I finished the first draft of my new book, 'The Power of Four Queens' on Sunday. It topped out at a whopping 524 pages (or 128,000 words, using the time-honoured editors' method of calculating). This, of course, is too long and I am now doing some rigorous pruning. Already I have chopped fourteen pages (or about 4,000 words) out of it and there is still much to do. The cutting isn't 4,000 consecutive words, of course. It is a word here, a phrase there, a paragraph somewhere else, but it all adds up. I have now redrafted about a fifth of the book and it is looking much sharper already. By the time this redraft is complete, I expect to have the overall length down to something like 475 pages. That would be a more appropriate size for a story such as this. That done, the process of serious editing can get under way. This involves printing the work out and going through it with a fine tooth comb both forwards and backwards. There are still several weeks' worth of work ahead of me before I can publish - but the result should be worth the effort.
'The Power of Four Queens' is the final instalment of my 'Queen's Heart' trilogy, itself the sequel to 'A King's Head'. Although the story is brought to a definite conclusion in this narrative, one thread does remain unresolved, although it is an aside to the main storyline rather than a central theme. That thread will be concluded in a forthcoming appendix. You might have to wait a while for it, though, because I feel the need to write another Rutter book first. The appendix already has a title, which will be revealed to anyone who buys the book. As things stand at the moment, however, it has not yet been started.
No cover yet. My resident cover artist, Number Two son, Paul, now lives 350 miles away on the south coast, so I will have to do the job myself. Expect one in the next mont
In my last entry but two, I mentioned Uncovered Books. This is a new publishing venture that launches within the next two weeks. Unlike all the other self-publishing outlets that I know of, Uncovered actually markets our books for us. This is the traditional achilles' heel of self-publishing. The others all make our work available on their own websites and through online agencies, like Amazon - some even put us in bookshops. So far, so good, but actually persuading potential customers to select our work for purchase is left very largely to the writers, and therein lies the rub. It tends to boil down to how good we are at selling things. I have my strengths and my weaknesses. Being a successful salesman is definitely one of the latter.
This is where Uncovered comes in. They take an entirely new approach to publishing that is very promising. For the first time, we will no longer have to find our customers for ourselves because their system will actually bring them to us and we can sell our work on the basis of what we do best - writing. If their plans prove to be successful - and of course nothing is proven yet - this could spark the biggest revolution that the world of publishing has seen in decades - nay, centuries.
In my view, Amazon's KDP subsidiary (Kindle Direct Publishing), erred in allowing anybody and everybody to publish their work on Kindle free of charge. There were no quality controls, and this resulted in a mass of poorly-written, error-strewn books flooding the market and giving all independent writers a bad name. They are now taking steps to address the situation by including a spelling checker and playing around with their algorithms, but it is too little, too late in my opinion. Uncovered have taken a different approach from the outset. It takes, on average, six weeks to achieve acceptance into Uncovered's library, which means that they check every submission. Any that do not achieve high technical standard are rejected. Consequently, all Uncovered books will be written by authors who work to professional manner. This can only give the platform a reputation for quality.
Uncovered launches before the end of the month, initially on iBooks (for the iPhone and iPad - an estimated market in excess of 100,000,000 and rising - so plenty to aim at) and will spread to the other electronic outlets later in the year. I am happy to report that all eight of my published works so far were approved by Uncovered yesterday, so they should be available at the launch.
Waiting with bated breath. This could be very exciting.
After a month with no updates, suddenly you get two in a day! I have refreshed my website, giving it a new look. Hope you like it.
First post in a little while. I have been working my typing fingers to the bone updating all my existing books as ePubs, then reissuing them. The last of them, 'The Shattered Realms' was finished just yesterday morning. It was already the most error-free of my books (I found only seven on the re-read), so there was minimal revision to be done. I did, however, add a sentence at one point. This sentence does not affect the narrative of 'Shattered Realms' in any way. It is merely a piece of minor description. It does, however, act as a foreshadow of events to follow in the third part of the trilogy, 'The Power of Four Queens'. These will be very significant events at the climax of the final book. Although I knew what I wanted to happen at that point when I wrote 'Shattered Realms', I had not yet decided on a suitable setting. Now I have (I am in the process of writing it at the moment) and the foreshadow helps to tie the whole thing together. If you have previously purchased the old version of the book, you should be able to download the updated one free of charge.
You will be able to tell that you have the new one because it has a spanking new cover. I was never completely happy with the original cover because it looks like it belongs to a sci-fi book, rather than fantasy. I downloaded a new picture of a much more appropriate medieval city from my usual source - an online picture library, called Dreamstime. My traditional cover artist (my younger son, Paul) has now moved down to the south coast, some 350 miles from here, so he is not readily available to do covers for me any more. This one, therefore, is my own work.
Finally, the third, and final, part of the trilogy, 'The Power of Four Queens' is nearing completion. I am working on the climax as I write this and have an estimated thirty pages or so to go (which should take the first draft up to around the five hundred page mark, making it my longest book). It then has to go through a period of ruthless editing and survive the dreaded Cuzzie Test (all of which should shorten it a bit) before it takes its final form for publication, which will be about a month from now.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.