Thursday, August 25, 2016

New Proofs from the Printer

One more book came in from the printer yesterday: CST1 "Under the Great Vault," Calidar's first promotional booklet.  Many of you remember this one in its original PDF form, as a freebie for Kickstarter backers.  It is offered exclusively to crowdfunding supporters who can now purchase this printed version if they omitted to do so during the most recent Kickstarter (2015-2016).

"Under the Great Vault" is a glossy softcover booklet produced with what Lightning Source (DTRPG's printer) calls standard color stock:  a thinner paper than the one used in CAL1 "In Stranger Skies" hardcover book.  It is available here only because I'd included this format as part of my latest Kickstarter, before Lightning Source requested a thicker paper be used instead.  They are honoring my offer--thank you!  Future books of this type will have to use the "premium color stock,"  which is nicer but more expensive.  Lightning Source has a problem with the thinner paper because it tends to misfeed, and therefore they are phasing it out.  I'd never heard of this problem until DTRPG's customer service rep brought it up.  On the other hand, most of my sales so far have concerned the hardcover book with the higher grade paper stock.  In any case, DTRP will graciously replace damaged or misprinted copies. 

This promotional book provides several short story prequels to CAL1 "In Stranger Skies."  It reveals the background of certain key protagonists mentioned in CAL1's main storyline, such as Azar and Lord Tyrran.  It unveils colorful details about the Draconic knights, the Alorean elves, and life aboard an armored Kragdûras gunboat.  A handy primer to the dwarven language is included, featuring rudiments of Kragdûras grammar and syntax, as well as dwarven/common and common/dwarven lexicons.  A new section has been added since the last PDF release: a complete lunar phases calendar, as observed from Glorathon's point of view.  The calendar runs from 1512 to 1518, and instructions are included to calculate phases beyond 1518 (or prior to 1512).  

In total, the booklet runs 60 pages long, which will make a valuable addition to your burgeoning Calidar collection.  Fortunately, as I flipped through this prepress proof, I found no error--at least nothing warranting another 2-3 weeks correction process. 

Another book came in later today...  I'd expected the printer's proof for CC1 "Beyond the Skies" softcover book.  But, No!  Someone at Lightning Source wasn't paying attention.  The package included the shipping receipt for CC1 softcover and... a second copy of CST1 instead.  Gee, thanks.  I sent a letter requesting the correct book to be express mailed PDQ.  Still, I'm not sure when I'll receive this one.  The same comment will also apply to this book with respect to the choice of paper stock.  This remains therefore an edition limited to CC1 Kickstarter backers.  I do not plan to sell it to the public.  If redone with the thicker paper stock, the retail price will go up, but this isn't for the immediate.  

Meanwhile, I've become aware of changes needed CC1's index section, for both hardcover and softcover files, which will require extra time for updated proofs, as required by DTRPG.  In the wake of enjoying Gary Con last March, I ended up falling sick.  This coincided with a trip to France, during which things got much worse before improving.  Result: about 30 days lost.  These latest hiccups, unfortunately, will push CC1's release and its promotional booklets into September.  I'd expected to complete much of the fulfillment in August, as originally planned.  I'm as disappointed as you certainly are. 

So, what else is left?  CST2 "Skies of Fury" is getting ready to be turned over to the printer as well. I'm very excited and eager to see how this last one will turn out, as it is mostly new material.  It includes two adventures:  "The Black Blood" and "Out of the Dark," both involving skyships of various sorts.  These will be good companions for CC1 "Beyond the Skies."  

As I await the various books in their final forms, I've begun working on the next project.  After such an enormous endeavor, I needed a lighter assignment.  This will be a new adventure based on the Amazing Flying Circus originally described in CC1.  The lead story centers around colorful and eccentric circus folk and foes as vile and shadowy as they are implacable.  It expands the original floor plan, develops all necessary details about the circus and its surrounding carny, features a central plot connecting directly with CC1 alongside a series of mini-adventures that can be played in most towns of the Great Caldera.  The plan is to complete the writing before the end of this year, launching another crowdfunding event (after Christmas, perhaps in February) to finance art, layout, and editing.  I'm shooting for late spring/early summer as a release date, and about 64 pages with lots of color maps.

That's it for now!  Thanks for your patience.

Special thanks for Thorfinn Tait who did a fantastic job formatting all these books.