AC Baldwin's latest update for The Traveler’s Cup

Jan 2, 2017

Top of the New Year, Space Crew!

This is your Captain speaking, and I have a couple months’ worth of news and updates to share with you, so bear with me. 

What was going on with this book again?
I’ve had some questions regarding the book’s funding status even now, so I want to remind you of some great news: we got the greenlight for publication via Inkshares! We officially reached Quill sometime before the funding period ended, so don’t fret; this book will be coming out and you will have it in your hands (or on your reader). 

I mean, that’s cool, but, like, when?
I want to show you a piece of a timeline today. But the thing is, publishing requires a lot of steps. A lot of back and forth. There’s writing to tie up, editing to impel, beta-reading to endeavour on, and after all of that: getting slotted in the ever-expanding Inkshares printing and release schedule. 

So though this is the question I’ve had the most, I cannot realistically give you an official release date. And rather than risk disappointment now or later, I’m going to focus on what I do know. 

About the manuscript
There’s a huge (huge, HUGE, HUUUUGE!) difference between a draft and a polished, publishable manuscript I’d be willing to share with betas, let alone the world. You’ve gotten some sneak peeks of the writing in my updates, but you may have noticed they’re of variable quality. That some excerpts grip you more than others. But I want to give you a joyride of a book from cover to cover, so that’s just not going to cut it. 

Also, sometime after the first draft was completed, I realized I had to rewrite about 1/3 of it to deliver a way cooler ending. I mean, I guess I could give you the boring version, but it’s significantly less fun, and I’m all about having an evil plan. So please be patient as I rework the story and weed out any inconsistencies. 

Wow, this is taking longer than I thought, Cap
Well, yes. Some of that is writing. And some of that is the fact that this is my first publication, and I had a lot of life things to take care of so that I could put more focus into this. 

I spent a great deal of time last year in promo, and it nearly wiped me out, to be honest. It isn’t my strong suit. I love making these newsletters and sending you silly doodles, but campaigning and begging you all to buy copies was far too salesy for my usual taste. 

As a result of spending so much time on book promo, some other hobbies and professional goals started to suffer. And while in theory "full time writer" sounds great, this is my first publication, so I don’t have that luxury. 

I guess I understand...
Thanks. I’m glad you do. And for your understanding and compassion I will make sure you get a book that is filled with fun, fear, and adventure. 

So what can you tell me about the timeline?
All right. Doodle time. 

Here’s the manuscript alone. I have no reason to believe it won’t be done in February. 


Now, I know you want the big picture. Especially you writer types who are giggling at the idea that a finished manuscript is actually ever finished. I can only approximate here, so the idea is to show you the steps involved and tell you why they’re so important.


The actual writing will be wrapped up soon, but then we have crucial items to address to make sure you’re getting a quality product. 

  •  Editing Round 1: This is a full edit. I’m looking at story structure, content, consistencies, spelling, grammar, etc. It usually means I print out the whole thing and go at it with several coloured highlighters. 
  • Beta Read: At this point I’ll have convinced myself the book is in as good a state I can procure. I’ll be wrong, and I’ll need the help of others to show me that. I typically use two trusted beta readers to give their honest feedback about the story. They also tend to catch typos I’ve missed. 
  • Editing Round 2: I sulk a little before admitting my betas are right, and then hack and slash the manuscript a little more. 
  • Rest Period!!! This is a period of intentional slacking. But it’s so much more than that. This is the proverbial "throw it in a drawer" so that I can get enough separation to read it one more time with fresh eyes. I tend to come back able to see issues with tone of voice, flow of story, and more grammatical errors, or at least cringey uses of language.  
  • Proofreading: I fix the aforementioned issues discovered in the Rest Period. I go through the whole manuscript, but I’m no longer looking at the story. It’s all about voice, flow, and individual words. I tacked "May" onto this, timeline-wise. I almost said April. It might be April. But I don’t want to just give you the best-case scenario, so let’s assume it’s May. 
  • Processing and Printing: This I can’t yet give any info on. I haven’t done it before, and while I’ve heard from others about their experiences, I know that each author will have their own publishing experience. I am publishing under Quill, so I won’t have as much back and forth as the fully-funded folks, who get most of their editing and pre-printing work done in house. But it is up to them to tell me my story is good enough and to schedule its release. Also I will have other tasks that go along with that, like a final cover design, blurbs, and eventually signing many of your copies. 

So, Space Crew, this is what it’s looking like. I hope it isn’t disappointing for you. As it turns out, writers are people, and writing professionally is about a lot more than writing. I also hope you still believe in this book. Let’s make 2017 a spacetastic year. 

Your Sprightly and Srs Space Captain,