June 15th, 2010

NASA Chris, smiling Chris 2009

Glamour and adventure in writing: cover design meeting! And a publishing schedule!

Last night, I met with Melissa Lytton and Eric Reynolds to work on a cover design for my upcoming novel, Transcendence. From left to right, here's Melissa Lytton (the book designer), me, and Eric Reynolds (editor of Hadley Rille Books) at our fabulously glamorous meeting at Aimee's Coffee House in Lawrence, Kansas, where creativity frothed and glittered. And stuff.

See the glamour and adventure of writing? Here we are moments after tossing back our last sips of 1912 Taittinger with some exquisite Russian caviar and a variety of cheeses from across Europe. Or perhaps it was some green tea and Italian soda, can't recall for sure.

Photo by Rose Reynolds using Eric's Droid phone.

Seriously, though, I'm getting really excited about the book now. Seeing the art we hope to use and imagining the design that Melissa is going to apply - and planning a very ambitious publishing schedule - is getting me all fired up, let me tell you!

Okay, the Publishing Schedule: In a few moments, I'll get back to addressing the last edits; then off it goes to Eric tomorrow, who'll format it to spec for his printer; then the formatted .pdf package goes off to Melissa a few days later, who'll apply the printer's template (with appropriate spine thickness) to the actual pages that will become my book (eeee!); then the .pdf flits off to a few hardy readers a week or so after that, who think they can eyeball 500 or so pages in the following week (any volunteers?); then back to Eric and me to make corrections if needed; then off to the printer in time (hopefully) to produce a very limited run of special Campbell-Conference-only ARCs that we (fingers crossed) hope to have by July 16; then the actual ARCs that fly their merry journeys to reviewers everywhere (let me or Eric know if you're a reviewer for the SF press so we can supply you with a copy); and, a mere three months after that, KAPOW! The actual hardcovers hit the streets!

Hopefully, I'll have even more news soon, but that's our target schedule at the moment.

Wowee! How awesome is that? I can hardly wait to see how it's going to look. I promise to supply updates as I get 'em, and if we can actually make this schedule, I'll be in heaven... er, I'll feel all transcendentally transhumanated or something.

Oh, and for those of you who haven't heard a description of the book, here's my (not official, mind you, just a sorta working descriptor) 75-words-or-less go at it:

Near-future cyberpunk/space opera/coming-of-age/new-wave philosophical action SF. Humankind rushes toward self-destruction, and we must evolve or die. Our perspective on the approaching catastrophe includes a teen-aged hacker lost in Minneapolis, a scientist who discovers an alien artifact on Triton, three actors who become catalysts for interplanetary war, the de-facto controller of the Western world, a soldier fighting in Africa to entertain his subscribers, an artificial intelligence facing a personal crisis, and a cast of billions.



Also re: Transcendence novel

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention:

I plan to give away electronic copies of the book in all the available formats; in a newbie version of Cory Doctorow's experiment (but without anything nearly as fancy, nor a Publisher's Weekly gig, nor... well, much similarity), I'll be documenting how giving away the novel helps sell copies and how many people make donations for the downloads, and so forth. It'll be interesting to see how a new novelist's experiment compares to Cory's results - or to other newbies selling in more-traditional ways.

If you're someone who is adept at converting from .pdf into the various e-reader formats, let me know! The more formats, the better.

Okay, back to work am I!