Author encounters of the cyber sort

I just said over on Twitter that readers (and publishers) can make it hard to be properly irritable. I may need something like a hockey lockout or no Yankee 3rd baseman to regain duly dour mien.

In a nutshell, the Penguin Canada team knew exactly what they were doing – they just didn’t believe we would do it so well, or that readers would be that responsive. I suppose I could claim ‘Author Wins Stunning Victory!’ because it took just ver 25 hours for the 500 Shares to land over on Penguin Canada’s Facebook page and unlock the next instalment of River of Stars.

But it would be churlish of me. This was a blending of supportive, generous readers, and publishers knowing how to alert them online that something was happening. So I can’t claim a win for the amazingly quick unlock (remember the ‘war’: the marketing team knew they’d get interest but wanted it to run through weekend, into Monday or so, and I was teasing about wanting it hard and fast) . It is their savvy, and readers’ interest that caused this to just explode this afternoon. How to stay focused on curmudgeonitude?

Well, really, who is going to play 3rd base, dammit?

We’re all touched and pleased. Penguin Canada decided that the enthusiasm deserved a response, and they have just unlocked all of chapter 2, instead of staging a third unlock/reveal … and I am completely onside with that. I think it is great.

Next step, because without it none of this means anything, is for readers to decide if they like what they see. As I mentioned before, I am completely down with the idea that many will want to wait till spring and read/consume/devour/skim/inhale/flick through the book then. Others like a small taste of what is coming, and there are a lot of people who will have never read me, or not for years, and who might be inclined to see what River is like before they commit. That’s a part of what this is all about.

When Penguin approached me with this, I suggested limiting it just two chapters, because – as I mentioned a few days back – each of the first two introduces one of the main figures, and does so (in parallel, but widely separated) when they are quite young. The two opening chapters make for a tidy introduction to some of what will be at stake while not giving away where the plot will go. And they have a different structure from some of my other beginnings.

As it happens, my ‘reading passage’ is different this time around. I’ll try to remember to write a bit about that here (the whole process of public readings interests me).

But for now, back to proofreading. Due Monday, and I’ll make it. As always, I am still making tiny trims, comma cuts, single word changes. I will owe Sandra Tooze in Production a latte or Sidecar or something, this does mean extra work for her and her team. But I have to do it. I always do.When I deliver Monday that’s it.

really want to say that proofreading is therefore my last kick at the cat, but after the cat-on-chair photo of a while back here, I have terrible feeling someone would decide … well, you know.


4 thoughts on “Author encounters of the cyber sort

  1. As an existing fan I’m definitely in the waiting camp (if I’m sampling ice cream I want the bowl soon after vs. months later :). Having said that, if there was a contest for discovering errors that have slipped by proofreaders (hint, hint) that could be fun.

  2. Matthew: bite your tongue for even thinking a thought like that! The shillelagh’s not for burning.

    Dal (and others) the two chapters posted are pre-proofreading, mine and the two professionals. That is what I’m finishing today (and I assume they are done). They have been copy-edited, but proofing is another matter. If you spot a typo, for sure let me know, and I’ll check if it was caught. Thanks.

    • Hi Guy,
      Later tonight after work, I anticipate I’ll finish my second pass (proven to be more challenging without the ability to print out or use search). What is an appropriate mechanism to provide feedback on the issues I’ve discovered? Based on your tour journals it’s clear how much you care about the little things and I’m happy to help out in any way I can.

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