A short update to confirm that the proofs for the main book were reviewed and sent back to the printer. The entire run should be completed, packaged, and traveling by freight to Georgia in roughly three weeks.
During this time I'll be locking down the plans for gathering updated shipping information and getting packaging and labels and postage ... In short there's a lot to do so that we can get moving on getting books out to backers quickly when the shipment comes into the warehouse.
Once the book is on its way to those who've waited so long for it, I'll begin building a plan to deliver the additional rewards for those waiting for them. I'll keep the biweekly updates going until everyone has everything! Thanks everyone.
Folks, I'm very happy to let you know that the only thing I have left to do for the printed version of the main book is to send the free download code labels to the printer! By next update, we'll have the following:
A revised eBook/PDF version of the Metamorphosis Alpha RPG core book that matches all the final changes seen in the print version. Every backer and pre-order customer will receive this update.
I'll have a timeline for when to expect the shipment of the printed book to arrive in our warehouse. From there I can begin to plan and prep the mailings to the backers.
I'll resume work on bonus content and upcoming material and should have a few things to show you.
On the Personal Side ...
I'm very grateful for the outpouring of support and assistance that has come when I shared what's going on with my daughter's illness. One of our backers, who I will not name without permission, sent me a refurbished Macbook Pro that he no longer needed. I installed my software on it and I was able to use it to finish all the corrections and changes to the layout files. A huge Thank You for such a generous and selfless gift, and one that helped all of the backers by making it possible to finish this work while staying at my daughter's side.
I was accused by at least one backer of attempting to use my daughter to make excuses and emotionally manipulate you all. I hope you understand this is not the case, but since I've made the commitment to keep you updated every two weeks I wanted to make sure you understood what was going on and that I was doing my best despite a serious situation in my family. I will not be using this forum to talk about her treatment or my family unless it directly affects the project.
I'll post a brief backer-only update when the revised PDF goes up so that everyone knows to check their email for new download codes—which should be before the end of this week! Take care, and I'll talk to you in April.
For the core book, our printer in Minnesota is waiting on me to upload the final, corrected files which I should be able to do by end of day Wednesday. I have already reserved the needed funds to pay off the full balance for the print run once I get the final invoice. I also need to get the PDF download-code stickers printed and shipped out, something that I should be able to do next week. Everything slowed down a bit because of a very serious family situation, but nothing is cancelled nor am I stopping on any of the promised material or rewards. Read below if you're interested in what's going on.
Personal Update: Happy Pi Day
Two weeks ago I took my daughter to get impacted wisdom teeth extracted by an oral surgeon, with both her dentist and family doctor believing an infection was causing her recurring fevers. It took us from the oral surgeon to an emergency room to an ICU to a transfer to another hospital after her many tests led to a diagnosis.
I'm writing to you now from the Bone Marrow Unit at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, where my daughter is undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is undergoing a very aggressive regimen of chemotherapy to fight the cancer in her blood and bones. While it's too early in her treatment to know how effective it's been so far, this hospital has a very good track record and there is every hope that she can be cancer free in a few years.
I'm the only member of my family with the flexibility to stay with my daughter most of the time. I haven't been able to get much done, but after my last trip home I grabbed my iMac (the trusty desktop on which I do all my layout and graphics work) so I can finish entering the corrections I already red-marked into the master files. I look forward to announcing that the book is officially off to press and we have an expected date to see it in our warehouse. The book is complete (minus those last few corrections) and the printing already paid for so I don't want to hold it up anymore when just a last little push will get us over the finish line.
As stated above I am not going to stop on any of the future planned material nor am I canceling any promised rewards. I will continue to update as promised but there might not be much forward momentum for the next 3-5 weeks until we can (hopefully) get my daughter into full remission and back home to begin the outpatient program.
I appreciate your continued patience, as well as any kind thoughts or prayers you can spare for my child.
I'm really happy to report that I've received confirmation from our printer that everything is ready on their end. Pre-press will begin as soon as I've sent the finalized files to them via FTP.
I'm also happy to report that my very final red-mark of the book to make it as clean and error-free as possible is complete. It's all pretty small stuff, but I feel like the corrections keep the book consistent and the rules presentation understandable all while maintaining the reader-friendly style I did my best to maintain during the writing process.
So what do I have to do? Enter in all these corrections into my master files and "go gold" on the print version of the book. Once I do that and send the press-ready files to the printer, I will create an updated eBook version and update DriveThruRPG.com so that everyone here who got their book via their download code will get sent notice of an updated file available.
It was my original plan to spend all day entering those corrections and getting the book ready. But to misuse a quote from Jurassic Park, "life finds a way" (to screw with you). My daughter is in need of oral surgery (infection and fever because of impacted lower wisdom teeth) and I spent most of today trying to get her taken care of sooner rather than later, including her being "fired" as a patient from her original surgeon. The happy ending there is that I've got an appointment early tomorrow morning to get her consult and procedure back-to-back.
So my updated plan is that I should be able to have all of this done by the end of day on Wednesday. I will post a special update to let you all know when we're officially at press, then back to the "every two weeks" scheduled updates as promised, including moving forward on all the extra rewards. (I will be in Las Vegas for the GAMA Trade Show, but will update from there regardless.) Thanks to everyone who has left comments and notes of encouragement. I can't wait to have the long-promised book to you all!
Quick aside: On the way back from the grocery store this evening, my lady and I saw an SUV flipped over on its side and a smoking wreck of a car sitting near it. She ordered me to pull over and was instantly across the street to she if she could help. (She works in the medical profession and is trained in CPR, first aid, etc.) I assisted in pulling the lady trapped in the flipped SUV out of her skyward driver-side window while Nikki checked everyone over for injuries. No one seemed badly hurt (though the "flipped" lady showed signs of shock and possible concussion). Apparently the accident was caused by someone being in such a hurry they ran a red light and smashed into the other car's side. Be patient and careful out there, folks.
Down to Business
A few days ago I sent the official purchase order for 3,000 units of the 1st printing of this edition of the Metamorphosis Alpha Roleplaying Game to our Minnesota-based printer, enough to cover every backer and outstanding pre-order and give the game some legs in distribution and stores. The awesome folks at OneBookShelf have provided me with the free PDF download codes so I can get every one of those books stickered before they are case-packed and shipped to the warehouse.
I'm just over 100 pages into my final red-marking of the book. Not many errors, but I want to make sure this printing is as error-free as we can make it. By the end of this week I should have the final changes marked, corrected in the master files, and everything ready to upload via our printer's FTP server. Once I get the files up to them and our deposit down, I'll have a projected ship-date for when the book should be headed toward our warehouse.
Speaking of that ship date, I'm planning on re-soliciting the book for trade sales, both to give it the best shot at a strong launch month and very importantly to make sure backers and pre-order customers get their copies first before it appears in stores. I hope you enjoy having the physical book on-hand and will recommend it, despite the long wait. So for an upcoming update I'll be able to give a projected schedule of when backer copies will go out and what the "street date" for the book elsewhere.
Short Adventure & Starship Warden Sourcebook
I've come up with a rough concept for the short adventure that shamelessly steals some ideas from classic scifi and mashes them up MA-style, so I will try to have a breakdown for the adventure plot up for everyone next time. I'm also going to start writing some sample sections from different parts of the Warden sourcebook so our writing team will know exactly what I'm looking for as we get that book through the first-draft phase.
One backer asked last time for me to address what will happen with the other promised rewards. I'm deliberately keeping my focus on the immediate concern of getting the core book off to press and getting the next two written projects lurching forward. But I am committed to getting everything promised out to backers, one step at a time. I already have a couple of print shops in mind to ask for quotes for the short-run hardcover printing, and am thinking of designs of the Warden Crew t-shirts. We'll get there!