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On the future

2013/08/05 12:00 AM

So there’s only four strips left. I also already have the book mostly laid out and typeset - it just needs those last four strips, some chapter title pages, and for me to get around to doing whatever bonus content I feel like doing.

Those of you who preordered the book last time may recall that I did it through Kickstarter, which is a great resource for people who need the financing to do a book run. However, from what I learned last time, I really don’t need that financing, and for the purpose of this book printing I don’t think it would really be all that beneficial to anyone.

Essentially, using Kickstarter means:At least another month’s delay on the production of the book (since final proofing can’t start until after the funding period has completed, or longer if a stretch goal means adding more to the book itself)A lot of extra stuff that doesn’t help the book get done at all (such as having to produce a promotional video)More time and resources have to go to the promotion of the Kickstarter itself, figuring out stretch goals, rewards, etc.Afterwards, a lot more work goes into the distribution of the final product (creating/packing rewards, handling fulfillment, etc.)

And in the end, while there’s a bit more opportunity for promotion of the final product during the crowd-funding stage due to the (albeit rapidly-shrinking) window of interest people have for these things, the end result is that any sales I make via Kickstarter don’t count towards sales tracked in the traditional retail channels.

So, what I’m thinking of doing this time around is just producing the book completely on my own (I have all the resources necessary for that) and handling presales through Amazon.

The plus sides to those who want the book are:

  • You get it faster, and shipped quicker and more cheaply (especially if you have Amazon Prime)
  • There’s only one place to keep track of its existence at the outset
  • When the listing goes up you’ll be able to preorder it and then forget about it until it actually ships (and less stress on me in case people move, decide to cancel their order, etc.)

The minus sides to you are:

  • International orders might be a bit more problematic
  • It’ll be a little more complicated to get the book signed/drawn in/etc.
  • Fewer “warm fuzzies” via Kickstarter (although on the plus side you won’t get spammed by every little frantic update I post to the backer blog, either)

So, if you have an opinion, what do you think? My preference should be pretty obvious from the above, but I’m willing to entertain reasons why I should still go via Kickstarter.

Bonus contents

2013/08/19 11:35 PM

So, here’s the state of affairs on the book-exclusive bonus contents (and the book as a whole):The appendix is coming along well (although more questions to answer would be welcomed!), and I suspect this is one of the only comic books to use BibTeX for its bibliography. Or even to have a bibliography.The bonus art section has a bunch of stuff in it, but it could always use more! Send me your fanarts for inclusion! (I will also post them on the site.)I am having a hell of a time getting LaTeX to cooperate with my custom Hiero font and I’m not sure just how much I want to explain about a language which I pretty much make up as I go along anyway. Does anyone feel strongly about how extensive this should be? Because it’s looking like I’m going to have to do some goofy stuff to make it work.Come to think of it, any goofy stuff might also make it difficult to provide an ePub/Kindle/whatever version, so I guess I’ll be using inlined bitmaps or something. That might actually be easier to deal with anyway.Who the hell uses LaTeX to typeset a comic book, anyway?

Input would be appreciated, as always.


2013/09/04 12:00 AM

Current book status:

  • Two more strips to be drawn. They’re kind of ambitious so they might take a while, though.
  • I’m having someone else do the chapter title pages. They’re looking quite fantastic so far, but I don’t know how long they’ll take to get done.
  • Currently the Hiero language primer is 7 pages long (including a dictionary), the Q&A is 8 pages long (not counting the bibliography), and there are 9 pages of bonus art. It’d be awesome to get more bonus art, guest comics, and so forth submitted by readers. I should also probably plan on drawing some book-exclusive bonus comics or something.
  • I haven’t even started working on the book cover yet. I have a few general ideas but nothing’s gelling just yet.
  • I can start presales of the book as soon as I have the final pagecount (which depends on Q&A and bonus art) and at least preliminary cover art (which depends entirely on me). I suspect I will be able to have the book itself printed and shipping by December if all goes well.