Audiobook Finished, and Text to the Book Designer at Long Last
Thanks to C.S.E. Cooney's experience, professionalism, and enthusiasm, the audiobook is done months before we need it. It's about two and a half hours long, and every time I listen to a bit of it, the virtual T.S. Eliot in my head perks up for a moment to say, "She Do the Police in Different Voices." Though I'd heard myself read the novella aloud many times, hearing the characters as Claire interpreted them was an experience full of happy surprises.
This seems like a good time to congratulate Claire on her Nebula Award nomination for "The Bone Swans of Amandale," which made the Best Novella shortlist. Go check it out!
The last delaying factor in getting the text and art to the book designer was one that might be informative for anybody planning a first go at self-publishing, so I'll admit to it here. I had known, in a vague sort of way, that I would need a couple of review blurbs to put on the advance review copies if I wanted to attract the big gatekeepers among the review sites. I even had a list of people I could ask for those way-in-advance bits of praise.
But I hadn't put the act of asking on my To-Do list.
It takes time to read 17,000 words, think about them, and come up with a way of praising them that sounds as real as it feels. Some people's schedules were too tight to get something to me before May -- which will still be useful for the final cover design, but there's no way I could hold off on the ARCs that long.
We have two beauties to go to press with right now. One of my blurbmasters sent me a mini-review and his blessing for compressing it however I needed to. The other sent a perfect blurb that made me blush -- I wouldn't have dared to compare my own work to George R.R. Martin's, though for this piece it's a comparison that makes sense. Here they are:
The Imlen Brat opens in quite enjoyable territory. Then things start opening up, and moving in surprising directions. A delightful beginning. I look forward to seeing Stisele’s future in all its colors. — Rich Horton, Editor, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Imlen Brat is a tale of court intrigue, fast-changing alliances, and the constant subtle peril of being an adopted daughter in an enemy royal house. It's a compact Game of Thrones, with mighty pirate kingdoms, weather wizards, quarrelsome ghosts, curses, and secret magics. Don't miss it! — John O’Neill, Publisher and Editor, Black Gate
The three weeks' delay it took to get those blurbs will absolutely pay off in the long run, but I might have been able to avoid the delay if I'd combed more carefully through my notes to make sure absolutely every task made it onto the master checklist.
While I waited for those to come in, I wrote up the acknowledgements. So many people to thank! All you backers are in there. For the ARC, I'm using the names as Kickstarter shows them. If any of you who don't use your real or full names on Kickstarter would like your name to appear some other way in the acknowledgments, please let me know in the next month or so. I've got several first-name-only people, and a couple of interesting pseudonyms -- Sumoslap, I'm looking at you!
Be well, everybody, and Happy Spring.