This weekend started off sucking mightily. As I noted in my previous post, I had make the very difficult decision to delay the release of Risen from Ashes. I didn’t want to do it. I’ve never delayed the release of a title I’ve had on pre-order. But circumstances conspired against me, leaving me no choice. It also taught me a lesson every writer should take to heart. But more on that in a minute.
Part of me wanted to stay home, preferably in bed with the covers pulled over my head. That is how badly I reacted to delaying the release. Hell, who am I kidding? I wanted to pitch a tantrum that would put any toddler going through the terrible twos to shame. The adult in me (yes, there is one. I just don’t let her out very often) wouldn’t let me. Instead, the adult Amanda reminded the toddler Amanda she had tickets to see Bernadette Peters in concert and others were relying on her to be there because she had everyone’s tickets.
So, off I went. First to meet everyone for lunch at a local Italian cafe. Then off to the concert. And I am here to tell you it was worth giving up my tantrum.
Peters might be “past her prime”, at least by Hollywood standards, but she can still belt out a song. She sang songs from her Broadway career and entertained with stories. She was, well, the consulate showman (show woman?).
I’ll admit, I’m not a huge Sondheim fan and much of the concert featured his work. But I didn’t care. Peters was that good.
But something else happened at the concert. I relaxed. Something I hadn’t been able to do since recovering from the stomach virus from hell that felled me for a week or so. And with that relaxation came some clarity about Risen and a couple of things that had been nagging me about the book.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the book. I think the plot rocks. I know I’m on edge about it over the problem with the copy edits (if you missed my post over the weekend, there was a “miscommunication” between me and the copy editor and I’m having to do the compare document bit to find the suggested changes instead of just reviewing changes. That takes more time, especially since I didn’t realize what was going on to begin with. It also made me paranoid I might be missing something so, after I finish going over the recommended copy edits, the book goes back to at least one of my alpha readers for further input). But something nagged me, telling me the book was missing something.
I figured it out by simply giving myself permission to relax and think about something other than work for a few hours yesterday. The problem was minor and doesn’t impact this book but it does the next. It will be fixed today or tomorrow. Then the book is off to the alphas.
What does that mean for the release date?
Right now, it is scheduled to release the beginning of next month. That is not a solid date. It is the drop dead date. Under the updated Amazon ToS, I can release it before then. I can’t, however, delay it again without losing my ability to do pre-orders for a year. That’s not going to be a problem.
So what is going to happen?
I think I will stick to the current release date. As mentioned in the weekend’s post, I think I’ll do a short story in the series universe and publish it here on the blog in a week or two. I’ll leave it up for a week to give everyone a chance to read it for free. Then I’ll do some tweaking on it, possibly expand it a little and then offer it for sale. But those who follow the blog will get first look.
For now, I need to get back to the edits. And then I have to figure out how to explain, without using curse words in multiple languages, just how badly the copy editor fucked up by not following the terms of our contract.
Two lessons learned: always confirm more than once with an editor (whether it is a content editor or copy editor) or proofreader how they are to show their suggested changes in the manuscript. Also have it in writing–which I did. The second is to keep up with the changes in Amazon’s ToS for authors in the KU program. I thought I had but I’ll admit something. Those emails they send reminding you when you need to have your final manuscript uploaded? I tend to skim them after making sure my dates conform to theirs. Fortunately, I didn’t just skim this time and learned I had an alternate to killing myself trying to get the book in the condition I want for publication.
For now, I need more coffee and then it is butt in chair, external monitors turned on and back to the compare and contrasting the different versions of the book.