Saturday, December 27, 2008

Digital publishing among the holly and tinsel

Work ... or more accurately, tinkering continues apace, as we take the raw template that actually functioned in concert with the Blogger engine, and re-re-redesign it, to get exactly what I want for the reading-screen of the first digital novel, Legends.

Here's where we are so far:

This is pretty close to what I'd imagined: loooooong scrolling art bar on the left -- long enough to continuously illustrate about 1,000 words of text ... which we'll be calling a "page" here, at least at the outset. When we've had a chance to look at it online, we'll figure out if 1,000 words is too much to run in one contiguous chunk; in which case, a "page" will be 500 words. Won't know till we try. Right now, the demo above is wearing generic "body text" -- something copied over from some page or other -- whatever was on the screen at the time.

In a few days, I'll start keying in the first few chapters and ... then the fun begins! I'll get about five posts in hand as a hedge against those days when nothing is going to get written, come hell or high water! You know the kind of day: you spend it in the emergency room with a friend who just cut his thumb off with an angle grinder; or waiting for a tow truck. And I'll get about three more posts up, online, to "float" the project. Then we'll do a newsletter, and I'll post to this blog about it, and AG will share the news, and we'll be soliciting the help of readers to pass the word via email ... we'll see how it grows.

All being well, it should grow quickly, and it'll take about six months or so to upload this whole beast. If it works out as it should, with this one finished I'll start another one. I'll let you know, through the pages of this blog, how the fiction project is going. I admit, I have high hopes for this, because publishing becomes so simple, it's delicious. No hassles, just gloriously colorful pages, and instant publishing.

This afternoon we're tackling a job I've been dreading: we really need to put a new jacket around Dangerous Moonlight, for Amazon. For the life of me, I still can't "see" a cover, but we're out of time. Push just came to shove, so it's going to be brainstorming. Four or five people kicking ideas around, and the artist (Jade) shoving digital elements around on the screen till SOMETHING starts to gel. [whimpering sound]

Lords of Harbendane was uploaded on Christmas Eve, and will put in an appearance at Amazon in about the third week of January. And Aquamarine has finally dribbled into the Amazon engine ... though you have to hunt hard and far to find the new edition (ours):

Here's the link to the DreamCraft edition:

There are three used copies (the 2000 Millives edition) changing hands at prices beginning at US$99.25! What I don't understand is why Amazon is making it so hard to find the new edition, which people can actually (or probably) afford to buy ... and also, the DreamCraft edition is the one where the typography has been FIXED. All those pesky typesetting gaffs that Millivres let through have been hunted down and exterminated, like termites. *sigh* Doubtlessly Amazon has reasons. Or maybe the engine is still in the process of registering the new book? The process takes up to 15 working days, so ... patience.

And now -- let me see if I can bash together some idea of what's going onto the jacket of the Amazon edition of Dangerous Moonlight --

Coffee first.

Ciao for now,

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