Checking in with our favorite Daybook people - February 2014
How's the Daybook?
Some of you have been checking in with me, to update your address (don't worry - I'll send a survey to get the most recent mailing/shipping addresses at release), or just to find out how things are going. Thank you so much, for your continued support, and for keeping in touch. It's always fun to be working on a book, and this one is even more fun to be working on, precisely because there are people already excited about its release, and supporting it in a personal way. It means a lot to me to hear from you.
We're in the thick of things. Megan (who is working very hard on a painting for the cover as I type) and I have both moved into new houses, and we're both hard at work. The Daybook's release moved from December 15 (due to unexpected moving; see my last update for more), to March 14, one year since the Kickstarter ended. Can you believe it's been a year? Calendars don't seem to have a speed regulator. (Sadly, I can't install one in the Daybook. That's beyond my pay grade!)
As of today, I have to let you know that we're not going to release on March 14. (I know; I'm disappointed, too.) This is because of the time required from a final product to getting a sample printed and approving it, getting copies printed, getting them set up to ship (and ultimately to others as the book goes live, once Kickstarter backers have copies in hand), etc. Add in the reality of work left to be done, and the fact that Megan and I both lost so much time in December and January to moving; and then, I had an additional setback.
My brother-from-another-mother, Eddy, died suddenly on January 14. He was only 38. It's been a long and difficult six weeks just coping with that, let alone trying to get work done while helping with funeral arrangements and post-funeral realities. Eddy was a backer and a huge supporter of the Daybook, in every way. It breaks my heart that there are now two people (Eddy, and my father) whom I wanted more than anything to show my finished project to, and they won't get to see it.
I'm delaying release because I don't want to give you an inferior product, one that hasn't got all the art it can have, or that doesn't have all the new research I found that enhances some of my theses. I want you to have the best Daybook I can put together, and that's not going to be possible less than a month from now, no matter how hard I'm pushing.
In April, I am headed to the UK for three weeks, to do some lecturing around the Daybook (as requested by one of our Ramses-tier backers!) It's disappointing not to have a Daybook in hand to share, but I can't guarantee I'll have it by then. Additionally, I can't do print brokering, etc. from the road, so that means that even if the Daybook is finished by the time I leave April 1, I wouldn't be able to get it from the printer, and shipped, until after I return.
This is one of the adjustments one has to make with crowdfunding, I think. With a huge publishing staff, like I get for a book I've done with a publisher, I don't have to worry about these things on my own. When producing and financing a project myself, like I did with the Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook, the deadline is whatever I choose, and not dependent on other people who have contributed time, expertise, and funding to the project.
This has been a new experience for me. I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to live up to my own goals on it so far. Then again, I should've listened to my Kickstarter mentors more closely, and set my deadline further in the future to begin with, to accommodate for inevitable surprises that would delay release, and a few that I never could have guessed I'd be managing.
As of today, I am setting the Daybook release for Wep Ronpet, or ancient Egyptian New Year, the first day for the calendar for those who'd be using it with that calibration. By my (admittedly unscientific) polling of my backer list, that audience represents more than three-quarters of you. This means it will be released on August 3, 2014. In reality, I anticipate that we'll be done before that, as we are working, and since we are close to ready publishing wise, but not printing wise, logistically speaking. Setting a date that far back gives me room to handle delays without having to disappoint any further, as well as keeping the possibility of an earlier release open. It gives Megan time to paint at her creative speed, instead of feeling like she has to paint against a clock (or a calendar...), and it gives me flexibility to let my editors and proofreaders spend more time with the text.
All in all, this will result in a better Daybook. I am excited about this project, it's turning out gorgeous, and I can't wait for it to come out so you can see how great it is! If we're ready before August 3, we will do that, but if we aren't, that gives us extra time to make sure this goes as smoothly as possible. Thank you, so very much, for your understanding.
In the meantime, there are things going on with the library list from the backer stretch goals, Daybook-related appearances, and so forth. Here are some important updates:
Library List - we (still) need libraries!
Our stretch goal (yay!) included 50 free copies for libraries of backers' choice. So far, I've only received a few libraries for my list (in fact, less than 20). So there is still time, and room, for you to nominate the library of your choice to receive a free copy of the Daybook!
If you are a Daybook backer, here on Kickstarter or at egyptiandaybook.com , please send me an email at tamara @ tamarasiuda.com (remove the spaces!) stating the name and shipping address of the library you'd choose to receive a free copy of the Daybook, and a little bit about why that library is important to you. I'm limiting this to one library per person, so we can have the widest possible response. You have until August 3, or until I receive 50 suggestions, whichever comes first. I'll compile a list, and we'll announce library recipients on release day, whether that's August 3 or earlier. Libraries will receive books at the same time we send out the Kickstarter rewards (again, August 3 or earlier - we'll keep you updated).
Look at our art! (Our art is amazing)
Megan's working hard, both on black and white illustrations for inside the calendar, and the color painting that will become the cover. I am very satisfied with her work, and I think that you will be, too. Here are samples and thumbnails from work we've sent back and forth, to give you a little teaser. (Note: I didn't forget the idea of a PDF teaser as I mentioned last update, but I don't have material in production-consecutive order to share just yet. That will happen, if you still want it!)
A final image, for the month of Mesut-Ra (Mesore, or IV Shomu):
Here are some sample thumbnails for the month of Hethert (Hathor). I chose one of these images to be made into a final image like above...so you can guess which one I chose!
And here are thumbnails for the cover painting. Which one will it be? (the suspense!)
Podcast appearance March 5
I'll be appearing on the Wyrd Ways Radio program on March 5. Watch this website for details; they're still finalizing with me, but it looks like I'll be talking about ancient Egyptian religion and my academic work in Egyptology and how the two go together in my life.
Remember, you can check in here or at egyptiandaybook.com , or via message or my email, any time for details on the project. I'm happy to talk to you about this process. Thank you all so very much, for your continued support!