Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Latest Thoughts on the "Labors" series

       I've inserted the back cover in the sidebar.  I decided, instead of doing a description or a blurb, to use an adaptation of another of my illustrations for "The War of the Stolen Mother."  It shows the first meeting between the Companions of Ki'shto'ba and the trickster Za'dut.  I hope you enjoy it!
       Once again, the white lines in the covers mark the bleed space.  I'll remove those lines before I actually upload them. 
       The original art for the back cover shows the scene set among dark rocks, but I thought I would make the back mirror the front, so I framed it with the tree instead. The original also includes A'zhu'lo, but the twin would have made it a little crowded.  The little critter that Wei'tu is hanging onto is one of the Little Ones -- the domesticated "dairy ants."
       Probably the only thing I might change about these covers is the type font.  I'm using Lucida Bright -- I abandoned Book Antigua in this series because the apostrophe, which gets used a lot, is kind of strange in that font.  But I'm not real happy with Lucida Bright either, so I may tinker some more.  I have a weakness for Harrington, but it's probably fancier than would be wise to commit to.  I want to settle on a font I can use for the entire series.

       The formatting for the printed book is coming along.  The whole thing has 36 chapters and yesterday I completed Ch. 26.  That is to say, I've got that much inserted into the template.  I've been making quite a few alterations as I go.  Some of them are stylistic and some are substantive, but a lot of them are required to make the text fit.  Remember those long, made-up names, with the syllables separated by apostrophes?  You can't divide those syllables at the ends of lines - it would look goofy!  Therefore, since the text has to be justified, some lines end up with big gaps between the words.  That will never do!  So I have to rewrite so that the long names come at the beginnings or in the centers of lines.  I never make things easy on myself!
       The footnotes have turned out to be less of a problem than I expected.  I haven't had any instances where the text split itself between pages, and only one instance that I can remember where I had to adjust for a big space at the end of the page
       So all this fiddling means typos may creep in and that's why I'll probably want to peruse the thing one last time.

       I may change my mind and make an attempt to put "Stolen Mother" on Smashwords.  I sell something every now and then to people who don't have Kindles, and I do get quite a few sample downloads, which can't hurt.  It's all going to depend on whether they can cope with footnotes.

       I have a confession to make.  "Stolen Mother" is a terrible spoiler for "The Termite Queen"!  Since it takes off right at the end of TQ, there's a lot of talk about what happened in that story.  (More reason for you to buy and read "Termite Queen" right away!)  When I did that, I never thought of it as a spoiler; I thought of it as filling in the backstory, since lots of people may read these books who haven't read TQ.  There is nothing I can do about it since references to the plot of TQ are embedded in the fiber of the "Stolen Mother" and subsequent tales.  Oh, well ... 

       I have only one other remark:  Back in the post about the titles of the six volumes, I stated that the tentative title for Volume V would be "The Quest for the Golden Fungus: The Companions Reach the Sea."  I've decided to make it "The Quest for the Golden Fungus: The Path of Gold" (or "The Golden Path" -- I still have to ponder that some more).  Otherwise, the titles are pretty much set. 

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