Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Lengthy Post of Predetermined Girth

Hello all,,
I will begin by addressing the most recent points raised in posts before moving on to the meaty part of the update:

a) Contact with the subscribers:
A good point was raised about contacting the subscribers more regularly, perhaps using the email they registered when they opened their accounts. I see no real problem with doing this--I could send out an initial email and offer the option to unsubscribe to keep from pestering people. I feel rather sheepish admitting it, but I hadn't considered that possibility.

I am checking to see if there will be any way to tie this blog--or some form of blog format--to the new website for the sake of convenience. (Until then, blogspot supports atom feeds so simply visit and you can choose to use firefox's live bookmarks to automatically see updates or import the address into a feed program of your choice and you'll be automatically updated.) I've no idea how much trouble there would be in embedding all of that, but we'll find out!

Some seem to feel that we've been ignoring, perhaps intentionally, subscribers, but I'd like to assure you all that that is not the case. We've sent letters to everybody at the addresses provided to us and we're honestly perplexed at how many have gone astray. When we get contacted by people that didn't get a letter, we're taking down their addresses and correcting them if they're off. If the next mail-out doesn't work, we may have to resort to rather excessive methods to try and get proper communication lines going. Regardless, we are not intentionally trying to shut people out or give them the cold shoulder. We have no reason to do so and, honestly, pretty much everything we're doing--and part of why this has taken so long--is with each of you in mind.

b) Time Enough for Love
Jim Bob, thank you for pointing out the error in the poem. We'll fix that.

On which note, we have a list of errors to fix, but if you have spotted errors in the first six volumes, please feel free to let us know.

c) The Next Three Weeks
As I've mentioned, we're sending a letter to the subscribes detailing what's going to be happening. Right now, I'm waiting to get confirmation back that there's nothing dramatically wrong with it before sending it out and, as such, it's likely to post on Monday. As soon as I do get confirmation, though--hopefully tomorrow morning--I will post the text here so that you, loyal readers, will be able to read it in advance.
The next few weeks should be the last of the chaotic times and see the following happen:
a) Website set-up properly
b) Books 1-10 to printer for prepress with printing to begin with the New Year
c) A poster of "Heinlein's World" (the Donato painting meant for the spine of the first twelve books) printed and sent to all the original subscribers. (On which note, while I'm looking at printing options, the painting is rather wider than tall such that a single print would probably end up having bleed on top and bottom--caption "Heinlein's World" on bottom, probably set the painting against a starscape. Would anybody prefer having two half-posters (the left half and the right half) that could be put together to form the whole painting?) My hope is to have that to everybody by Christmas.

Once all of that is done, most everything should proceed regularly and smoothly 'til the bitter sweet end.

Once again, I would like to thank all of you for the astounding patience that you've shown throughout this process. It speaks well of you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Desperately Trying Not To Be Tacky

Let us imagine that information comes to me as a trickling spring--rather like an hourglass in a way--of quantum water. It comes slowly and isn't entirely sure whether it exists or not at any given moment. (Yes, I've probably just made a dozen quantum physicists weep.)

Nonetheless, charging right along.

To update information:
We ran into a hold-up with volumes 9 and 10. My original understanding was that they would be ready about the start of November so we could have the first print run done by December 15th and everybody could have a nice extra gift under the tree. (Our Christmas tree was always rather sparsely populated so the idea appealed to me.) As it stands, for reasons I won't go into unless everybody displays a particularly keen interest in the details, those won't be complete *until* the 15th. (9 and 10 are caught up in the transition between (edit)proofreaders and typesetters;* subsequent volumes will proceed at a production rate of about four a month with ten printed every two and a half months--add a couple of weeks either way for wiggle room.
Our choice has been to either go ahead and start with volumes 1-8 or wait for volumes 1-10. I must admit, I'm giving in to my personal sense of aesthetics here. By waiting for the first ten volumes to be finished, that gives us
a) time to have icons devised for the book. The icons will go on the spine and help identify each book at a glance.
b) We can start the new books with the new year and end with the closing of the year.

Also, somebody asked when we were planning on talking to all the subscribers about what's happening. We're going to send out another letter the week after Thanksgiving--as it seems a number of people didn't get the original, we're going to include a copy of that as well. In addition, the day we mail it, I will post a copy of that letter here. It will include the details of our new operating arrangements and the details for all original subscribers.

*I originally said "Copyeditors" here. I do apologize, I keep confusing the term "copyeditor" with "proofreader" and "typesetter."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Website: Where's Neal Stephenson's Metaverse?

We finally got the glitches out of the website design and I got to take a peek--sans any real content--and it's lookin' pretty swanky. I'll post links shortly.