Friday, April 29, 2011

....and I broke it.

The page for Book 4 is down down, thanks to my attempting to edit a whole one line of the page. The problem with hiring someone to design your webpage is that if he does too good a job, down the line you'll need him to do every little thing because you can't manipulate the code yourself.

And just in time, when Amazon is reporting that book 4 is available, just that they won't ship it for a bit because they don't actually have the book yet. A bunch of reviewers have received their copies, but I have not. This happens sometimes, when everyone gets the book ahead of me and I end up buying my own book before the author copies arrive.

In awesome news, book 4 for is available!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

While preparing for the last two days of Passover, I was informed it was Easter as well. Happy Easter everyone! Or, everyone who celebrates. People who do not celebrate, feel free to have a good day anyway. If you were holding yourself back before, feel free to go out now.

Good Yom Tov and restful end to Pesach for all those celebrating. I'm going to try to get some reading done in the research area and not get distracted by 1970's sci-fi and Calvin and Hobbes collections, as has been the case pretty much all week. Oh, and some Sherlock Holmes short stories my dad has been bugging me to read.

The "official" publication date listed on Amazon for book 4 is now May 10th instead of May 1st. Sometimes the dates aren't hard dates until the books actually appear in stores or arrive at Amazon headquarters. I don't have any control over it. Adjust your anticipation accordingly.

The countdown has begun....

I seriously wrote this long post, and it got deleted. Obviously with being stressed out by Passover I'm thrilled with the idea of writing out another post. Well, my book is coming out in 7 days and I should say something, shouldn't I?

Uh... check out my posts at Austen Authors about Passover and look there for giveaways of book 4 on May 3rd. Oh, and I just found out the Kindle version will not be available for another month, and no, I have no control over that.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pre-Passover Post

So the main thing about this post is that it's scheduled; I'm actually writing it now and it's Thursday and will be posted by blogger on Sunday. I'm away this weekend at a gaming convention, after which I'm going right back to New Jersey to help out with getting ready for Pesach (Passover) which starts on Monday night. We were hoping maybe I would get a review or author copy of book 4 by now so Mom could read it during Pesach, but alas, it is seemingly not to be (though I haven't been in a Barnes and Noble lately and they do put stuff out early).

I also finished a 67,000-word book that I unintentionally wrote. See, I write a lot. Sometimes I sit down and say "I want to write a novel to be published" but most of the time I'm just writing whatever it is that I happen to want to write, which in this case is fanfic for something that is NOT in public domain (unlike Jane Austen) and therefore cannot be published no matter how good/bad it is. But if I want to write something, I just get really frustrated until I write it. I want to say this is the ONLY novel-length Metalocalypse I've written in the past 6 months, but there are kinda four of them. Hopefully this will be the last and my attentions will turn to writing short stories to go with book 4's release, then revising Towerland while working on my non-fiction business guide to the Mishnah.

And when I'm done with all that, I can finally play Fallout 3: New Vegas. I've had it since Brandy gave it to me for Hannukah, but I just know that if I start playing it I will drop off the face of the earth for a solid month and get nothing else done. So on my shelf it sits.

Happy Pesach and Happy Easter. Also, when the hell is Easter?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reading List

Let's see if I can make this weekly update happen, even if it doesn't necessary happen next week, with me away for the weekend and Pesach (Passover) starting on Monday.

So what am I reading? is a question I'm sure you haven't asked yourself, but I'll tell you anyway. For what I've finished lately, you can follow me on Goodreads, as I regularly post to it when I finish things.

My reading list is pretty assorted and heavy on the history or sci-fi, mostly history, and I'm always reading Mishnah. But lately I've been devoting time to reading about Regency London. On my list to read:

The reason is I'm thinking of writing a few short stories that take place during The Ballad of Gregoire Darcy and releasing them as a free e-book on all available formats in May or June. I've actually got more books than this - I just don't have them in front of me right now.

My main book-buying option is the Amazon used market, as I don't mind if a book is used unless it's falling apart, and it's easy to avoid the ones that are falling apart. I also cruise used book stores and discount sections of regular stores, picking up not only things I need but things I think I may need later (I'm usually right) and are cheap now. I was actually pretty shocked the other month when I needed to know about Sumerian mythology for another project and realized I had no books on the topic (my ancient Near Eastern history books were post-Sumerian). Books are also a tax write-off for me as someone who works in publishing, so it's always a business expense.

The problem is storage. I live in an overpriced Manhattan apartment, and if I don't find a new roommate this summer (my current one is moving to Brooklyn after she graduates from grad school) I'll have to move. Last time I moved I had 50-60 boxes of books, and that was two years ago, so by now it's gotta be 70 or 80 boxes worth. My Kindle has helped, but not that much. I do a lot of reading of Shabbos, when I can't use electronics, making my ownership of the Kindle pretty worthless most of the time. History books also aren't usually marked down or available in digital format, especially the old ones, or they're in unreadable PDFs. So, traditional books it is.

Twenty days to book 4's release! Really? It's sneaking up on me now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

One Month to Go!

We're a month from the launch of book 4 (The Ballad of Gregoire Darcy), which will be in stores May 1st, and I realize I should update this blog far more often.

What else am I working on? That's a good place to start:

- The Ballad of Gregoire Darcy is done. It's gone to press, which means the final revision went in, was formatted, and was physically sent to printers that are all out in Minnesota or Michigan or somewhere in the Midwest. From there they're shipped to the publisher's warehouse, and from there to stores. I signed off on the final proofs about a month ago, and they take 2-3 months to print and ship, less if the publisher is in a hurry and wants to spend more money. At this point I cannot make any changes to the book in its final form, but I can worry incessantly about changes I should have caught in an earlier revision.

- The Road to Pemberley anthology has gone in for printing galleys, which are very early review copies, and there will probably be a final revision before the galleys are actually printed or between then and the final version. It's not out until July 1st, sot here's some breathing room, and I have not signed off on a final version, though we wouldn't have sent it in for galleys if the book wasn't 99% there. With 12 other authors (there are 13 in the anthology, myself being one of them) it's much harder to coordinate revisions.

- I'm working on a proposal for Talmud for the Chinese Business Man, which would be sold to the Chinese-language business market. They would do the translation (I don't speak Chinese), but I know enough about business ethics in the Talmud to write a book. A non-fiction proposal is a really big deal, since you're asking for money up front, as opposed to when the manuscript is finished like you do in fiction. Currently we're (my agent is involved) struggling with the gut of the proposal, which is the summary of what the book is about. When that's finished, I have to write two to three sample chapters, also a major undertaking.

- For the hell of it, and because I always need to be writing something (seriously ... I do), I'm writing my fifth Metalocalypse fanfic. Hopefully it will be my last as I have other stuff to work on, but I might still have creative energy to burn in this direction when it's done. We'll see.

- I'm thinking of taking a manuscript called Towerland off the shelf and publishing it as an e-book. I was just at an agent conference where it was decided that that was a terrific idea, and my agent hasn't been able to sell it to a major house. I would really have to put my back into promotion, so this has to be saved until I'm done with other stuff.