Update: Both very busy and totally distracted

Okay, so what I’ve actually been doing:

a) Writing new chapters and scenes for Invictus. I can only really do this in the morning. It’s obvious that my brain is a morning person’s brain: I can sit there and gaze at the screen and think, Oh, this is hopeless for an hour in the afternoon, but boom, the next morning, suddenly it’s obvious how to solve whatever problem. That doesn’t mean every single thing works itself out overnight, but it does mean I don’t bother trying to force myself to figure stuff out in the afternoon. I just do other stuff in the afternoon.

b) Such as finally put the Tuyo World Companion in a paperback template. This wasn’t nearly as tedious as I feared, as I used primary headings as chapters and tucked secondary and tertiary headings into those chapters. But! Oh, look, if I make this 5×8, which would be reasonable for a 120,000-word novel, it is insanely long because this isn’t a novel and the spacing is so weird. I mean, the alphabetical list of characters obviously takes up a lot more pages than just the number of words would require. That’s true even though almost every character gets a little note. Anyway, a lot of the book stretches out like that and boom, the overall length is well over 500 pages. That increases the price of the paperback. So I threw that away and did it over as a 6×9, and that is much more reasonable 380 pp.

I wouldn’t bother to do a paperback except I really expect to reach for it all the time myself to check the spelling of character names and so on. Plus who knows, maybe some of you all would like a paper copy.

In connection with (b), I have a question! Should I leave the ToC at the front of the ebook? This would not be okay if the thing were a novel, because the full ToC stretches out and out. It’s, I don’t know, about five pages long. Ordinarily you wouldn’t want the ToC to take up that much of the sample. But! in THIS book, it shows the potential reader what topics are covered in the World Companion and it’s clickable, of course, so it makes sense to put it in the front where the reader can’t miss it. Right? That seems sensible to me. This isn’t a problem with the paper edition because I’m only putting major headings in the ToC for that edition. I figure that rather than clicking on “K,” it will be easy enough to flip to the character list and then flip to the Ks.

c) I’m beta-reading a rather cluttered and madcap cozy historical mystery for a BVC author. I have discovered the secret to doing this more quickly and easily: read it and take notes on my phone. Then I will open the word file and add the notes, expanding on them where that seems reasonable. I bet I will have this done by the end of the week.

d) Kittens!

I put this nice dog bed on top of that crate because the kittens keep wanting to get on top of every horizontal surface and that looked super uncomfortable given there was only a towel up there. They like this bed a lot better.

I leave the gate to the puppy room — I mean the kitten room — open most of the time when I’m home. I just close it when I put their food down. They are much, much too tiny to jump on the counter, so the food has to be put down where they can get it, and that means in reach of the dogs. The dogs are forbidden to go into the kitten room, but get real, they’re not programmable robots, so the gate is closed when the food is down. The Tiny Tortie is completely unwilling to eat dry kibble. Will that wear off on its own, the way it always does for puppies? Or is she going to need to eat canned food forever? Which is good for cats, I realize that, but it’s also inconvenient. Anyway, she gets her own very pricey canned kitten food on the counter, away from the other kittens, because as I say, it’s pricey.

In return for special food and care, the Tiny Tortie is the most cuddlesome of the kittens and has the loudest purr.

e) I have to admit, just knowing that TASMAKAT dropped is honestly pretty distracting. I keep wondering where everyone is and whether readers appreciate the scenes I most like, including quiet scenes like the conversation between Ryo and Elaro, for example. And, yes, the big events too, of course! I keep picking up my last proofing copy and reading little bits of it and thinking about all this.

Also, I keep glancing at KDP to see how many pages have been read today. Sunday was a one-day record for a single title and a one-day record overall. Out of curiosity, I glanced back to look at numbers of pages read for TARASHANA per day since it was published. I thought it did okay. I suppose it did do okay, comparatively speaking. However, yesterday TASMAKAT got nearly five times more pages read than TARASHANA’s best-ever day, which is making me very happy.

Coming up this week: Involved with Invictus! That’s where my attention will be this week.

Well, and on the kittens!

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11 thoughts on “Update: Both very busy and totally distracted”

  1. I really enjoyed TASMAKAT and have been rereading scenes with Elaro and Kerren. Just curious but does Kindle count rereading as additional pages read for the author?

  2. Thanks for letting me know, Betsy! No, pages read only count the first time you borrow and read the book. After that, re-reading pages doesn’t count. But *I* definitely appreciate hearing that you are re-reading scenes!

  3. Visit family in Alaska soon, so saving the new book for my flights on Thursday (which is a bit optimistic of me, given that I’ll be flying with kids, but maybe they’ll watch a movie or three).

  4. I’m glad you’re doing a paperback for the World Companion, I will definitely buy it!

    My hardcover of TASMAKAT arrived earlier than expected (on Thursday), but I think it’s going to take me a couple of weeks to get to it. I’m currently mostly re-reading books because my brain is too exhausted to get into new things.

  5. I just finished TASMAKAT, although I will have to reread it for everything to sink in and to fully appreciate all the complexity. There were lots of good scenes. I liked Ryo and Darra and Elaro’s wedding. I want to visit the Peacock Desert and also the oases. My favorite part was the last couple of chapters. I won’t be specific in the interest of avoiding spoilers.

    About 3/4 through, a chapter ended with “The day after that, we finally came upon the enemy. Or they came upon us.” And at that point I skipped to the end to check on how things came out for everyone, then went back and picked up where I had left off. I do this to books fairly often. Sometimes it’s because I’m losing interest and want to see if I want to finish the book. Not the case here! Here I think the suspense made me anxious enough that I wanted to reassure myself before I read on. And I know from rereading other books in the Tuyo universe that knowing the end doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment.

    Really, it was excellent.

  6. I agree with your reasons for keeping the ToC in front in the digital edition, and agree that it’s better for the paper edition to have a condensed ToC without all the subheadings.
    I saw Tasmakat drop but have been very busy with family stuff, so haven’t started reading yet.

  7. Congratulations on Tasmakat’s success. I really liked it and if I didn’t have less than a month to go on my master’s dissertation I’d probably be re-reading it.

  8. It seems to me that you have a good sense of what readers want in a book— we become invested in certain characters and you make sure they are included and that you give us an idea of what’s going on with them, and I really like that. All your characters have distinct personalities and we get to keep up with them as well. From Tano to Siri Inkera to Elaro— all of them are well developed and great to read about. You also create new characters that we care about while obviously placing the focus on Aras and Ryo. I love the character of Kerran— he becomes one of my new favorite character. The book is by turns emotional, exciting, touching and uplifting. You did a great job and I am looking forward to Invictus now!

  9. Thanks, Alison! I simply put all my attention into writing the kind of story I personally love; then everything is about drawing the attention of readers who want the same things I do.

  10. What misspellings?

    I’m terrible at spelling names myself, so I just glide right over misspellings in other people’s comments!

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