It’s been a while since I’ve done an update on where I’m at with my current projects. So, I thought I would give you, my readers, a bit of a shout to fill you in on what I've been up to. I know I’ve been working on my main novel for a long time, but as I continue learning about what it takes to complete a book and make it ready to proper publication, I learn there is a lot more to the process.
This is especially true for prepping to push a book out. I’ve found in the past few months I can’t divert my attention to other smaller projects like I want. It’s part of the reason my posts have been so few and sadly sporadic. I hear all the time that it isn’t how you run a website, but on the flip side, I also see how podcasters and other media content creators can’t always make a post every day or every week. Sometimes it may even take the month or two depending on the type of content they’re preparing. But before I go on, let's dive in to where I’m at.
First, the publication date for Ancient Blood: Shadowfall is coming up fast. My goal is to have it up on Amazon by July, costs of publishing pending. The biggest delay is going to be having an audiobook cut. I never knew it was so expensive, but after consulting with the narrator the total time he needs to work with the book is something in the area of 16 hours. This includes reading through the novel, audio editing and any effects he may want to add. When we first spoke, I took some time to think about what that looks like, and I totally understand why it’s so time intensive. An audio book isn’t just something you read and record. There’s a lot of work that goes into it.
An audio narrator also needs a Character Bible. A Character Bible is a breakdown of each character’s personality and mannerisms. It’s what makes them, them. It helps the narrator gain a clearer perspective on who he is reading about so that it comes through in his voice. So, that’s something I need to work on so we can start the process. That and getting the funds to pay for the service itself.
Another part of the publication is I’m currently looking for Arc Readers. These are people who I give advanced copies of the book to for review. Then, once I launch the book, they will post their reviews to their audience to help with the promotional elements and hopefully attract new readers to me.
I’ve also sent the final draft to people who I call Gamma Readers. Unlike a beta reader, a gamma reader is someone who looks at the final draft of the book and gives you a review based on the editorial changes proposed by your editor. It helps me ask the questions my editor proposed and see if I addressed them or added anything unnecessary.
Speaking of my editor, I’d like to give a humble shout to mine. Ari Augustine is amazing and insightful. There was so much I didn’t know and was never told about the proper structure of what the editing process looks like. I was really struggling to get some forward motion in this entire process, which has taken me much longer than it probably should have. So thank you, Ari, for all that you’ve done to help me get back on track.
So other projects in the works are reorienting the website. I want to do more that just post maps and say, “Hey here’s a new region”. I want to tell you about that region and give a bit of its history. I want you to really see my world the way I do.
The toughest part of this process is the amount of information I’m piling through from my notes and the timelines for each nation I currently have mapped out. Some are more vague, while others have a larger scope and detail. But lining up their development is where the challenge comes in. I may read something I wrote years or months ago, then after letting it sit, look back and decide, “No, that just isn’t right”.
I’m also continuing to look at how to organize my story posts related to Elanthar and how to structure them. It’s been on my mind a lot and I just don’t like the plastering of posts. I’d rather give each a category to make it easier for you, the reader, to decide where you might want to go as you explore the world.
For example. My stories revolving around the Great Library. I’d want to have a section for that. Or if it’s a series of stories about a particular character, I want to make a section for that. So I have some of that mapped out and I’ve spoken with my web designer on how it looks. A lot of the content will end up subscription only. Don’t worry, there isn’t a charge, but one reason for subscribing will allow me to do more subscription only content.
Some incentives for subscribing will be signed copies and exclusive things I’m working on. As a subscriber you would be the first one in the know on what that’s about and if I have a signing, I’d also have something for my subscribers that would be only for you at the event. I’m still outlining what that looks like, but I really want to add value to what I’m doing, and ultimately what I’m writing, that benefits to you.
Lastly, I’ve been penning some ideas for newer stories. Most of these are in early, early infancy. Again, Ancient Blood is really consuming most of my time as I plan for book three and eventually book four, which will be the conclusion of the series. Book two is finished and has been for a while. I’ll be sending that off to my editor within the next few months. My hope is that the process for finalizing book two will be much smoother than with book one.
Also, one last thing. Below is a map of a region currently known as the Principality of Shyre (name is subject to change). I'm still looking at making some changes to it, but I'm not 100% sure what that looks like yet. The hardest thing i'm learning about the program i use, is that being a little color blind makes things quite interesting at times lol.