the first book, I've finished rewriting the second book and sent it out to my editors. I'm currently working on rewriting the third book in the arc, as well. Those books are on track to be published on or ahead of schedule, as well. They're slated for release in June and December, respectively; if this changes, you'll be the first to know.

    As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

    Friday, September 14, 2012

    Progress Report 11: Audiobooks



    That's right! I've been working with Open Book Audio over the course of the last four or five months, and we've finally put together and signed a contract that will result in the first book being produced as an audiobook! All KickStarter backers will receive a free copy of the audiobook, even though we didn't make it to that stretch goal. That's why it took months of discussion to figure something out.

    To those who didn't back the KickStarter, never fear! You, too, will have the opportunity to purchase the audiobook when it's complete. I'm very excited about being able to offer this option, as I know that at least a few of my readers have vision impairments that make it difficult to read text. I'll keep you all updated about the audiobook as production progresses.

    As you may notice, adding the audiobook section to the progress bar above actually set back the overall progress percentage, which may seem counter-intuitive. But since that bottom progress bar is actually an average of all of the other figures, it was bound to happen.

    In other news, I've been going over the proof in excessive detail and ended up making some formatting changes that I think will look much, much better in the final print copy. The ebooks are practically complete, however. I may even be able to release them even further ahead of schedule than I'd anticipated. I'm just waiting on the ebook reviewer and the final piece of setting concept art.

    All in all, this is what's left:

    • Upon receipt of the last art and the review, order another proof copy.
    • Finish fine-tuning the ebooks.
    • Keep track of audiobook progress.
    • Order and sign the paperbacks for the pre-order packages.
    • Send out the ebooks (and audiobooks) to backers.
    • One week later, release the books on Amazon.
    Once the above is complete, the progress bar will look like this: 


    That's the goal I'm planning to hit by mid-November. I'm actually much of the way there even now. I've given a deadline to the review backer--specifically, I sent them the early copy about two weeks ago and told them that I could give them a month to write their review. In two weeks, if I haven't heard from them, I'll have to give them some different compensation instead. I should get the last of the art by the end of the weekend, regardless.

    As a result, by three weeks from now (early October), I should have my new proof copy. If it looks the way it should, then the ebooks and paperbacks will be ready for readers. I'll approve the proof, order the paperbacks, and make the ebooks available to backers for download shortly thereafter. (end of October/early November) Once backers have had a week to read their advance copies of the book, I'll make the paperback/ebooks available to everyone else.

    Meanwhile, the audiobook should be chugging along. I can't guarantee the release date, but I suspect that it'll be available before the end of the year, hopefully in time for holiday shopping.

    Once all of the ebooks and audiobooks are out, I think it'll probably take backers a little time to read them and decide what sort of trivia they want, not to mention the characters they want to read about in their short stories. That accounts for the remaining 15% of the rewards. As I hear back from them, I'll fulfill their rewards. 

    In short, I'm on track to give backers more than they pledged to receive, and I'm going to do it at least a month ahead of the schedule I promised during the KickStarter campaign.

    I just want to say again that I am just so thankful for all of the support that I've received. Without all of you, this would still be a pipe dream. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You've given me more than I ever dared to want. You are amazing--each and every one of you. I can't wait to get the ebooks, audiobooks, and paperbacks into your hands! 

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me! 

    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    Proof (brief update)

    There was a brief patch of really bright sunlight today, so I took the book outside to photograph it in the better light! 


    The skin looks a bit more washed out than I'd like in this photo, but it's otherwise much closer to what it ought to be. Thought I'd share it.

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    Proof Copy!

    I received the proof copy in the mail today! Underneath the cut are some photos of it; it's not perfect yet, but I'm pretty pleased with the overall quality.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Sneak Preview: Paperback Package Bonus!


    I got a lot of work done today while waiting for the draft copy of the book to ship! The paperback packages now only need one more bonus and the paperbacks themselves. (Yes, these packages are going to come with a very unique and awesome grab bag, including some unique, handmade items.)

    Not much to say about it or the other work that I did today, but I couldn't resist posting an intentionally blurry preview of one of the rewards in the packages. I wanted to keep the detailed image a surprise for those who bought paperbacks, after all, but I figure that knowing one of the bonuses might be exciting.

    (This particular bonus was held to a rather limited print run, but, if folks show interest, I might consider printing them again.)

    Preview beneath the cut!


    Thursday, August 30, 2012

    Progress Report 10: Formatting


    I've been formatting all week. Unfortunately, the ebooks gave me some trouble--they ate a fair bit of my formatting. I had to go through the entire book again and identify all of the italics and so forth. I'd used italics/bold for some thought-speech in the book originally, but I may opt to have the epub and mobi versions have brackets to indicate that, rather than go through reformatting them all. I haven't yet decided. If you have an opinion one way or the other, please feel free to let me know!

    Aside from that, I've basically completed all of the relevant formatting. There are still two pictures left to include (possibly three, if I can decide on the best placement for it) and the review left to add on the back, but everything else is in order.

    In fact, I submitted the file to the printer; if it's cleared, then I'll be able to order the first draft copy! Of course, I'll need to order a second one later, regardless, but I'd like to know now if the pictures aren't showing at the proper resolution, etc. Also, I'd like to see whether the colors of the cover show up nicely in print--that kind of thing.

    I budgeted enough time for three draft copies, just in case. Hopefully I'll only need two. I sent the ebook drafts to some friends with e-readers; with luck, they'll look just fine. If they do, I may even release the ebooks ahead of the paperbacks. To backers, at least. Wouldn't that be exciting? I'd just have to wait on the last two pictures.


    What remains (in approximate chronological order):
    • Sending the review backer the advance copy.
    • Contacting the audiobook company with the final draft to begin negotiations.
    • Including the review backer's review on the back cover.
    • The last two pictures for the novel. (After I receive them, I'll format them and finish the final pdf.)
    • Ordering a draft print of the paperback.
    • Formatting the mobi and epub versions of the ebooks.
    • Sending the ebooks to backers. (For this, I'll probably need to arrange a proper downloading method.)
    • Sending out surveys to inquire about short stories and other rewards.
    • Releasing the books to the general public.
    • Filling other rewards.
    I have everything set up to easily incorporate the remaining pictures, so that shouldn't hinder the final formatting. From the emails I've received, I'm probably going to get the final pictures within the next week or two.

    I've also been working on the paperback packages, but I haven't received payment from 80% of the people who requested them, so I'm currently holding off on making most of the remaining bonuses. (Some of the bonuses are actually quite complicated, so I don't want to make them if no one will be able to enjoy them.)

    Basically, the proverbial ball is out of my court for the moment. I've made a lot of progress this week, though! I honestly can't wait to get these ebooks out to backers--I keep having to convince myself that I can't send them out with unfinished artwork, haha. I'm going to look into direct downloading options; I'd like to use something a bit nicer than MediaFire when the time comes.

    Anyway, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns! I'm always happy to listen.

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Progress Report 9: Final Draft



    I'm sorry that I've been away for more than a week. I've been up to my ears in editing and formatting. However, as the progress bar indicates, I've gotten a lot done since I last posted!

    All but two images have been formatted and inserted into the document; the final two will be complete very soon. All of the edits are complete. Now that I've contacted people several times, I'm going to consider the "Acknowledgments" reward completely filled, since I assume those who haven't yet responded would rather not be listed. (Hence the jump in rewards.)

    What remains (in approximate chronological order):

    • Sending the review backer the advance copy.
    • Contacting the audiobook company with the final draft to begin negotiations. (Update: Just did so, and am awaiting their response.)
    • Including the review backer's review on the back cover.
    • The last two pictures for the novel. (After I receive them, I'll format them and finish the final pdf.)
    • Ordering a draft print of the paperback.
    • Formatting the mobi and epub versions of the ebooks.
    • Sending the ebooks to backers. (For this, I'll probably need to arrange a proper downloading method.)
    • Sending out surveys to inquire about short stories and other rewards.
    • Releasing the books to the general public.
    • Filling other rewards.
    This is somewhat simplified, of course. But I've been hard at work, and I suspect that the books may actually be finished ahead of schedule. I don't want to make any promises along those lines, though, because the draft print could go horribly awry (or backers might not respond to surveys, making it impossible to fulfill their rewards).

    In any case, I am most of the way done with fulfilling rewards, and I am pretty well ahead of my original schedule. I can't wait to see this book in print!

    As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me. (For example, if you still want your name in the Acknowledgments, you'll have to let me know soon.)

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Progress Report 8: Rewriting



    In short, by the end of the week after next, all but the very last of my pre-publication work will be complete. Details are under the cut!


    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Editing Progress and Process


    I've heard back from my editors and have already gone through to make all of the minor edits. Right now, I'm making the big decisions about which scenes to rewrite entirely, whether to add scenes, cut scenes, flesh out scenes--lots of big decisions. I've already rewritten two scenes, and plan to rewrite at least five more. I fleshed out one scene, but I may flesh it out further, if it won't strain the flow and pacing of the story. I cut one scene and may cut another, depending on whether I believe it's really important to the plot of the story.

    Fortunately, I had four skilled people edit my book, and I have a fair amount of feedback as I go through this process. Unfortunately, as always happens, my editors had some points on which they completely disagreed.

    The reason that I seek as many opinions as possible when editing is that individual opinions can vary wildly. I don't want to hear only from people who love my book, or only from people who wouldn't read my book on their own. Although this mix of opinions definitely benefits my book, it also makes the editing process more complicated.

    After all, if Editor A loves a critical aspect of the story and Editor D loathes it, while Editors B and C think of it in a generally positive light, I have to weigh a number of factors. It might be that my style isn't a good fit for Editor D, and that the people who would want to read my book would enjoy it. But I don't want to discount the strong reaction it provoked. If it were a minor aspect of the story, I might still err on the side of the strong, negative reaction and try to find a middle ground that all editors would love. In this case, the change in question would require rewriting 60%+ of the book and spoiling some important scenes from later books. I think that it might also diminish some of the reread value of the books.

    However, I'm trying to think of other possibilities. Responses in general to my books have been quite positive thus far, and I'd like to work to ensure that this particular hurdle doesn't distract from that. The most difficult part of editing--for me, at least--is making decisions. I can write fifty thousand words in two weeks if need be; the writing is not my main concern. I feel like I'm on the verge of finalizing my decisions, however, so this should move forward steadily.

    For those interested, my editing process, from beginning to end, is beneath the cut.


    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Brief update

    Okay, so I did manage to get in touch with the audiobook production company that I'd given up as a lost cause. We're still negotiating, so I can't confirm yet whether we will be able to produce an audiobook, although I'm pretty hopeful at this point. Until I have a final draft to send them, it's not likely to develop beyond the negotiation stage.

    On that note, I think I'll have a final draft ready by the end of this month if things go according to plan. Of course, they may not go according to plan. Even if the rest of the editing process takes longer than I'm anticipating, I built in a number of buffer weeks to make sure that it won't delay the book itself.

    I'll try to keep you all updated as the editing progresses, but it's more difficult with editing; it just doesn't make for good blog posts, no matter how productive I am! If you want to hear about any topics in particular, just comment or send me a message, and maybe I can work something out.

    I'd better get back to work for now, though!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Changes and Updates



    For the first time since beginning this blog, it's been just over a week since my last post. I built in some buffer time into my plans for the book, fortunately; two of the people editing for me are about a week behind, and they've promised to send me their revisions by the end of the week at the latest.

    I've been doing a fair amount of work, anyway; I made a few big changes, renamed some places and characters, and even set about renaming the books themselves. These aren't changes that I can describe in detail just yet, since it would give away parts of the book, but they aren't changes that I can take lightly, either. The book, setting, and characters have had their names for more than half of my life at this point, which made this rather more arduous a process than I would have liked.

    So, those who read the sample, you may have some momentary confusion with the different names, but I hope that it'll make the books overall much more readable and enjoyable.

    On another note, most of the book art is complete! The action scene, the four interaction scenes, the six character concept art sketches (each with two poses), and three of the six setting concept art sketches are in their final forms. I'm still waiting on two maps and three more setting sketches, but those will be finished in due time.

    Between the edits, the art, and the other progress I've made, I'm now more than 50% of the way finished! Once I get you all your ebooks, I'll be able to send out surveys asking for your other rewards.

    Oh! Just as I was about to submit this post, I actually got an email from the audiobook people--I may be able to actually move forward with the audiobook production! I'll try to figure it out and let you all know what's up as soon as I can! From what they've just said, though, things are looking rather promising indeed.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    Sneak Preview: Paperback Packages




    I've never been very good at keeping secrets; I'm the odd sort who loathes surprises. So I couldn't resist sharing these with all of you--they're one of the five bonuses that I'm planning to include in the backers-only paperback packages! Don't worry--these aren't all of the bookmarks that I've made. Once I get all of the orders in, finish coloring them, and add other last minute touches, I'm going to have them (and one of the other rewards) laminated.

    These are handmade, and every single one has a unique trivia fact. I've also signed the back of each one. I tried to make this picture small enough that it'll still be almost a surprise to get yours if you're ordering a paperback package--although you'll of course be welcome to share your trivia fact if you want to do so!

    There are still five other bonuses in the works; I may not reveal all of them before sending them out, but I hope you enjoy them!

    Friday, July 27, 2012

    Progress Report 7: A month of progress bars


    It's been a month since I started making progress bars. Some weeks have been more productive than others, but I've generally been keeping up with my monthly goals, and I should be able to deliver rewards on time. It's been almost two months since the KickStarter funded, and this is what I've accomplished thus far:
    • Commissioned interior artwork
    • Legally set up Qol Press as an official press
    • Filled out paperwork so that I can legally do business as Qol Press
    • Set up contact information that I can give to readers without compromising my own safety
    • Organized a CreateSpace account with all of this legal information so that I can be taxed appropriately
    • Checked in with people about how taxes will work now
    • Bought ISBNs for the entire series
    • Assigned ISBNs for the paperback, epub, mobi, and pdf versions of the book while setting one aside for an audiobook
    • Created an icon for Qol Press
    • Formalized the interior layout of the book (including margins, spacing, font size, page numbering, chapter breaks, etc.)
    • Designed the cover layout
    • Formatted the finished artwork and made a number of design decisions
    • Planned the paperback packages for interested backers
    • Got more than halfway through production of the bonuses for said packages
    All of this covers the June and July parts of the timeline I shared with all of you, and even surpasses some of the goals. I've also managed to write a post here at least one a week, and occasionally twice in a day, depending on what I had to report. 

    I've contacted my editors; if they get back to me on schedule, I'll be working on editing throughout August, as planned. Once the draft is finalized, the last of the formatting decisions can take place. I can also ship off the pdf ebook to the backer who pledged for an advance copy so that they can write a review, which will go on the back cover of the book.

    September will involve draft copies, producing various formats of ebooks, and so forth; if September goes smoothly, I may even be able to get a headstart on this, but I don't want to jinx anything.

    Until I get back those edits, I'll be experimenting with some other genres in the hopes that it'll improve my overall skill as a writer.


    To celebrate a month of progress bars, I've made a gif that cycles through all of the progress bars that I've shared thus far. As always, if you ever have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at contact@qolpress.com -- I'm always happy to hear from you.


    (Gif warning--I've placed the gif beneath a cut to be on the safe side.)

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Small Update (not quite a progress report)

    Six days is the longest that I've gone without posting here thus far. Sometimes I worry that I'm posting too often; I got a lot of responses that said they wanted updates about once a week. I write posts whenever I think of something that I think you all might find interesting, rather than writing on a set schedule. Thus far, this has worked pretty well for me, but let me know if I ever neglect anything in this blog.

    Now, I'm waiting on three more editors at the moment. I don't want to edit Untold Memories before hearing back from all of them. In my past experience with editing, Editor A may hate a particular scene, line of dialogue, or character, while Editor B and Editor C may insist that that scene/dialogue/character is the best part of the entire book. Changing the book before gathering a consensus has not worked well for me in the past, so I'm holding off for the moment.

    Of course, I also can't get terribly far with the third book until I know for sure whether the first or second books will change significantly. Furthermore, audiobook companies don't seem to offer services at prices I can afford, and I don't know anyone with the right voice for recording my audiobook among my friends. Finally, I can't finish prepping the paperback bonuses without knowing for sure how many people are going to want them. (Although many people have expressed interest and told me they plan to buy them, only two people have actually paid for their paperbacks, which makes me think that I may be a bit hasty if I plunge into preparing packages for everyone else.)

    So, with action stymied in those areas, I've been focusing on broadening my writing skills by experimenting with other genres. Up until now, I've written almost nothing but fantasy; I decided to look into some anthologies that are open for submissions. I primarily found science fiction and horror anthologies, and I think that it'll make my writing more well-rounded if I practice with both of those, so that's what I've been trying. Of course, since I'm new to these genres and competing against veterans, I doubt that I'll be accepted. Even so, I think that the effort itself is worth the time I'm putting into it.

    To be honest, it makes me want to put together an anthology of my own. I want Qol Press to be a long-lasting business, not something that I close down when I finish releasing Untold Memories (which should happen in late 2016 or 2017, depending on whether the branch story pans out). I also might want to release more than two books a year once I get into the rhythm of it. So I've been toying around with the idea of releasing anthologies between books, or after the books are all released.

    In a nutshell, this is what I've been thinking about and working on for the last week. If you have any ideas, concerns, or questions, just let me know!

    I'm really looking forward to getting back word from my editors! Oh, I'm still right on track with the initial plan (I'm actually ahead of it in some areas), but I'm always happiest when I'm working hard rather than just planning for when I can actually work hard again. I'm glad that I anticipated the wait times involved, at least. You should still get your books right on time, and in the best condition that I can possibly offer. I can't wait!

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Fandom


    I received a gift in the mail today! (Photo beneath the cut.) This particular present made me especially happy, since it's a fan-made plush of one of my main characters. This got me thinking--I've talked on other websites about my views regarding fandom, but I haven't been especially public about it just yet. It seemed like as good a time as any to discuss it, so that's what I wanted to talk about today. I know that not everyone is interested in this topic, however, so the rest of the post will follow the cut!


    Saturday, July 14, 2012

    What's in a name?



    The first of my editors got their final notes and edits to me late last night. They included a lot of helpful suggestions and revisions, so I think that editing is looking really promising right now! Unfortunately, one of their best suggestions is one that is nearly impossible for me. My main character is named Renee (nickname Ray) and her sister is Raven. The setting of the first book is a village called Rayai. All three of these, as it turns out, begin with "Ra".

    With my synesthesia, their names are entirely distinct colors that are simple to differentiate. It wasn't until they'd had those names for five years before anyone told me that they were easy to mix up. Since then, I've been told the same thing by several other people. To be honest, I think that they have an excellent point, and I actually want to change the name--so, what's the problem?

    For me, names define characters. Not in any way that someone else could probably see--well, unless they could mysteriously borrow my synesthesia for a few hours. To change a character's name is the same, on a visceral level, as erasing that character's existence. The character won't--can't--be the same person if they have a different name.

    Of course, this probably sounds ridiculous. What's in a name, anyway? Can't I just use find and replace to fix it? Those are the things that I keep telling myself, but it's so much harder than that. If you've known someone for ten years, suddenly relearning their name is very hard indeed. When asked by that person to do so, of course, I will (and have); when you're the one renaming them, it feels much more uncomfortable.

    So, what do you think is in a name?

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Audiobooks

    When not editing today, I spent my time looking up audiobooks. The options, as far as I can tell, are: do-it-yourself recording, hire a freelance voice actor, or commission an audiobook production service.

    DIY

    Pros: It's cheap, fairly simple, and I don't have to wait on anyone else to get the work done.

    Cons: I have a fairly obnoxious voice, in my opinion--it's fine for a conversation, but not good enough for storytelling. I also don't have a good setup for recording; my mic is weak, my laptop is a bit old, and my house has a fair amount of background noise. Furthermore, I have no experience with audio editing, so I can't guarantee that it would sound good. This is why I've passed over this particular option. Unless readers are actively interested in hearing me record my own book, I am highly skeptical about the chances of this happening.

    Freelancers

    Pros: There are a lot of ways to find freelancers, and I could probably find one with a good voice for the book.


    Cons: Finding the right freelancer might take days or weeks of wading through applications--time I could spend editing. It'd also cost me a lot up front, and I can't guarantee audio editing quality ahead of time. (Or perhaps ever; truth be told, I have poor hearing and unable to follow audiobooks myself, so I'd be unlikely to pick up on problems with the recording.) If I could somehow find someone who'd be willing to work with the promise of a royalty--highly unlikely--it'd still be a lot of trouble hashing out contract details, and I wouldn't have a platform on which to sell it.


    Services


    Pros: Simplicity is a definite plus; I wouldn't have to worry about editing, finding voice actors, getting the formats I need, or distributing the books after they're completed. It'd sound more professional than the other options, most likely, and I'd have less to worry about.

    Cons: It'd cost money up front that I just don't have right now. Open Book Audio mentioned being able to avoid these costs, but they've dropped all communication with me.

    Conclusion

    If I could go with an audiobook producer that would be willing to take a larger cut of the profits instead of upfront fees, I would do so. I'd really love to be able to give my backers an audiobook. More honestly, I'd love for my mother--who has very poor eyesight--to be able to read my book. But, at the moment, that looks extremely unlikely. If I can earn enough money by selling my books, I may try again in the future, but I think it's time to put the idea aside until then.


    That said, however, I am open to having my mind changed, and you can contact me at mbauman@qolpress.com if you have opinions you'd like to share!

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Progress Report 6: Editing



    I've been hard at work over the last several days on a manuscript swap with another writer I know. I took her manuscript, and she took mine. She plans to release that particular book around December, which is when Untold Memories I: Rayai is slated for release. I'll be sure to let you know the details once it's closer to the release date in case any of you are interested; she's a strong writer, and I'm very fortunate that she was willing to swap with me.

    Unfortunately, my other editors have not yet gotten back to me, which is stalling the editing progress bar up there. I'm expecting some more responses in the next week or two, but I'll have to send out reminders if I don't hear back from them by then. Since I've sent it out to eight people for editing, even if a couple fall through on me, I should still be able to get the book into tip-top condition.

    In other news, Open Book Audio has not responded to any of my emails. I have therefore dropped audiobooks off of the list for now; I'll try looking around for other options when I have spare time, but I'm just not sure that I'll be able to afford it, no matter how much I want it.

    Beyond this, I've also made a lot of progress in publishing preparations; all of the remaining aspects require a finalized interior or finished artwork, so I'm about as far as I can get for the moment.

    All in all, I'm already done with everything I'd planned for June and July on my Grand Master Plan, so I'm trying to get a jump on anything that's possible right now.

    While I wait for edits and other feedback, I will:

    • Finish prepping the paperback bonus packages that have been ordered thus far
    • Search for audiobook alternatives
    • Work on rewriting the sequels so that they'll be ready for release on time
    As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns! I'm always happy to listen.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    3D Printing Results


    (Me holding my 3D Haubonalyr)

    After much futzing around with Shapeways, I finally received the result! It feels a little powdery, and it's pretty delicate. It cost me $17 to print, which is very reasonable and much better than the competition. I had been hoping to make a mold out of it, but I don't think it'd survive the process intact, unfortunately. (That would have allowed me to produce a large number of cheaper models in a variety of materials.)

    I'm going to look into glazes or other laminating agents that might keep it from feeling powdery, and I might try to paint it as I do. That will have to wait until I have more time, though. Would anyone be interested in buying one if I attended a fantasy convention or did a book signing? It actually looks rather nice in person.

    Another couple of photos are beneath the cut!


    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Progress Report 5: Pre-orders


    has become



    First of all, I changed the infographic's color scheme after showing it to someone who is red-green color blind and learning that the light red and light green were, uh, very similar. I hope that this helps!

    This week, I've been hard at work fine-tuning the formatting. I think that it's probably about ready to go. I haven't yet heard back from my editors, so I can't move forward on that just yet. I should hear back from several of them soon, though, so I'm looking forward to getting to work on that!

    I've also been doing a lot of planning for the pre-orders and the corresponding bonuses that'll go in the packages. All of the bonuses have been planned and/or drafted for the pre-orders I've received thus far. If you backed the KickStarter and would like to pre-order a book ($8 plus shipping from Oregon to you), please contact me via the KickStarter messaging system. Even if you aren't ready to pay yet, it'd be good for me to know how many I'll need to prep for and order! I'm very excited about the bonuses that I'm including, and I hope that all of you enjoy them.

    I know that this is a pretty brief update, but I wanted to let you know that I've been plugging away. As always, feel free to contact me if you ever have questions or concerns!

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Interior Art: Bleed or no bleed?

    Another design decision that I have to make for the books is whether or not to use bleed for the interior artwork. For those who haven't spent hours trying to iron out details like these, bleed is when the artwork goes all the way to the edge of the page. (And, technically, beyond it, in case the printer or the cutter is off by a small amount.)

    Bleed would allow for larger pictures in the book, but it would also mean that I'd need to do a lot more finagling to make sure that it looked right. Some of the picture would also disappear into the margins of the book, as well, making it harder to see the entire picture in paperbacks without potentially cracking the spine of the book. (As ebooks wouldn't have this problem, I might even do two slightly different versions to account for that.)

    Also, I have determine whether it'd be better to place a picture at the end of most chapters (so that it doesn't interrupt the text flow) or in the middle of the most relevant chapter. The former is something that I could do right now, without having completed the editing process; the latter would have to wait until it's closer to crunch time.

    Both of these affect the character bios with bullet-pointed info that I'm drawing up: full bleed offers more room for text and where the bios go will affect what information I might include. I'll try to get feedback before making any decisions--let me know if you have strong opinions about any of this!

    Logos

    (possible Qol Press logo)

    Every press needs a logo. I've been burning through tons and tons of possible designs. Sometimes I've been consulting with others, especially the cover artist for the first book, who helped me refine some of my ideas.

    The difficulty with designing a logo is that I have to consider at least three main points:

    • It has to be recognizable and nice-looking at a range of sizes, since it'll show up on the spine of the book, the title page of the book, and my future website (which is in the works, actually). It might be anywhere from .5"x.5" to 2"x2" or more--and it has to look consistent at those sizes. This means that it has to be relatively simple. 
    • Something that looks nice when large may look blurry when shrunk down...
      ...or really pixelated.
      Also, by a similar token, it has to be monochrome. At first, I tried doing black and white, using negative space to make the design more interesting. But the negative space may not look right due to bleed, and--at least on the spine--printing part in white might look tacky.

    • It can't already be trademarked or similar to another press's logo. This means that a lot of the simple, straightforward logos that initially come to mind just won't work.
    Oh, I know, I'll use a mountain--
     
    Okay, a tree sounds simple enough--
    (repeat ad inifinitum)
    • It has to represent my books or my press in a meaningful way, or, at the very least, be related to them. It can't be too abstract, though--that'd defy the "simple" rule above--and it has to be be unique. 
    I tried thirty or forty different designs, and I'm still not satisfied. I like the design I posted at the top of the page, but I'm not sure whether it's up to snuff just yet. What do all of you think?

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Formatting


    As you can see, I shrank down my progress bars. I...don't know why I didn't do that before. I hope that the cropping/resizing differences didn't mislead anyone. (That's why I included the key.)

    Since my last update, I've been plugging away at formatting--that's a part of the Publishing bar that you see above--and I think that I've come to understand why publishers have dedicated designers. Even so, after many more hours than it should probably have taken, I think that I have my interior and exterior drafts done. Editing the content should only require minor changes to the design due to the set up I put into it.

    After those changes are made, I just need to format and insert the interior art to make it paperback ready. (I've got all of the character bios arranged; I just need to figure out what information to include.)

    The jump in rewards is due to adding names into the Acknowledgments. I'm at 33/182 rewards filled. Most of them won't be possible to fill until after I release the ebooks, but I do have 75 ebooks to release. Also in that tally are 75 names in the Acknowledgments (the number of people who pledged for a reward), but not everyone has responded. If you want your name included, please respond to the message I sent out via KickStarter! I would be happy to include every single backer.

    So, my tasks for the week:

    1. Finish formatting character bios
    2. Buy a private mail box
    3. Keep formatting!

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Character Bios


    (Pie chart made with this; I omitted the "I don't care." choice.)

    Shortly after my KickStarter funded, I sent out a survey asking what my backers wanted me to prioritize. I got 40 responses to the survey, and I've been using it to guide my budgeting decisions ever since.

    Here's the breakdown of the question I want to address today:

    Question 2 (What sort of interior art would you MOST like to see?):
    • Setting concept art - 28%
    • Character concept art (ie, a full body drawing with bullet point info) - 20%
    • Scenes (action) - 3%
    • Scenes (characters interacting) - 15%
    • I don’t care. - 35%
    This is what led to my art breakdown: 32% setting concept art, 32% character concept art, 21% scenes (characters interacting), 10% maps (it was in another question), and 5% scenes (action).

    However, I probably should have thought a bit harder about how I worded the question; now I don't know whether backers just want full body art of characters or the bullet-pointed bio information! If they do want info, what info do they want?

    Right now, I'm trying to format the interior of the book, so I'm trying to arrange the profiles. So I'll put it to you, readers: would you rather have the information or have more room for the character picture? If you'd like to have information, what sort of info are you most interested in?

    I'm starting to make headway! If I can figure out what information to include, the illustration progress will be able to jump from 20% to 34%, and I'll have done all of the parts that I actually have control over at the moment. If I don't get any feedback, I'll just make my best guess--but I'd rather hear from you!

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    As an aside:

    I feel overwhelmingly grateful every single day for the opportunity KickStarter has given me. I try to thank my backers, but I don't know how to truly express my gratitude. Just when I had hit a moment of despair and thought that I would never get to realize my pipe dream--finding a readership, connecting with readers, getting my work out there--everything changed.

    Every single day, I feel lucky. I appreciate every single backer, regardless of pledge size, regardless of whether or not you've written to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I'm not even a month into filling your rewards.

    Now, back to work making sure you all get your money's worth!

    Progress Report 4: Infographic!


    I've been spending a fair amount of time trying to design a progress graphic that'd give backers a visual of where I stand in the project. This is probably the simplest, most direct graphic that I could think up that would be easy to edit.

    All in all, progress is rolling along smoothly. Here's a quick breakdown:

    Editing

    After going through the first book so many times that I can recite parts from memory, I sent drafts out to seven friends, two of whom have professionally edited before, one of whom is an author herself, and the rest of whom are avid readers. One of them has already finished editing; the others are still working on it. Once they've gotten back to me, I'll go through the book with a fine-toothed comb.

    Illustration

    20% of the final images for the book are complete. While I wait for the other artists to finish up their work, my role will be added bullet-pointed character info to the character profiles, as well as formatting the images so that they fit properly in the book itself.

    Publishing

    This, of course, is a part of the publishing process. I've legally set myself up as a publishing company, and I'm in the process of getting a private mailbox exclusively for Qol Press-related mail. I also need to format the interior/exterior of the book, order draft copies, and make sure that it looks professional. (For example, designing a logo for Qol Press.)

    Pre-Orders

    I've ordered samples from a number of online printers to compare quality and prices for the bonuses, as well as ordering some materials to hand-make a few of the bonuses myself. There are only a few pre-orders so far, though, so I can't tell for sure what bonuses I will be able to afford. I can guarantee that there will be at least three small things in each package, however, in addition to the signed and noted paperback itself.

    Rewards

    I've sent out what rewards could already be sent out. I also planned when I would need to request information and send out surveys. Most of these rewards can't happen until after the books are released--aside, obviously, from the ebooks themselves--so I'm trying to do the prep work now to make delivery go more smoothly later.

    Audiobooks

    Still no word from the audiobook people. I'll send out another ping in a couple of weeks, but the ball is in their park right now.

    All in all...

    I'm right on track, based on the plan I outlined the other day. If there's anything you want to know more about, please let me know! I'll try to keep everyone updated as much as possible.

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Share a Saturday!

    In case anyone is interested, Hildred Billings, a fantasy writer whose work I've been fortunate enough to read prior to publication, gave me the opportunity to guest post on her blog. The post is here if you'd like to read it. I'd suggest poking around, as well; Hildred is not only an excellent writer, but a lovely person, as well.

    I plan to update this blog as soon as I have something new to tell you all about, but if you'd like me to post snippets of my editing process, talk about the themes in Untold Memories, or anything else in particular, please do feel free to let me know! I'm always available at mbauman@qolpress.com, and I'm happy to respond to questions and comments.

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Sneak Preview: 3D Model

    Jeff Miller finished the 3D sculpt of one of the monsters in the first book! He was kind enough to animate it for me; I've turned the movie he sent me into a looping gif that I've placed below the cut! (Note: I cropped the original video to make it fit better below.)

    What I love about the idea of a 3D model is its versatility. I could have commissioned a still shot of just the Haubonalyr, but--for the level of detail I wanted--the cost wouldn't have been significantly different. One scene illustration from the book will include the Haubonalyr, but not as its sole focus. 

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Approximate Timeline


    So I spent a long time today figuring out when I hope to have everything completed by. Emphasis on the hope part--after all, I can't predict major illnesses, life events, or disasters. There are a lot of things that could bring any parts of my plan that come after this December crashing down around my ears.


    Even so, I thought it'd be a good idea to post it here. This is my current plan of action--if you see any flaws in it, anything that I missed, please let me know! I don't want to overlook anything, but there are a lot of pieces in motion right now. I'm doing my best to account for everything, and I think I've been pretty comprehensive, but having another set of eyes always helps.


    Take a look at the details under the cut!



    Progress Report 3: Now officially Qol Press!

    After posting yesterday, I spent several hours figuring out what sort of business structure Qol Press needed, organizing my funds and expenditures, and so forth. What that means is that, today, I am pleased to announce that Qol Press is officially registered both federally and in Oregon state! I can legally do business as the head representative for Qol Press.

    So, what sort of work does this include? It includes writing and editing, of course, but it also includes  organizing a separate bank account for Qol Press money, doing my own accounting, marketing for myself, trying to take care of the design aspects of the book (formatting, font choices, picture placement, etc.), and a lot more. I'm excited to take this on--and also a little nervous, but mostly excited.

    Today, though, I have to go to physical therapy. While I wait for my appointment, I'll be planning a detailed timeline to prep for the release of Untold Memories I: Rayai. That way I can be absolutely sure that I get everyone their rewards promptly.

    When I get back, if the timeline is set up, I'll make sure to fill you all in. 

    With regard to other updates:

    Illustrations are moving along well! The maps won't get started until the mapmaker's schedule clears, but the scenes are under way, and the character bio lineart is in its final stages. The 3D monster model is also likely to be complete by the end of the day. The setting art is looking good, too. All in all, I think that you'll like what you see.

    As for audiobooks... Still no response. If any of you can suggest alternatives, please let me know.

    Finally, I think that editing is going pretty well; I have several experienced editors and writers looking at it for me, for which I am extremely grateful.

    I'd better catch my bus! As always, let me know if you have any questions, comments, and concerns. Anonymous commenting should be enabled below, in case you're shy about registering for accounts.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    A brief aside on merchandise...

    So, when not editing, I've been spending my time working with the artists and overall trying to get the production process of the book underway. Since the KickStarter funds haven't yet hit my account, I can't quite move into the next phase of all this--ISBNs are expensive--but I've been thinking about what else I might be able to offer to readers.

    You see, I'm the sort of person who, were I wealthy, would buy all sorts of merchandise of series that I love. Harry Potter wands, parchment, and posters? I would love them. Lord of the Rings memorabilia, buttons, and stickers? Yes, please. It's kind of predictable, at this point; I often name a fandom and hope for merchandise when people are at a loss about what gift to give me. (Although, of course, a new book is always a welcome choice.)

    So, when I look at my own series, I can't help but think of things that I would love to see if I were my own fan. Posters of maps, trading cards with characters, bookmarks with scenery, 3D printouts of my monsters... I've been looking into the logistics for everything that I can think of--well, when I can spare a moment. Many of them are out of my price range at the moment, but I have a lot of ideas.

    What about all of you? What do you think of merchandise? If you like it, what sort of stuff do you most covet--and what are you most likely to buy? If you don't like it, what would you rather see from authors? (For example, short stories, art books, background information, etc.)

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    Progress Report 2: Funds

    First of all, sorry to disappear for a few days; there wasn't much to report, and it was also my twenty-third birthday, so I wound up spending most of my time offline.

    Today, though, I do have something to report: Amazon released my funds!

    Unfortunately, it looks like it'll take another week or so for the funds to actually hit my bank account, and I have an invoice due Monday for one of my artists, so that's going to have to come out of my savings until I can reimburse myself. I guess that I plunged into choosing artists a bit quickly! (But I'm loving the art I've seen, seriously. I hope all of my readers enjoy it just as much!)

    Also, I've been trading my book with other writers so that we can edit each others' drafts, and some of my friends who have worked as professional editors are also editing my book right now.

    Other than that, the only thing that I have to report is that I've already got a fair number of pre-orders for the paperback; each preorder comes with some bonus stuff and is at a reduced price, which I think will be pretty exciting. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to maximize funds so that everyone can get the best stuff in their preorder boxes!

    I wish I could just plunge into your postcards, short stories, and trivia facts right now, but I have to wait for you to read the book first! Ah well. I'll have more time to pour into them once this book is in order, I hope!

    No word yet from Open Book Audio about the audiobooks. I still have my fingers crossed.

    As always, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have ideas, requests, questions, or even just want to talk!