Things are going pretty well, it seems. I didn’t get as much First-Reader feedback on Never Let the Right One Go as I’d been hoping for, though I got as much as my past experience led me to expect, and after another couple passes I think the text is about as good as I know how to make it. I did a full read through of both books at the end of the week, making small changes as I went, and was very happy with how each story unfolds – even when read simultaneously, alternating chapters between the two books. I was pleasingly entertained, after a month of worrying whether the books were good enough.
I’ve heard back from one of the two photographers whose images I wanted to use on the covers, and barring an unexpected problem with getting a model release signed, have permission to use their image. I’ve begun working on the full-resolution image for the dust jacket, with it. I haven’t mentioned it here before, but I also recently found some music I wanted to use for the intro/outro of the audiobook versions (I normally compose something myself, but have been having difficulty coming up with anything I liked for this project), and this morning I heard back from the composer with permission to use it. All I’m waiting on now is permission from the other photographer (or to locate another acceptable photo for Sophia, which I can get license for) and the rest is good to go. I’ve been spending a fair proportion of my worry over the last month on the matter of getting permission from other creators, and it’s nice to have this (mostly) resolved.
The Kickstarter campaign for Never Let the Right One Go is only at about 20% with less than five days left, and unless there’s a surge of interest in the next few days (I don’t really know how to create one) it looks like it won’t be funded. This is okay, as I’ve said before: I can afford to do a limited-edition print run (probably 50 hardcovers, though I’m now considering an even smaller run) without funding, and without my business going into the red for the year. Being funded would be better, and knowing I had more than half a dozen potential buyers up front would be nice, but I’ll find the readers for these books eventually. Sadly, without funding (or more art sales) I won’t be able to afford to buy the font I want for the text. Oh, well.
I expect to begin recording the audiobook versions either this week or the next, and to send the “Beta” or “ARC” (Advance Reader Copy) version of the texts out to Beta Readers and reviewers as soon as I’m done working on the audiobook. Depending on how my voice and ears hold out, possibly by the end of the month. I still seem to be on track for getting everything together for a mid-May eBook release and hardcover availability, and I’m thinking of making the official release date 5/12/2012. (Though I probably won’t have the hardcovers in hand (and almost certainly not signed, numbered, and ready to ship) at that point.) I haven’t set down a release schedule for the audiobooks, yet, but probably I’ll be releasing one chapter of each book once a week, with (say) a chapter of Sophia on Monday and a chapter of Emily on Friday (with a couple poems from Unspecified, which I haven’t podcast yet) on Wednesdays. That would stretch it out to just over 26 weeks, not being complete until late November. I’ll have to check their policies in May, but Podiobooks.com has said they want to move to only accepting “complete” audiobooks, which would mean neither book would be available there until the end of November. Meh. If people want the whole thing sooner, they can come to modernevil.com and/or pay for it.
I think that’s it for status updates. Things aren’t as good as they could be, but they’re going pretty well. Getting more feedback, hearing from the other photographer, finding another 30 backers, these things would be nice – but I’ve gotten some good feedback, I’ve heard from some of the creatives I want to integrate the work of into mine, and I’ll be able to afford to publish something very close to the premium edition of the books I’ve been imagining. Plus: I’m aiming for finishing (if not publishing) another 3-4 books (or more) this year, and I don’t feel I’m over-reaching. There’s a good chance they’ll all be digital-only.