Sunday, October 18, 2009

Status -- October 18, 2009

The skinny:
- Finish ending (2-3 days).
- Clean up known problems (3-7 days).
- Print reader copies (2 weeks)
- ‘life’ delays (1 week)
= 1st reader copies distributed around thanksgiving

Ecstasy and Agony
So close to being done I can taste it. But life has conspired to make sure I have as little time as possible to write, and as much stress as possible to distract. Every time I sit down, I think “Wow, just a few more hours and it is ready to go!” Then a couple days slip by and I still have not reached the end of those ‘few more hours,’ even though I am working on it at least 1 hour/day. So it’s a yo-yo ride at the moment.

Still tuning up the ending. I have written down everything that needs to be there, but much of it reads poorly--expositional dialogue that is obviously the author talking. I’ve moved some of it to a comedic / touching final scene in which we learn that the youngest main character is the most adept con artist in the city, along with some menacing imagery that promises future zombie-adventure. However the scene before that is a BOGSAT -- bunch of goofballs sitting around talking.

That second to last scene that needs to sing before this book goes out the door. You see why I am excited? One more scene!

I should (and likely will) go back and fix a few problems I flagged in the last editing pass...mostly places where the continuity is unclear or the writing not up to par.

Temptation: I have spent some time with hardcopy doing thorough line edits. Two lessons from this: 1) I can cut 15 words from almost every page. 2) A number of errors (typos/wrong word/missing punctuation) jump out on the printed page, while I simply cannot find them reading on the screen. Odd. As a result, I am tempted to do another editing pass in hardcopy. Problem is, this would add another 2-4 weeks, pushing the end out toward the end of the year (yikes). I will probably skip this step for now.

POD Services
Reader copies: All the proofs are in. Unexpectedly, I am leaning toward the CreateSpace version. It has a nicer overall look (cover, paper quality, heft). However, it is about 15% more expensive and I have to scrutinize the user agreement--they pre-assign an ISBN and do some other odd things that might ‘publish’ the book without my consent. This could complicate a later sale of the book. Lulu does not have this problem. CreateSpace also charges $2 extra for $0 royalty books...reason unexplained. My proof copy was at the non-markup price, but if the reader copies are at the marked-up price, that makes them WAY more expensive than Lulu (on the order of +$4/copy), which would also make CreateSpace a non-starter.

The Lulu version is good -- decent cover, crisp paper, clean printing. It’s just not quite as ... finished looking as the CreateSpace version.

That's it for now. Writer's group in an hour--my query & synopsis are up for review. Kind of nervous, but it will do me good.


CKHB said...

Hi, I found you through Andrew Jack's blog! Love the proof copies and the title... I printed my own proofreading copies through Lulu because of the ISBN issue, and I was very happy with the results, but I never did a CreateSpace sample to compare. Hope you find the answer that suits your needs best!

Mark said...

Still mulling it over. I'll go into detail once I work it out. Thanks for leaving a commment.

just judi said...

OK, i have been standing in line all day at the library just waiting for the copy of your book to go on the shelf. Soon, real soon. jude