I've made the needed corrections to Summerworld and The Four-Day Weekend for their new 5.5 × 8.5 trim size editions. The changes were minor but there were a lot of them, collectively: a misaligned spine image here, some typographical inconsistencies there, and so on. But the resulting product has been really heartening. I love the new publisher-grade paper, and the print quality of the cover is if anything even better than before.
I don't know how many copies of each I'll be bringing with me to WickedFaire this year, but I ought to be able to start soliciting orders for the new editions by the end of this week. Once that happens, the old editions will be phased out and you'll be directed towards the new ones exclusively. Those of you who bought an earlier edition, you now have a collector's item!
Sadly, Lulu doesn't yet offer ISBN distribution for this new trim size, but once that happens I will be making everything available through all the most popular channels (Amazon, etc.). Once that happens, I'll have all the more incentive to start reissuing the older books — Casual Users, Another Worldly Device and maybe one or two other things — in that format.
The single hardest part about this whole thing has been making sure everything is consistent. Having templates and style sheets and the like is a big boon, but after a certain point you have to start tweaking everything manually for each individual product. That's where, I suspect, people with dozens of different books begin to go a little nuts. (Of course, in a more conventional publishing house, they don't have to keep every single one of those things in print at once — that's probably a big boon for them, not having to worry about the way things look across every single title in their library.)
I'm also impressed at how much of this stuff I've been able to do with software that costs nothing. The cover layout and typesetting: Scribus. The vector art: Inkscape. The two big proprietary apps I'm still using are Photoshop and Word, but only because everything I've found to try and replace them hasn't really worked out well for me. OpenOffice isn't bad, but I already bought and paid for a copy of Word 2007, and dang it all, I like Word 2007. Maybe I'll try producing the next book with OpenOffice, but for now Word it is.
My long-term plan has been to produce and offer about one book a year, and at this rate I have enough current and future projects to keep me going for a long time:
- Tokyo Inferno, 2009
- Vajra / The Mapmaker / other as-yet-undetermined title, 2010
- Four-Day Weekend sequel, 2011
- The Destroyed Room, 2012 (oh noez, end of teh worldz!!1)
- Frozen Corpse Stuffed With Dope, TBD (my stab at horror-comedy, and yes the title is a lift from the Agoraphobic Nosebleed album)
- The as-yet-untitled "hero story", TBD
- Four-Day Weekend pt. 3, TBD (I need to visit Japan before I can even think about beginning this one)