It has been forty days since I last spoke here. It's time for another update. It's been a while, and a ton of stuff has happened.
Namely, the manuscript is done.
Hold your applause: the book is not done. I'll believe that once it's printed, in my hands, and then shipped to your hands. And for that to happen, it has to get printed. So that's what I'm doing. I signed a contract with the printer yesterday, and will send them my files tomorrow, and payment in three days.
(Why three days? The CD that I mentioned way back when, with your money in it, matured yesterday - and the money is on my way back to my regular bank. That's how long it takes for the fancy computers to do their thing.)
Once that happens, I receive a proof copy: one single book that will look like what gets printed. I'm going to make corrections to the proof, send them back, and then receive a corrected proof. Repeat until I decide to print the book - probably two rounds of this. Then a month lapses for them to print the book, and then I ship everything out. We're still on track for your receiving your copies by the end of 2010, but those are the gory details.
I am printing 1,000 copies. Around 250 preorders (including yours) are spoken for, and I hope to give around 60 free copies to my editors and those whose works I cited. That leaves around 690 copies that I hope to sell in the coming months after Cadence & Slang's release. As early supporters of my work, you're the best hope that I have to publicize this. I hope you like the book, and tell your friends and colleagues about it.
The final quote that I approved ended up being slightly below what I predicted. But I promised to devote every cent of your money to the project, so I'm plotting a surprise, which I will not tell you about yet.
So yesterday, I celebrated the only way I know how: by ordering a thousand padded envelopes and labels, and receiving a classy gift for my efforts. It just shipped an hour ago... with six tracking numbers. I am looking into storage space for all this. I am also contemplating what to do with the hat. Suggestions are welcome.
Obviously, the illustrations are also finished, and I've contacted the five backers who purchased originals for their shipping information. If you asked for a drawing, I'll be sending them out on Saturday.
Finally, how to (hopefully) handle 750 more orders. I received a Square yesterday. If you live in Chicago (or know folks who do), and you want to buy another copy of the book, track me down sometime. I'm also looking into a better ordering system than my preorder page's PayPal button.
Backer updates will be coming a little more frequently, now that so much is happening with the book, so stay tuned!
I haven't written here in a while, and there is a reason for that: Cadence & Slang is almost ready to print. I have spent the past several months keeping my head down and working on it as much as time allows.
The manuscript is entirely finished, but it is not done with being edited, and the illustrations are still forthcoming. Because you're morbidly curious, here is how the book is being written and edited:
- I write a chapter.
- I go through two passes of editing by myself.
- My loving grammar nazi girlfriend rips it apart.
- I send it to some really smart friends. They rip it apart, and send back feedback.
- I type the feedback up and make sure everything looks consistent and nice.
- One more edit pass on my part.
As publishing goes, this is pretty unorthodox. My colleagues' edits basically function as suggestions. As it's gone so far, I incorporate about 80% of my edits unchanged, tweak another 15%, and discard the last 5%. Ultimately this process eliminates the chance of fighting with people that may not have the same ideas as I do for how the book will turn out, and it brings more of the "self-" to "self-publishing." Hopefully it won't turn out like crap, because then everybody wins.
So here's where we are: five of the seven chapters are up to #5. The other two are up to #3, but they are the shortest chapters, and they'll likely hit #5 by this Friday. I'm going to work on #6 all this week; I'm spending the next nine days working exclusively on the book. I hope to send it off to the printer by Labor Day, but that may slip by a couple of weeks. All of this means we're still on track to have it finished and ready by the end of 2010.
The idea of saying "it'll be out in three months" rather than "it'll be out at the end of 2010" is freaking me out a little, and the idea of saying "I'm almost done with Cadence & Slang" is freaking me out a lot. I've worked on this, exclusively and nonstop, for almost two years, and I have no idea what I'll be doing afterward. (Well, other than celebrating.) There's a certain imminence to it that I don't quite know how to reconcile with the fact that I still have to work on it. I'm pretty sure the finished product is going to be ridiculously cathartic.
Once it's out, I want to have a release party for Cadence & Slang somewhere in Chicago, which means you should keep the entire months of November and December open until further notice. Thanks.
Finally, some random administrivia:
- I'm going to be in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. I hear there are, like, five or six tech companies there, so maybe a backer lives in the area. Maybe. Want to meet up? Let me know.
- I'm going to be in DC on October 07 and 08. You can meet me anywhere you'd like, as long as it's Churchkey.
- If you're interested in starting a Kickstarter project yourself, or if you're curious about how the process went for another self-publisher, fellow Kickstarterer Craig Mod has written a pretty fantastic post about the process. Makes for nice bedtime reading.
For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.