It’s been such a long time since I sent out an update I wouldn’t blame you if you’re asking yourself, "Robert who?" right now. Fair enough, I’ve been negligent in my posting to both this blog and sending out newsletters, but I haven’t stopped writing (I promise).
I’m here to thank you for your patience and provide a brief update before diving back in to finish this book. So, firstly (and most importantly), those of you who backed my novel here on Inkshares are no doubt wanting to know how the book is going and when you’ll get your copy? The great news is I haven’t been slacking off and am still diligently working away on the manuscript. I’ve commented on this before, but it turns out writing a book is hard (who knew, right?) and I had a lot to learn if I was to produce a book worthy of your amazing support. Since Inkshares picked up the book, I’ve been incrementally transforming both my first draft and myself into something I can be proud of. I won’t lie, it’s been a long, drawn-out process thanks to day jobs and family responsibilities, but we’re in the home stretch: the world of Blood Capital is more real than it’s ever been, we have a cast of characters who are interesting to explore, and we’ve honed in on a plot that can take us on a more rewarding journey.
Looking ahead, I still need to finish this final draft. To help speed that up, I’m looking at all the ways I might claw back extra time. I took all of December off from my day job, which made a huge difference. Now, I need to power through the last chapters. After that, we’ll polish, copy-edit (fix typos and poor grammar), pull in some beta readers, and then prepare for release. The exact date of release will depend on a bunch of things, many of which are outside of my control, but I’ll endeavour to keep everyone informed.
Beyond Blood Capital, there’s a bigger world to explore, so you can be sure I’ll start work on a sequel. With the experience I’ve had writing Blood Capital and the lessons I’ve learned, I expect (hope?) that will be a faster project 🙂
Thank you again for your support—I’m sorry to have gone for so long without providing an update (I’ll do better moving forward).
Thank you everyone for following my novel or pre-ordering a copy. As I’ve posted before, this feed of Inkshares emails is deliberately quiet, as I send out most of my updates using my author newsletter. I do this as I have many subscribers from outside Inkshares and it’s the easiest way to manage things (and avoid hitting you twice with emails). If you aren’t subscribed to my newsletter, you can sign up here: https://robertbatten.net/sign-up/
I’m writing this email now to ask for your help. I’ve been made aware my newsletters have been falling foul of spam filters and dropping into many people’s spam folders. I’ve just sent out my November update and I’d like to ask the following favours of anyone who’s subscribed:
Thank you for your help. I hope everyone is excited for the holiday season!
PS: as part of my process to clean-up the mailing list and get back on the good side of the spam algorithms, I’ve had to purge many emails from the list. If you thought you were subscribed, but don’t have a newsletter in your inbox or spam folder, I may have accidentally purged you — sorry! You can re-subscribe here: https://robertbatten.net/sign-up/
Hello everyone, welcome to 2018!
Work on Blood Capital has been progressing at pace since NYE and we are now close to completing the developmental edits (at last!). Check the progress chart below and you can see I’ve almost completed the rewrite, and that all of Acts One and Two have had my second pass. Once this is complete, it should just be a matter of getting the final development notes from my editors and incorporating them, then we move into copy editing (grammar and spelling).
Everyone has been wonderfully patient with me over the past year, and that has made this process so much easier. Thank you. I’m aware the journey has been long — I had no idea how long it would be when I entered the competition back in 2016. To provide an idea of the work behind the scenes, I’ve been averaging almost 18 hours a week on the novel, which multiplied out over nine months (roughly how long I’ve been working on edits), adds up to more than six hundred hours so far.
We are now on the home straight, and Blood Capital is set for release at the end of July. A marketing plan is coming together to support the launch, and I’ve now seen an early version of the cover art. As soon as the cover art is finalized, I’ll send out a special update, but for now I can tell you it’s going to stand out on shelves.
The year is almost over! This should be my last update for 2017 so I wanted to wish you all a happy holiday period and New Year.
Things have been hectic in the world of Blood Capital. Inkshares and I are pushing hard to get the book ready for print, and it’s been all hands on deck. I’m still in edits, but things are getting pointy — the last week has seen long hours devoted to getting a sample of the book ready for sales reps from the major bookstore chains. There’s also been more progress on development of a final cover. As soon as I have that, I’ll be sending out a special update.
Everyone always asks how the book is going, and I love that people haven’t lost interest yet. I’m really excited by the way the story is developing with support from the Inkshares team and putting as much time and love into the project as I can. To keep me honest, and to keep you all in the loop, I’ve upped my game for tracking work on the novel. I’ve created a Tableau Public Dashboard which I update at the end of each writing session. Tracking of my hours is new, so there’s only three weeks of data for that, but hopefully it shows I haven’t been slacking. With a toddler and a demanding day job, it’s sometimes difficult to find the time. Thankfully, I love writing, so I’ve upped my coffee intake and am putting in the hours to get this done. Below is are some static screenshots of the dashboards, but if you follow this link you’ll get an interactive version.
PS: When I started the major rewrites as part of this developmental edit, I pulled most of the samples of the novel from the Inkshares website, as too many details were changing. Over the next month I plan to put a few new samples back up, so keep an eye out for a taste as to how the story as developed from those early days.
As always, thank you.
Good morning everyone!
I know it hasn’t been long since my last supporter email, but this one is a special announcement. You all know my novel by its name Human Resources. What I haven’t told you previously is that the title is changing. There are various reasons for needing to change the title. Human Resources was a great title in some respects: it was understated and linked back to the corporate dystopia, as well as the way humans are treated in the novel. However, despite that, there were signs it would make the book harder to sell. Some of the issues were:
So, without further ado, the new title is Blood Capital. This title isn’t as subtle, but ties it firmly in the genre. It also links back to the corporate dystopia, the treatment of humans in the world, and (bonus) the city the novel is set in. Work is underway on the final cover image, and I can’t wait to share the outcome of that. In the meantime, Inkshares have posted a (short) video of Matt Harry (Head of Story Development at Inkshares) talking about Blood Capital.
Matt Harry of Inkshares Discussing Blood Capital (July 2018) by Robbie Batten: https://vimeo.com/240758751