The proof copy of “Knight of the Flame” arrived yesterday. Actually, it apparently arrived on Friday, a whole lot faster than I’d been expecting, so I guess express shipping really is worth the price these days.
First off, yes, holding a copy of your own book in your hands is a pretty cool experience. I want to compare it to something, to make some pithy comparison or metaphor to something else I’ve done in my life, but, honestly, there was no comparison to make. You’re sitting there, turning the pages, reading a word here, a paragraph there, thinking, “This is an actual book, with my actual words in it. See that sentence there? I wrote that sentence. And it’s in a book!” I highly recommend the experience. I really do.
So, what comes next? Well, as predicted, the first draft isn’t going to be the last one; I’m going in for that one, single round of changes. Am I being a perfectionist? Nah, I’ve found a handful of things I’m not exceedingly happy about, but there are only two of them that I actually can’t live with. The cover actually turned out a lot better than I’d expected, especially considering, for some arcane reason, an entire color simply didn’t show up in in the final product ( I don’t know what that’s all about, but I decided in the end that I really don’t care. It might actually look better this way).
Change number one has to do with the fact that I completely forgot to proof the blurb on the back cover, and so my triple-dash placeholders (“- – -“) never actually got turned into m-dashes (“—“). Crap. It’s a small thing, yes, but it’s a small thing that’s on the cover, so it makes for a pretty big, pretty amateurish impression.
Change number two was also a little thing, but just as immediately apparent. It turns out I need to be more careful about formatting my chapter headings in the future. You know that little paragraph style option where you tell the word-processing program to indent the first line of every paragraph? Yeah, the chapter headings need to be asked politely not to do that. Otherwise, they’re just off-center enough for the casual observer to notice. It doesn’t look terrible, but it’s enough to pull the reader out of the story long enough to wonder if something’s wrong with his/her book.
So, one fix on the cover, and one in the interior matter. I’d say that’s not too bad for a first attempt, all things considered.I just submitted the corrected documents to CreateSpace, and they’re going through the review process again right now. Said process takes less than a day, so I should be able to order a new proof by the end of the day, maybe even get it delivered by Friday. There, of course, could be more revisions after that…who knows what kinds of new problems I’m likely to give life to while I’m fixing the current batch? I’ll certainly need to allow some extra time before release to account for that eventuality.
In the meantime, I’m finishing up the Kindle and Smashwords versions. I don’t see any reason for them not to be complete by this time, next week.
After that, we’re mostly talking about two things. First is all the marketing (read: social networking) stuff, which is about half set up at this point. Second is the audio version, which I haven’t started recording yet, but which, based on my investigations so far, shouldn’t take as long to do as I’d originally thought. I’m looking forward to finally really using my new Yeti microphone!
Right now, I believe “Knight of the Flame” will be officially releasing on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo in May, likely around the 9th or the 10th. More information as it becomes available.