Monday, 6 February 2017

Book 3 – Shadow Hunt – is almost ready

Still alive!

I've been silent so long (October last year!), because I've been working very hard on book three, so I thought I'd make the time to offer a short update.

When will it be published?

I wrote in the Afterword of Book 2 that I was confident I'd have Book 3 ready early in 2017. I've been trying very hard to publish the ebook by mid-March. Right now I'm getting some much-delayed other book-related work done while I wait to receive the detailed critique of the 2nd half of Shadow Hunt from Dave at — I should get that today or tomorrow. If I can manage to average 15pp/day then I'll have the updated draft ready about Feb 28. I'll then spend a week to 10 days checking and re-checking that, then upload it to Amazon. If I can manage 20pp/day, then it will be ready earlier, obviously.

I'm doing my best, and working very hard. I finished writing and polishing the draft and sent it to Dave at the end of 2016 (in two parts: 1st half on Nov 28th, and the 2nd half on Dec 3rd).

Shadow Hunt cover

Mirella, too, has been hard at work on the cover design, working from a brief I prepared last year. This image, below, is not final, and maybe I shouldn't include it... but I just can't resist giving you a sneak peek, even though it's not quite finished. (It will change just a little, but I love it already!)

(You can see the final cover over on my other blog.)

Some nitty-gritty

Dave's critique has been invaluable, as ever. We spent some time discussing his key recommendations at a high level, and I sketched out a plan, and then sat down and worked my way through chapter by chapter. I also received very helpful feedback from Jon Marshall (again!) as a beta reader of the same MS, and he found several important problems and oversights (fortunately, none hard to correct).

Incidentally, the reason for breaking the critique in two was purely a time-saving method: I could get started on the first half while Dave continued on the second half. This was only possible because he'd sort of already critiqued the whole thing twice before, because the MS has been split in two twice from Dave's feedback (that's not counting once, before, based on my own assessment). A side benefit of splitting it in two is also purely mechanical: the powerful, free word processor I use, LibreOffice, becomes unusable when the number of comments in a file exceeds about 1,500. (It must have what's called an order N2 algorithm in its handling of comments, which is a fancy way of saying the time it takes to do anything rises as sharply as the up-sweeping arm of a parabola!) As it stands, before I start deleting comments, LibreOffice takes about 15 — 20 seconds just to respond to a menu click. I've added to the problem report (bug 60418), and it's on their list of things to consider. But it's not considered a big problem.


Today I logged in to Thorpe-Bowker to assign ISBNs to the ebook and the print edition. Armed with the correct ISBNs, I then visited the National Library of Australia website to request a Cataloguing in Publication entry for three editions of Shadow Hunt (the ebook, the 5"x8" edition, and the 4"x7"). But again, all three 4"x7" editions are on hold until I can find a workaround for another bug in LibreOffice, that messes up the page headers. (Bug 103078)

About Vol. 3

Shadow Hunt is currently a little longer than the 1st, Wild Thing, though Dave is recommending I cut 30 pages from one 100-page stretch. If I manage to do that, it's shaping up to be the same length as Wild Thing. I'm very happy with how the book turned out (is turning out?).

April plans

I'm also planning to attend the SwanCon this year (I've never visited Perth)! It's billed as "Australia’s longest running Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Convention".

My next blog posts here will probably cover these topics:

  • Break up that indigestible previous blog that covered too much in too much detail
  • a quick intro to Scribus for preparing your book covers, given a brilliant cover design as your starting point
  • setting up your Youtube author channel (mine is here)
  • a rant about the new publishing world.

Over on my other blog, All About Leeth, I plan to post a Q&A from a fan (yes — I have a fan!) about the series, and especially about Harmon and Leeth's relationship.

I think that covers thing. Now to press on with some other work — like finalising the blurb, and more polishing of the new parts I've written over the last few weeks. I'm doing my best!


Barbara Strickland said...

Sounds like you have this all under control. Looking forward to reading Book3

Luke Kendall said...

Thanks, Barbara!

Barbara Strickland said...

Just letting you know that I seem to be subscribed on two emails. I am about to unsubscribe on the other and keep this one.