Editing is done. Today I finished going through the manuscript. My input on it is basically finished. I wrote it, went through it once after that to make it not grotesquely illiterate, and then gave it to my beta readers to get feedback on the story itself. Is the story any good? Where is it weak? How about the characters? Are they consistent? Etc.
Feedback was awesome, and I got some fantastic input that I worked in as I went through it in another round of rewrites. Then I went through it again after that, looking for inconsistencies and that sort of thing. I was also watching the language more closely too, trying to make the prose pretty. Then I went through it again for grammar and stuff (which Joyce, my editor, will laugh and call me a liar for saying given how much stuff she found, like, everywhere). Then I gave it to Joyce (who continues to laugh), who went through it lovingly and gently with her evil red pen and discovered the immense, nearly eternal, nature of my general and overwhelming illiteracy and, worse, inability to learn from previous mistakes.
THEN, I got that back and went through that big stack (here’s the picture again that some of you might have seen on Facebook), making all the corrections, or at least most of them, that Joyce suggested. Sometimes we disagree on stuff: she goes with a rule where I go with a purpose, so in those cases where I am mooning the establishment with a particular choice of words, “wrong” punctuation or just the creation of a word that isn’t one (like magicless for example), I don’t take the suggestion. It’s not blowing off her suggestion, it’s just not taking it for other reasons. I’d rather have all the “rules” pointed out, so I can make sure I’m breaking them on purpose not by accident. All said, it works between us.
So, I did the red-mark thing, which is painful for me; it’s tedious going page by page, looking for red marks on the paper page and then having to find them on the file, because the file changes in little bits and the last line on pages sometimes becomes the first on another, etc. (and yes, I know Word docs have a comment function, but there is, for whatever reason, a real benefit to at least one editing pass on paper).
Anyway, I made that pass and corrected things, and then I went through it again, which is what I just finished. I would have done it anyway, but because I finished the first draft of Hostiles (Book 3), it was even more important to go through and make sure all my ducks line up through the two stories. Plus, I found four typos and two instances of “a while/awhile” that I put in wrong that got by her. And before you start pooh-poohing her for that in your mind, you try going through 924 pages and only missing 6 little things, that’s 257,092 words of never overlooking any problem with any of them, which translates to an error rate of 0.002334%. I wish I had an error rate that low. In anything!
That’s handled, so now I sent an email to the guy who does my formatting. He will make a print file with pretty drop-cap fonts on the first lines of the chapters and margins set for printing, etc. He is also going to have to figure out how to make my 924 page manuscript fit into an 828 page book, because that’s what the max length can be for the paperback edition. It’s really going to change how much front material I have (acknowledgments, copyright page, dedication page, title page, pages where I pimp my other work and beg people to buy my stuff because my cats are so cute and hungry, and even the map, which I want to put in again just for a refresher in case anyone forgot what Prosperion looks like). So, we’ll see. Being that thick of a book means that the inside page margin has to be a little wider than book one, which reduces text area, and obviously I’m already going to have to drop a font size. Which I mentioned in another post I believe, and I still don’t like. But, it is what it is.
I’m not happy with what I’m going to have to charge for the paperback either, which I think I mentioned also. So I’m going to set the price for it as low as I can, but it’s probably going to end up $19.99. I know some people will complain it’s too high, even though it is a big-ass book, but I can only give away my profit, not Amazon’s, and at that price, I make a third of what I make on a $3.99 ebook. Isn’t that crazy? But it’s fine, at least from my perspective. Maybe not for people who don’t have e-readers. (sigh). All I can do I shrug and say it would be cheaper if I had any say in it. That said, I get why: it costs money to produce a physical book; plus, it is a lot of pages; they have overhead, machinery; all that stuff. I’m just glad to have a channel for paperbacks. I like real books more than ebooks still, geezer that I am, and I would love a big fat book like this one will be. A “door stop” as someone said to me the other day. Plus, I think it’s awesome, so that makes it totally worth it. If you read 30 pages an hour, which I read somewhere is about average, that’s 27.6 hours of epic science fiction and fantasy entertainment. For 20 bucks, that’s $1.38 for an hour’s amusement, and that assumes you only read it once. Way more cost-effective than a movie or even a song in iTunes. (See all those years I spent in sales paying off for me right there?)
So, that’s where it is: email sent to formatter waiting for formatting timeline, hopefully fast, hopefully only two or three days. When he’s done, I upload and order 10 proofreader copies or so, overnight delivery. I’ll get them about 4 days after, then, tic toc tic toc, while the proofreading goes on. Then, I will send the list of typos etc., back to the formatter; he’ll fix them; then another proof copy for me to verify; and if it’s all good, it’s out. If you’re a math person and an optimist, you will see that we are talking about 11 days in a best case scenario for the predictable parts, and without including any time for proofreaders to actually read. So, if we add in 5 days for super fast, motivated proofreading given its length, that’s 20 days. Today is December 3. That means, December 23 in an absolute perfect universe where nothing goes wrong in any way.
Cross your fingers for perfect. Don’t hold your breath, but cross your fingers for sure. Bottom line, it is right there, soooo close. I’m guessing realistically January at this point, but I’m hoping I can still hit my “late 2012” mark (since I already missed my November mark—sigh, again). Regardless, I can’t wait. I’ll be releasing the cover and the video soon too, so keep an eye out here or on Facebook.
You say don’t hold your breath, just cross your fingers but i’ll do both i think 🙂 Since i read the first book(and reviewed it on goodreads) i’ve been waiting for this book, now it’s nearly within my grasp. No pressure or anything but Altin’s one of my all time favourite fantasy characters, i hope you didn’t mess with him. If you did, i wouldn’t open international mail you might find in your mailbox after a few weeks of books release. Who knows? There might be anthrax ,bomb or even a envelope sized Hostile in it. Again no pressure 🙂
It gives me great joy knowing this book will be beastly in size. Any idea when the book 3 might come?
Thanks for writing such a great fiction Mr. Daulton. All joking aside i know this book will be at least as good as the first one.
Interstellar freightliner load of love from Turkiye.
Hi Can. Thanks for the heads up, and I’ll be sure to have my HAZMAT suit on when opening any over seas mail. lol. (Thanks for the laugh, I needed one this morning).
As for the story, I’m really glad you enjoyed the first book. I like Altin too, and it’s really fun to write about him. In book two (and three) he continues to grow as a person and a wizard, and I think you’ll like how it all plays out. I sure hope so.
Speaking of which, thank you so much for taking the time to review the book on Goodreads. That stuff really means a ton to writers, especially newer writers like me who don’t have zillions of readers like the big name writers have built up over the years. Thanks a lot for taking the time to do that.
Lastly, to your question about book 3, I’m hoping for somewhere around May. I would commit to a May/June release, but I tried to commit to a November release for book 2, and, well, we can all see how that worked out. Making novels is too squishy a process for me to pin down that tightly yet, I guess. But it will be around that time. The first draft is written, so now it’s all about making it readable.
my god that stack of paper looks beastly i mean you could tie a belt around that thing and use it to club burglars into submission.
but yea glad to hear the next book is gonna be a monster i loved the first and i await the second with baited breath especially as i am in the mood for a good book.
also question if the draft of book 3 is does can we expect a shorter release cycle than what was between book 1 and 2.
keep up the good stuff cause i’m gonna buy the crap outta that book the moment it comes out.
Hi Greg. You ain’t lying about that beastly stack. It’s a monster, just a few pages shy of two full reams, or a small town’s worth of recycled Christmas trees. 😀
And yes, you are right about the release cycle between book 2 and 3 being shorter than it was between book 1 and 2. It should be way shorter. First, the draft is done for 3 before 2 is out, so that alone is a massive head start. Also, book 3 is only a little longer than book 1, making it shorter than book 2 by almost half. That will cut down a lot of time as well for revisions.
Cover art is scheduled to begin in February, and I hope to have it out somewhere around May or June. It might be earlier, it might be later, but that’s what I’m shooting for.
Thanks a ton for reading my book, and for letting me know you liked it. You should know, I like the crap out of knowing you are going to buy the crap out of Rift in the Races when it comes out!
You know what I love: updates. You don’t suck at updating your blog. As usual I read this blog post the day it came out (probably the hour it came out but I am not quite sure) and I am really excited.
Let me let you in on a (not so big) secret: I get a two week break from work starting from the 24th of December. That means that, if you manage to release the book in that time range, I will have nothing but sweet holidays and a brand new Galactic Mage series book on my tablet to read seventy billion times (calculate the cost savings in that one 😉 ). Because, honestly, this is the one book I have been looking forward to all year. If you manage to hit that there will be some serious high-five action going on in this blog.
Oh and you said you make more money if I buy the tablet version “but I can only give away my profit, not Amazon’s, and at that price, I make a third of what I make on a $3.99 ebook. Isn’t that crazy?” ok. I am buying the tablet version; end of story. And I’ll tell any and all the people that I convince to read the book to buy the tablet version.
Other than that, can I just say (because nobody seems to be saying it), lol at the images; they are golden quality and I get a laugh every time I read a blog of yours thanks to the images. I especially love the one with the stabbing of your manuscript. So much so that I will share the one that passes around in programming circles for “code reviews” which amount to the same thing: http://www.osnews.com/images/comics/wtfm.jpg As you can see, we measure quality in WTF’s per minute and I’m secretly sure that is what all book editors measure quality in too.
I’m pretty tired right now, but this is awesome, the last stretch is always the longest and the hardest but I will have you know that I for one really appreciated the lack of typos and the like in the last book. I lets you immerse in the book completely if you don’t stop all of a sudden because of a bug. So good luck! I am here excited and sitting here on the sidelines. Lets hope this turns out to be a very Merry Christmas for us all!
(Robert Out, Be Back Soon)
P.S. I can’t wait for the next update, I still have my RSS feed hooked up on my phone to notify me instantly when the next post comes out.
Robert, you rock. There’s really not much else to say. I mean, technically as a writer, I should probably be able to do better than “you rock” but I would just be adding more words to what is a plain and simple truth. Thanks so much for your support all along. Seriously.
And OMG I laughed my ass off on that WTF image. I used to work at a marketing company and got to know the guys who coded everything (I called them Romulans, given that language they have), and I can totally see them gauging that stuff with a WTF factor. That’s hilarious. And poor Joyce, she must just fill the air with WTFs going through my stuff. Oh well, she picked that line of work, not me, so she’ll just have to deal with it. Heh heh.
As for the price thing, yeah, it is what it is. People buying the ebook definitely get it for a lot less, that’s for sure. $20 is pretty steep, IMO. But, it is a big, pretty book with the full cover art, so, I won’t be bothered either way. I’ll be perfectly happy if anyone just reads my story. If they do, I think they’ll like it and tell someone else, so, hopefully I’ll make my money in volume.
Anyway, thanks again for coming by and being such a wonderful source of support and encouragement. The wait is nearly over (actually ordered the proof copies yesterday, so will have them today or tomorrow most likely). It’s super close. Will be updating with cover art and trailer video very soon, so watch that RSS feed. 🙂
tick-tock-tick-tock where’s the book? where’s the book? Look what you’ve done – I’m reduced to poetry grrrrr
It’s coming. If I had to guess, I’d say 8 to 10 days. My formatter says he’ll work on it tomorrow (he’s been out of town over the weekend). If he does, I could have it up and approved in two or three days, but I ain’t holding my breath on that.
And, poetry is fun. Tic-tock-tick-tock, the book is coming. (I’m not good at poetry, but it is fun.)