Wednesday 18 June 2014

Return on Investment update

I've devoted the last week to wrapping up Return on Investment, which meant three more passes through the manuscript. Two of those were feedback passes from friends, one was an editing pass from an editor. I let it rest for a couple days in between, then went through the manuscript line by line and cross-checked everything - locations, names, British versus American spellings, the works. I can reliably do about 30,000 words of that kind of self-editing per day, a little more if I'm editing somebody else's works. (Once, for a panicked friend, I did 60,000 words in a day, but that's inviting a headache.)

So that were pretty intense three days, but I sent it back to the editor last night, to just check the bits I changed (and tracked). I've lined up the layouter and cover artist for, well, layout, and a couple promotional banners and such, so all that might happen this week, provided the editor has time to do this step soon. No pressure. We don't have a release date yet, but late June/early July seems likely at this stage.

I've also considered pricing and distribution, and I'm going with an Amazon-only release, as the advantages by far outweigh the disadvantages for me. If you are one of the people who won't buy from Amazon or prefer other formats/shapes of the book, email me (vashtan @ gmail com), and we'll work something out. While ARe is important for romances, Return on Investment isn't a romance in the narrow sense, so I don't expect to see many sales through there. Most of all, I'm aiming for simplicity - I don't like bookkeeping at the best of times, and keeping track of payments (some of them pennies) from a million different sources  means I'll have to hire in my accountant to sort this stuff out. I need to find the balance between customer service and interfering with my writing time and productivity. (One of the nice things about only being with a small number of publishers? Easier bookkeeping.) But, as I said, if you want to buy the book from me direct, let me know. I'm even looking into direct sales from my website.

I'm now in the post-novel stage where I clean up my general working environment/study and coral all the papers and issues that require my attention in some way and that I have simply let pile up while away in Storyland. So I'm shredding paper, filing stuff, and making a list of priorities - whom to pay, what to decide, whom to call. I also have two little packets that need posting. All of this helps me clear my head, if nothing else.

The next step is to decide what to do next. The big project obviously is Suckerpunch (which I've neglected, but I really only manage to deal with one solo book at a time, and Return on Investment was important, too). And there are two small projects - a re-edit of Deliverance and the German translation of Skybound - that I want to do this month. And there's wrapping up the sequel to No Distance Left To Run with Lori that has to happen before 1 July. I'm also expecting edits for the re-issued Counterpunch any day now.

So yeah. Happy and productive. :)

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