Writing things, Book things, and Publishing things.

January 25, 2010 in Blog by Todd

I wanted to write a long post this weekend that didn’t involve actively selling something, but time got away from me, as it is wont to do.  So, here we are.

Writing Things

TLM’s prologue and first chapter are done.  I might’ve mentioned that before, and if I didn’t, I meant to.  I know, I said they were done months and months ago, right?  I did, but now they’re really done.  Well, about as done as they can be for a first draft.  I said I’d be going back to straighten out some things.  Well, the prologue and chapter one are about as straight as possible for the time being.  I’m a quarter of the way through chapter two.  Most of these early rewrites aren’t exactly “rewrites,” but new-writes (the new chapter one is about 75% new text), integrated with bits and pieces of original incarnations.  Half of chapter two will be brand new, melded with the old beginning of chapter one.  I found this necessary to form a solid progression in Donovan’s character arc.

I explained my methods to my buddy Phill.  His response was something to the effect of, “As long as you’ve got it sorted out.” Agreed.  Explaining it any further is kind of complicated, especially when I take into account which parts of which old chapters are going to form new chapters, and so on.  Don’t worry.  I have a chart.

Oh, and I managed to untie a vital knot from the plot thread that’s been irking me since I started this damn thing.  The first half of part three will be a breeze now because of it.

Book Things

As if I didn’t already have enough on my plate, I am also taking another editorial pass at ALT for a second edition.  This is the first time I’ve read it since sending off its distribution files three years ago, so it’s a nice refresher on the story, and a neat way to gauge how far I’ve come as a writer since then.  Is it a perfect book?  Nope, not in the slightest, but I’m giving it a little more polish and making some things clearer.  It helps to know what happens in the next story so I can provide some extra details.

All in all, it will be the same story.  There will not be any major changes to the plot, structure or characters.  The cover isn’t even going to change (though the back text probably will).

The biggest difference between editions will be its publisher.  Until now the book has been published under my name, as the ISBN is also registered in my name.  Three years ago Lulu was the way to go.  Now, with the decline of the economy and the industry in general, self-publishing has made great strides, and now Lulu is no longer the only print-on-demand game in town.  I did a little research to see what’s available now, and I think that I’ll be going with Amazon’s POD company, CreateSpace.

My aim is to have it ready to go by this summer.  The price will remain the same.  It will be available in paperback, and also on the Kindle.  I’ll also be submitting the revised manuscript to Scribd and Smashwords.  The digital version of this book will remain free.

I am considering doing a short-run, limited hardcover release for this book.  It would be on a pre-order basis and dependent on interest.  I’ll put up a poll in the coming months.

Publishing Things

I’m very interested to see what happens this week concerning Apple.  I’m not a Mac fan boy by any stretch of the imagination, though I do own an iPod, and I won’t deny its influence.  Dragging the music industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century with iTunes was no easy feat.  There’s an Apple conference this week.  Invitation-only.  Rumored to appear is what they’re calling the Apple iSlate, which may or may not be intended to compete with the Amazon Kindle.  While the iPod made it cool to have digital music, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the possibility of Apple tossing its hat into the ring of publishing.  It’s one thing with Amazon – they’re a major bookseller – but Apple?

At the same time, maybe this is what digital books need right now.  So far we have the Kindle, which is slowly gaining speed (and who just announced a new 70/30 royalty split for publishers), though it’s still a bit too pricey to be accessible for everyone.  There’s the B&N Nook, though I’ve yet to actually see one in the wild – probably because they’re backordered for the next decade.  Now there’s this Apple thingamajig.  I don’t equate Apple with books (nor did I equate Apple with music 8 or so years ago).  What it will mean for the big guys – and little guys such as myself – is yet to be seen, and all of this is just speculation, but I can’t help but be a little curious to see what comes of this new gadget.  I won’t deny the convenience of a digital book (I have Lovecraft’s entire canon on my iPod), but I still long for the heft and feel of a real book.  But, digital books cost less to produce, and cost less for the consumer, and you can carry an entire library, etc.

I want to believe this renewed interest in digital books will open more doors for independent authors.  Let’s hope.

Speaking of digital books, I’m want to ask you three things:  First, have you ever purchased a digital book?  Second, how much did you pay?  And third, how much is too much?  As a note to that last question, I will say that I think paying more than $5 for any digital book is too much.  That’s just my personal opinion.

What are your answers? How about your thoughts?

TK