A reminder: if you have moved or are moving, NO WORRIES. We're going to send out the backer's survey when everything's ready, so we'll be able to get your most current address then!
Yesterday we submitted the final version of To Be or Not To Be to the printer. The paper had already been ordered and the books are being printed in the States, so printing will be as fast as possible, but we're looking more at June than May for delivery. I'm sorry it could not be sooner! The delay was in laying the book out: we wanted it to be perfect and that took some time.
But this is going to be a gorgeous book.
Since the Kickstarter did so well, we could afford to make this book a little decadent. Every node gets its own page, and each ending gets a two-page spread:
This will be a solid little book: the final page count is 764 pages, and 113 of those contain illustrations. Not bad. Not bad at all. It's such a pretty book, you guys.
The manuscript itself has been copyedited twice and gone over in great detail when we did the audiobook, but when it was laid out there was the chance of errors being introduced. The only option was to go over the manuscript AGAIN in even greater detail, and to double-check that every single page linked to the correct pages every single time. We didn't want "turn to page 45" and have 45 be the wrong place!
So I wrote a program that took the book text, transformed it into a graph, and checked that this graph was the same as the graph it also generated from the original manuscript. Or, to put it another more futuristic way, I brought a computer intelligence into the world, designed specifically to play my book and run through every possible game. The book was now COMPUTER-APPROVED. That took few hours.
But then I realized that while I thought the program worked, I only had the one test case, and I didn't want to risk an undetected bug in my whipped-together program making the book turn out less then amazing. So I went through the entire book manually, marking down node and link numbers, and making sure they were all consistent. That took an entire day. At the end, I'd produced this, which looks a lot like my notes on unraveling the conspiracy about how dogs are mind-controlling the world's leaders but actually represents a lot of hard work:
All this to say that yesterday was really exciting and this bad boy is going to be a REAL THING. We're now at the printers! We've still got to lay out Poor Yorick and get that printed, but it's a much smaller job that we're starting on first thing next week, and shouldn't take more than a few days.
Other news is that we're doing a final day of re-recording on Monday - this is clean-up work on the audiobook, redoing any line that sounded a bit off!
IN CONCLUSION, WHEELS ARE IN MOTION AND SOON BOOKS WILL BE COMING OUT OF THE WHEELS