Friday, November 4, 2011


All these people out there participating in NaNoWriMo... that smacks of effort. I propose something a little more attainable.

Nano is 10-9 and pico is 10-12. That's three whole orders of magnitude less. All those diligent NaNoWriMo types are trying to crank out what, fifty thousand, sixty thousand words? That's too much like hard work for me. Dropping three orders of magnitude gives us a whole fifty to sixty words to complete IN A WHOLE MONTH! Guess what? I've just completed that, so I can have the rest of the month off. I hereby declare PicoWriMo open!

(seriously, though... if you're working on something for NaNoWriMo, all the best - you have my admiration, I'm not sure I'd even know where to begin.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I just spoke to the printers.

The Australian trade paperback edition of Danann Frost Embraces the Darkness will be 380 pages, on cream stock, with 240gsm cover stock. They're sending me the spine thickness today, so I'll be able to complete the cover, and I'm sending them a pre-production copy of the bookblock PDF and a copy of the cover from Australian edition of Danann Frost Falls from Grace (can't do the new book's cover until I have the spine dimensions) so they can see if my standards and theirs have any overlap :-)

Once that's all sorted I'll be able to look at the overseas version, at least four different e-book versions, and an e-book version of DFFfG for a different sales channel. I'm hoping that the overseas paperback will be able to use the same dimensions as the Australian one, which will make life a lot easier.

The page count on this new one is 380. The last book was 402 pages for the print-on-demand edition, and 392 pages for the Australian edition in a slightly larger trim size (6.02" x 9.21", instead of 6" x 9"). Don't let that fool you, though - the word-count on the new book is actually a little higher, the formatting is a little tighter (and I think better) and we've somehow lucked out with this book having less blank space at the ends of chapters.

So... things are moving along very nicely. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guess what I just got handed?

Joanne has just given me the finished, edited manuscript of Danann Frost Embraces the Darkness, ready for me to work my magic on and turn it into two paperback editions (POD and a short run), a gaggle of ebooks for different distribution channels and probably a couple of hardcover editions just for laughs.

I'll post something here, there and probably everywhere else too when I've got enough of it done to put out the the taster edition... and once it has been passed by Chair of the Editorial Board.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Got a deadline...

The ever-wonderful Joanne has finally set a date for the release of Danann Frost Embraces the Darkness - June 12.

So... I guess I have to:
  1. Wrestle the final manuscript from Joanne - and go to nothing-but-typos mode on edits from that time on
  2. Produce not one but TWO print masters
  3. Deal with CreateSpace (or Lightning Source - still undecided on that one, but suspect CreateSpace is still a little better for our particular requirements)
  4. Talk to Griffin Press again, since they did such a wonderful job printing the Australian edition of the last one
  5. Produce a Kindle version
  6. Produce an ePub for Kobo and the Apple store (I'll go through Lulu again for Apple - that was unbelievably smooth for the first one)
  7. Figure out what I'm doing wrong with my formatting for Smashwords, so I can get both books out through there. Not being American makes it just about impossible to deal with B&N pubit directly, and Smashwords are just about the only way for us to get into the Sony store too.
So... as we're looking at mid-April as a deadline for the print versions, and probably at early June for most of the electronic ones, the print version gets all my attention for the next month.

I'd say "sucks to be me"... but it doesn't, not really. It's actually kind of nice helping bootstrap a book, I just need to find an extra five hours a day to do it. That'll officially make my days 36 hours long.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I honestly thought they'd closed

I discovered today that one of my favourite independent bookshops, The Little Bookroom, did NOT close many years ago. They were just hiding in Carlton. What's more, they're just about to open another shop.

Compare and contrast with the Borders/A&R/Whitcoulls implosion in Australasia, and the Borders one in the US.

Clearly, there's still money to be made in bricks-and-mortar book retailing if you've got a niche, and being a kids book specialist is a great one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Looks like I'll use this, until I don't.

Over the years I've made a few abortive starts at blogging. No, I won't tell you where most of them are because I've forgotten most of the details - and in a couple of cases I'm not sure I want to own up to them anyway. They typically got a few posts, then got forgotten about.
There were a few things that contributed to that. A chronic lack of interesting things to say, for one. No feedback, for another. No real purpose for the trifecta. I have a few interesting thoughts about areas related to my job, but it's probably best not to blog about most of those for a number of reasons.

Fast-forward a few years... I find myself laying out a book, organizing cover art, looking at print-on-demand printing and distribution options, helping to build an author web presence... fast-forward a little further and I'm heavily involved in marketing and promotion. Seems I might have something interesting and useful to say, after all - comments on why a particular POD publisher was chosen for a particular edition, how easy it was dealing with a local printer for a short Australian digital print run, why for Australians Kobo Rocks but B&N are too hard to deal with, that kind of thing.

So, here I go again, starting to make a few comments on another blogging platform. Only, this time I might actually have something to say. Time will tell.