Wednesday, June 27, 2012


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:


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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.


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, 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!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Okay, so the LiveStream will be here starting in ten minutes, and we'll be there for a while, so come join us!

EDIT: The livestream went wonderfully. Thank you to those who participated! It ran for nearly three hours. Thanks again to our host and artist, Kaorien! (We'll try to do another of these in the future!)

Other than that, today I sent out the very first backer reward! (The Original Untold Memories reward.) There was something very satisfying about sending that off, especially since I included a mini bonus within. I certainly hope that they enjoy it!

Sending it out reminded me about the special paperback packages that I'm offering to backers. I want to keep an air of mystery around what bonuses will specifically be included, but I think I can give a little more information than I've been offering up until this point.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Progress Report 1: The Grand Plan

Key Points:

  • Introduction (and details on the master plan)
  • Notification: Livestream tomorrow at 1pm PDT - watch setting concept art get colored live while discussing books with me!
See below for the details!