Book 4 Update

I’ve been quiet, but busy the past couple of weeks. Book 4 has been to the editor and returned, and I’ve made changes and corrections based on her suggestions. I’ve formatted the paperback and the ebook version, and I just ordered the cover this afternoon. What does all this mean? It means Book 4, Crooked Halos, will probably come out sometime next month!

In other news, I’ve set up all three of the other books to go wide, which means you can read them in iBooks, Nook, and a half dozen other ways now. I’ve also sent the first half of Book 5 off to my beta reader to find out if it’s horrible drivel or not.

Long story short, there’s lots going on, and I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated.

Book 2 Progress Report

As the school year draws to a close, I’ve been digging into Book 2 and getting it prepped for a fall release.  My editor sent me her edits and notes a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been going through them and making changes and corrections as needed.  In fact, I finished up just this week and have moved on to formatting.

Formatting has been a bit of a challenge.  I found the font Royal James used, so there’ll be visual consistency in the books, and I’m doing all the little, fiddly things that have to be done to make it look like a real, professional book.  Margins are set, title pages are created, and I’m messing about with the header text and page numbers now.  There are some challenges with getting everything exactly the way I want it, but I’m confident it’ll all be ready in September.

Once the formatting is done, I’ll be in a holding pattern, waiting for my artist to create the cover.  I know he has other jobs ahead of mine, so it’s going to be sometime this summer before he even begins, but once I have the cover in hand the book will basically be ready to go.  Between now and then, there’ll be a short story called “Bad Press” (anyone who got the old Hazzard Pay collection from a few years ago will be familiar with this one, though I’ve added a few new bits).

So, all in all, things are moving along well.  I feel I’ve got a much better handle on the stuff I have to do to self-publish this time around, and I think the results are going to be fantastic.  My editor was tremendously positive about the manuscript, as were my beta readers, so I’m hopeful this one will be a hit.

Just Like Starting Over

I’ve been busy in the few days since Royal James disappeared.  I’m just waiting for them to take The Invisible Crown down off Amazon and other sites so I can reupload it myself.  In a bit of a holding pattern on that because, as I just said, I’m waiting on someone else to do a thing.

But! in the meantime, I have not been resting on my laurels.  No, I have been very busy getting things up and running for the next book.  The year with Royal James taught me several things, among them (1) work with people you trust and (2) you get what you pay for.  The last time I was doing the self-publishing thing, I tried to do everything by myself: editing, formatting, cover design and layout, marketing, etc.  And, when I could snatch a free moment from all that, I’d even manage to do some writing now and then.

This time around, I’m taking a different approach.  A book is not all that dissimilar from a child, and both take a village to bring up right.  To that end, I’ve contacted various individuals known to me to help out with editing and cover design.  I haven’t decided whether or not to bring in outside help on formatting; I have the formatted files for the first book, and I think I could just use those as a guide (and create some internal style consistency, which would be nice).  That’s all still a few months down the road, though.  I anticipate being able to get the second book out in September or so, and the third book probably by summer next year.  I want to accelerate the timeline Royal James had been planning (a book a year) to something that puts more books in people’s hands faster (I’m leaning towards a release every nine months or so until I’ve put out all the books I’ve already got written, then we’ll see how long it takes in between new ones after that).

Additionally, I’ve decided to pursue something of a mad idea I came up with back when TIC came out: an audio book.  I know, it seems silly to do an audio book of a novel only a few dozen people have read, but (1) I’m hoping to get more readers in the coming months and (2) it’s my book, shut up.  All that said, I’ve got several friends who’ve stepped up and offered to contribute their vocal talents to the project, and I started working out what characters are in each scene yesterday so I can have an idea how many different people we’ll actually need.

I’m also – and this might be the most relevant thing of all – writing again!  It’s been a few months since I felt like putting words to the page, for whatever reason.  But lately, I’ve started up a couple of new stories, at least one of which will probably turn into a novel (or even a series of novels!).  It’s a good feeling, to have words showing up when I sit down to write.

Anyway, stay tuned!  As soon as I’ve got complete control of the book, I’ll do a giveaway with some fabulous* prizes!

 

* – Quality of prizes may be slightly exaggerated.

Book 2 Complete!

The edits for Book 2 (The Hidden Throne) are complete!  The manuscript was sent off to my publisher yesterday.

I’m glad to have this book finally done and sent off.  Granted, it doesn’t come out until December 2017, but that just means there’s lots of time for polishing and prepping.

What’s up next?  Well, lots of things.  I need to make edits to Book 3 and Book 4.  I need to continue (and complete) Book 5.  I’ve got lots of short stories I want to tweak and polish up and set up in the publishing queue (there’s already one lined up to be published in April 2017).

All in all, I’m very excited to have this project done, and it’s got me fired up to move on to others.

Progress Notes

Just thought I’d give you guys an update on Book #2.  I’m about halfway through the manuscript, plugging right along a few pages at a time.  There’s a couple of spots I want to go back and completely rewrite now, but I want to get through the basic edits first.

My current goal is to have Book #2 done and sent off by the end of September.  Yeah, it’s not my original goal (which was the end of July), but it still gives my editor plenty of time to go through it (the book won’t be released until next December, after all).

I’m still waiting to hear back from said editor on Book #1.  I’m starting to get anxious about it all, since the book release is only three months out (!).  I’m still not sure what the metrics are for me to consider the release a success; I guess if folks other than my parents read it, I’ll be happy.  I want to try to go to some conventions next year to try to sell it, but we’ll have to see if that’s feasible or not.

In other news, I’ve started another short story set in the Hazzard universe, only this one is told from the perspective of his always-capable assistant, Ellen Typewell.  I’m pretty excited about it, even if I don’t have the thing fully plotted just yet.  I guess we’ll see where it goes.

Summer Break

It’s been a relaxing summer break so far.  I haven’t accomplished a fraction of the things I wanted to do yet, but I keep telling myself there are several weeks left in the break and I’ll probably get around to most of them eventually.

Today is going to be a big writing-related day.  I’ve got a couple of contracts for upcoming releases to look over and sign (new stories for next year!  Hurray!), a non-fiction article to proofread and edit, and it would be good if I made some progress on editing book 2.

I did buy a new guitar amp yesterday, apropos of nothing.  A basically brand-new Fender Blues Jr. owned by an older gentleman who’d bought it but never took it out of the home.  Got a nice deal on it, too.  The second-hand musical instrument world can be a mite expensive on occasion; a big reason I grabbed this particular amp was that it was the cheapest I’d seen one of them on craigslist in quite some time.  Everyone wants $500 for their battered and hard-used amplifier, and they always think they’re doing you a favor by offering up such a bargain.  But you can buy one of these amps new for just a little more than that, so it ain’t quite the deal they claim.  This guy offered what was essentially a new amp at far less than his competitors on craigslist, so I grabbed it.  I’m looking forward to making the neighbors complain about the noise.

I should also mention that I’ve set up a Patreon page.  Not for my writing, mind you, but for my webcomic.  It’d be nice if that started earning me a bit of extra cash.  Feel free to check it out; I recently redid the reward tiers and made things more comic-relevant, so it’s worth taking a look at.

#amediting

I’m still neck-deep in the first draft of Book 5, but I was chatting with my publisher the other day and she asked when she could expect to see Book 2.  She wants to go ahead and get it placed on the calendar for next year.  The publisher has added a couple of new authors in the past few weeks, which means more releases, which means forward planning becomes a must.

And that also means that, today, I started going over The Hidden Throne and doing some edits and revisions.  It’s going to take some time – there were a couple of plot threads that I left dangling in The Invisible Crown that I want to pick up and weave into Book 2 (see how I extended that metaphor?  Yeah, that was good), and just some general clean-up and revision on a book that I haven’t touched in over a year.

I have an uneasy truce with editing.  It’s far from my favorite part of writing, but I recognize its importance.  Sure, I know an editor will look over the manuscript once I pass it along to the publisher, but it’s sorta like those folks who clean their houses before they have a cleaning service come in to clean.  You don’t want the pros thinking you’re a complete slob or crap at this thing, so you do your best to have everything all tidied away and make sure the proverbial underwear isn’t hanging from the metaphorical lampshade when the house cleaners arrive.  It’s sorta like that.  I’m sure there will still be a few missing words here and there, typos and misplaced commas and run-on sentences and things like that.  I’m sure there will be bits that need revision and work when the manuscript gets back to me.  But I still want what I send out to be as polished as possible.  Plus, there’s the new bits I want to work into it before it goes out.

So, the long and short of it is, I’m in editing mode for the next week or two at least.  It’s probably for the best, because I was about to hit a wall in Book 5’s progress, and I need a little time to recharge the ol’ batteries.

Anyway, if you hear a scream of eternal suffering from Northern Virginia, that’s just me editing.