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Progress Report 2024 Week 04

Shockingly, this week did not go as planned! Okay, it’s not shocking. The opposite would have been shocking. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe the biggest question is whether or not I got the new cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities. I also ran a couple of ads last week — did they give build any momentum going into 2024? Let’s look at the numbers first.

Progress Report 2024 Week 04 By the Numbers

Last week didn’t have much in terms of new words written, but I wasn’t idle!

Let’s start with confirming what the infographic says: I finished the read aloud edit for Evolution’s Hand Book 6: Unnatural Crypsis, which completed the second draft. So it’s in the hands of a beta reader now. I’m expecting to receive their report on February 1, 2024. I’m nervous about this one: it’s a step beyond the weirdness I introduced in Split Infinities, and I hope it’s not too far into the “well, that’s not expected.” It makes sense, I think. Well, it makes sense to me. I really hope the beta reader thinks so, too!

Unfortunately, I haven’t taken delivery of the cover yet for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities. That’s not a bad thing. This is the first time I’ve worked with the company miblart, so I wasn’t familiar with their lead times. They’ve been super responsive via their portal, and I’m happy with their progress. I expect to take delivery of the materials this week.

Partial Cover Reveal for Split Infinities

That said, miblart did give me some preliminary art. The package I ordered includes a cover reveal. I don’t have the final art yet, so it still has a watermark. But I already paid for the material, so I think it’s okay if I show this. Here’s the cover reveal artwork for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities!

I like the package that miblart offered. It includes some cool extra marketing artwork for a competitive price.

I’ll reveal the full cover first to my newsletter (which you can join here). That’ll be in a week or two, depending on how things fall. But I have to say: I like the cover! I’m especially impressed because another artist created the covers for books one through four. As I discussed a couple of weeks ago, I lost contact with that artist, so I had to switch. I think miblart not only delivered a polished cover. They matched the style perfectly.

Set Construction and Casting for The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone

Since I didn’t receive the final cover artwork this week, I had some time available. So, I dove into building the new sets/environments I’ll need for Collapse Zone. My wife bought me a new iPad and Apple Pencil for Christmas, and I wanted to test them out. Here’s the short version:

They rock.

The longer version would include notes about how much thought Adobe put into Illustrator for iPad. Even going in cold, I produced a design of the Cocytus-class starship’s A deck in one session and B deck in another. On the third, I created a new bridge befitting a fleet command and control cruiser. All the while, I could think of the impact the new equipment and recent organizational changes would have on the characters.

For example, Ira Malhotra, who returns as a POV character, received a promotion from Director to Executive Director. She commands all of TransStell Sirius’ fleets. All three of them. But she had to pull double-duty to also command the 20th fleet in particular. One of her subordinates, Matvei Kuzmich, is now a Director. He commands the 21st fleet. I like the pressure that constantly being understaffed places on the characters.

I’m overly proud of the bridge design. It came together better than I hoped!

I also began casting some of the new positions. Maybe in another week or so I can actually start writing! I’m feeling the itch, and it’s getting worse. I might have to start writing before I have the plotting done!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here’s how I did compared to last week’s goals:

  1. Finish the read aloud pass for Unnatural Crypsis: Done!
  2. Take delivery of the cover for Split Infinities: Not started! Worked on Collapse Zone’s sets instead.
  3. Format the ebook version of Split Infinities. Not started! Worked on Collapse Zone’s sets instead.
  4. Evaluate the results of two more ad campaigns: Done! The ads did very, very well. In fact, it was my second best sales month ever — and January’s only mostly done!

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 04

Here’s what I hope to finish in the coming week:

  1. Take delivery of the cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 5: Split Infinities
  2. Format the ebook for Split Infinities
  3. Format the paperback for Split Infinities
  4. Continue working on sets and casting for Collapse Zone
  5. Begin plotting Collapse Zone (stretch objective)

What Do You Think?

I have four books in various stages or production right now. I’ll be honest with you: it’s a challenge. How many projects do you like to have underway at any given time? How do you keep them straight? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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