Weekly Update – 3 June, 2023

What a week! There’s a lot to go over, but let’s start as we always do: with our update graphic!

I know your time is valuable, so I’ll try to break down the changes for this week quickly.

This Isn’t the Discord?

Yep, that’s right. You already know you’re not reading this on the discord server I set up for The Ocypete. That server still exists (note the QR code on the graphic?) and will continue to be the hub of discussion, as opposed to this website, which is going to be more about the final book (and future books,) as well as providing a shop to buy signed copies from.

This website is by far the biggest update for the week! Once I finished the rough draft and realized that yes, this was actually happening, I knew I needed to get moving on the rest of the things I’d been putting off “until I finish the damn thing.” So I got a domain, set up email for it with all the validations and such you want these days (so email from landisbooks.com doesn’t get flagged as spam right out the gate), then set about making this basic site. The design is simple because I’m not a web designer, so I used a few templates and made some tweaks here and there. The real meat is in the back end, though!

We have a full-fledged e-commerce shop now, with all the bells and whistles! Credit card processing, Paypal (to be turned on once the shop is actually live), coupon codes, sale pricing, product variations (so you can order hardback vs. paperback, signed vs. unsigned, for example, without me having to make entries for each new SKU!) I got shipping working so I can print labels directly from the site to my office, then just drop boxes off at the post office every so often.

I’m really quite pleased with it. I know it’s basic, but I’m just an old surly server wrangler who learned basic HTML in 1996 and never really moved past that. To get all this working cleanly was a fun challenge.

There are also email subscription lists now! You can sign up for a newsletter and get these updates via email, as well as announcements for when the book (and future books) are actually up for sale on various platforms… you get the idea.

I’m itching to take live for real, to put it mildly.

We have a cover artist!

I worked with a cover artist this week and they agreed to take on the project! We set a flexible deadline of late July, though we both hope to have it finished sooner. We set a firm deadline of late September, in the event the cover proves problematic, or I have to make drastic changes that necessitate a redesign. (I don’t expect that to happen.)

Publisher “Selected”

It’s… Me! I always figured I was going to self-publish, and I haven’t been swayed from that. As much as I want to think a book publisher would leap at the chance to publish this book, I realize that there are a thousand books a day and all the publishers combined can’t look at even a tenth of them. As an unpublished, unknown author without an agent (an expense I’m not willing to take on unless this book sells well and becomes more than I can manage myself), my chances of ever getting a copy in front of a publisher, let alone getting them to read it, are basically NULL.

The good news is I can still publish the whole thing myself, via Kindle Direct Publishing (for e-book and print copies on Amazon) and Ingram Spark (for physical copies in bulk, for bookstores, libraries, etc.,) as well as other marketplaces (Apple, Barnes and Noble… if you have other suggestions, leave a comment!) I like the flexibility and, let’s be honest… most books sell less than 10 copies over their lifetime. It’s still worth it, if 10 people read it and 9 hate it but 1 really gets something out of it, the whole exercise will have been worthwhile to me… but I don’t want to have to break the bank to reach that 1 person.

Editing is Underway

Editing is proceeding well. I have a copy editor breaking things down line by line. She’s making great changes, helping me to be more clear and concise while also leaving the spirit of the passages the same. I really couldn’t ask for more.

The “rough edit” is also underway at the same time. I’m following behind the copy editor, incorporating her changes into the master manuscript and making other tweaks as we go. It’s slow and sometimes frustrating, but I can already see a dramatic improvement in the sections we’ve both tackled. The whole book is going to be much improved by the end.

Goals for Next Week

My goals for the coming week are simple: tear into the editing with a vengeance and try to get caught up with the copy editor without butting into her. No one likes to feel like people are waiting on you!

I’m hopeful I’ll have a first art update to share (in writing, that is, you have to wait for the final reveal to see the cover!)

Have a great weekend, folks! I’m going to keep nudging this beast forward as we trundle towards that (hopefully) summer release of the e-book and paperback on Amazon!

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