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Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:23 pm

Thought I'd post all of the updates here from now on, and then include them on the Kickstarter Update page to make sure everyone sees 'em. So, here goes...

Project Update #14: The Postman Cometh!

Good news: I have 93% of the shipping of all tangible non-anthology Kickstarter Rewards in the mail! Those of you getting art prints will find they are in a separate package from the bookmarks and cards (careful opening all that!)

If you were one of the 7% left that I contacted with requesting more info (like your address), I can ship out your Reward goodies and/or promotional goodies if you won something in an early promotion) as soon as I get the info I need to ship. You know who you are! And of course if you don't want your goodies, let me know that as well.

Cudos to Joan, who was very patient as I converted the family room into a Packing Station and kept it that way for nearly a week as I started setting up everything, prepped and packed the various goodies, went back and forth to the post office several times (boy did I learn a lot about packing, shipping and customs forms, and just how crazy expensive it is to ship stuff - especially International shipping)! Had to do some out of the pocket to cover extra packing materials to ensure safer packages, extra insurance and shipping that was higher than estimates, but am confident you will all be quite pleased with your goodies!
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I have to admit the pic above is rather staged (and yes, I blocked out all the addresses). I had already torn down and restored the room and made several trips to the post office when I remembered I wanted to take a picture of the packing set up and packages, so I tossed the remaining packages on a table and snapped a shot so you wouldn't just see a wall of text. Wasn't nearly as impressive as what I could have gotten a pic of earlier, but what can I say, sue me! ;)

I packed everything very carefully and thoroughly (please don't hit me if your package is therefore hard to open - since every package had art inside, I had to be extra careful). Some of my later packages are slightly easier to open than my earlier ones as I learned new techniques). As costs are over my estimates, I'm really hoping my double-tube and padding concept will be worth the extra money and we won't have any damaged art prints! I reinforced all of the packages regardless of type, so hopefully everything will survive the trip (let me know if something doesn't).

I'm told domestic shipping will take approximately 5-7 days (I'm assuming business days, of course), so maybe around Friday May 9th. I was given an approximate delivery date for International Backers of 7-10 days, so perhaps around May 14th?? Again, 1 package for bookmarks and cards and 2 packages if you are getting one or more art prints.

What a job that was, but while I'm waiting for our final few Backers to check in, I can get back to writing my Voices short story! Yay, I've been itching to get back to my writing! Have a great rest of the week, all! Never give up on your dreams!

Cheers,
Bob
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:30 pm

Update #15: In the Thick of It

Hi all,

It's been awhile so I figured I'd better give you a fairly quick update! We are still a long way from completing everything, but are making solid progress (taking the time to do things right) and most of you have already received the bulk (if not all) of your non-book Rewards already (And I am occasionally getting a trickle in of Survey information to ship out a few goodies, so if you forgot to answer all of my questions, please do so - so I can get you whatever's left!)

Most of the Rewards are done, but there's still a few biggies to finish. By necessity, I am focusing on the "main thing" - Arcane Synthesis itself, and helping the authors get their stories out the door, then I'll go back in and finish up Dead By Dawn, the Tour book, etc.

A lot goes into putting together a great product and making it market-worthy. Currently, one story is almost through the final editing stages, another is about to enter final editing, and yet another is about to enter its second round of editing. The remaining stories for Arcane Synthesis (save for my second story, "The Train Less Traveled") are in the thick of it - at various stages of completion and editing.

I say "stages" because there's more than one. Just as the authors write more than one draft of their story, all of the stories go through more than one rigorous editing phase to ensure compatibility, relevance and awesomeness! And not only does it pass by my desk multiple times, but then it passes by Joan's desk and then by mine a final time before I'll declare it ready for print.

Once all of the stories are ready to roll, I will cut any final checks that need cutting and begin designing the look of the book itself, layout stories and create any last minute art, including the back cover. And of course after that, I'll wrap up any other outstanding Rewards that need to be created and moved on to you! If that was a lot to read, imaging having to actually do all that work! But I love it, so no complaints here!

So, this will continue to be a very busy year, but I just wanted you to know that we are working very hard to bring you wonderful blended-genre goodies!

Till next time - make every day count, folks. Every day's a gift and you are as blessed as you want to be! Cheers!
Bob
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:05 pm

Yahoo!

We've got our very first story through the submission process and all of the accompanying Editing Phases (Every story runs through 2 editors and several phases to ensure it is both a great story and compatible with the Cosmoverse Campaign Setting!) And now it's ready to be formatted for the book and ebooks. (We'll be using InDesign for the book layout when I get around to that part. It will then be modified to suit the various ebook requirements.)

We're on our way! Happy dance! :D
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:14 pm

Update #16: On the Move!

Hi all, I've wanted to update you, but I also wanted to have something big to tell you, so I've been waiting. There's been some good news, some bad news and some really good news!

Ok, the first bit of good news: 2 of our authors have gone through all of the Submission and Editing Phases (and that's saying something - great short stories are time-consuming, hard work!) and are all done and paid for! So we have 2 great stories down and 6 to go. My story, Voices, is on its 3rd major draft and is looking really good (it should be finished very soon and ready for editing). The others are well on their way, except one (the bad news) and having reviewed all of the stories, I can tell you that they are very cool! If you like fiction, you are going to love this book!

Ok, now the bad news: We lost an author (Joseph Sterling). Joe will not be able to submit a story after all. He was well on his way with his story but had some family emergencies and I came to the difficult decision that we needed to move on. Joe agreed and hopefully we'll be able to work with him another time. Joe's a great guy and we wish him the very best—and we hope things go much smoother for him in the days ahead.

Rather than panicking, I quickly contacted Darrin Drader who had signed on board to write a short story for Divine Synthesis, but we never hit that Stretch Goal (I'm hoping you'll lend me a hand in getting that book off the ground once you see how great Arcane Synthesis turns out!)

Now more good news: Darrin, despite being a busy author himself (he's just started writing his 4th novel), has reviewed his schedule and says he can squeeze us in! Darrin has also written numerous game books for Wizards of the Coast and other companies (Darrin was also part of the successful "Awakened Anthology" Kickstarter that funded last year- check out his books on Amazon!). I'm sure he'll do a great job on Arcane Synthesis!

He said he's really looking forward to Skyping with me to brainstorm a short story that will help make Arcane Synthesis rock even more! There's still time even in this late hour, to get a new story in, thankfully. That's because of the way I set up the schedule for the year. So now we're back up to full speed! 'Nuff said. I need to get back to working on Voices!

Because of you we've made it this far, and we're not about to slow down now! Good things are coming. Talk with you soon!

Bob
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:28 pm

Update #17: Busy Bees

Welcome to another update — this one will be a quickie!

Just wanted to touch base with everyone. We've had some setbacks as you know (printing, packaging and shipping cost increases, which I'm paying out of pocket, and losing one of our authors whose job situation made it impossible to move forward. Thankfully, we were able to bring Darrin Drader on board! Darrin was slated for our Stretch Goal anthology, Divine Synthesis, which we'll be hopping on once we get this anthology out the door (likely via another Kickstarter campaign, since finances are tight). We have a great team and as the title of this update suggests, we're busy bees, working hard to bring you a great anthology!

While we're a little behind schedule, we continue to make great progress and I'm hoping we can stick to our release month (December for the ebooks, January for the rest). Two more stories are about to head into final editing and I just approved Darrin Drader's story concept, so he will begin fleshing that out and I'm working closely with each of the authors to ensure all of the stories in Arcane Synthesis are meaty, setting compatible and very exciting!

That's all for today, folks. Good stuff ahead!

Cheers,
Bob
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:56 am

Project Update #18: What's new? Déjà vu!

Hi all,

It has been a month since my last update, so I have much to go over (i.e. this is a long one).

Continuing my goal of updating, not inundating, here's the latest on the anthology:

We are working very hard, but are still behind schedule. I'm not ready to say that we won't meet our deadline for the book, as we might still be able to catch up. The reason I say that has to do with how much time I allotted to layout the book, handle 3 different eBook conversions (and researching more on how to do that), and several other matters. We're seriously starting to eat into that time, but just how long it takes to do those things has always been an unknown factor—hopefully less than I allotted! That said, we are committed to finishing everything and getting it right, so that you will have great rewards and this book will be one you not only enjoy reading and displaying on your physical or digital bookshelf, but will be one you'll want to post a review on and/or recommend to friends and family (that helps sales too, which helps us get our next book out!)

RE: Dead by Dawn and Tour of the Cosmoverse
With so much going on, these two rewards remain on my To-do list, but may be done last (Dead by Dawn for sure as I believe the book needs to be the top priority—just letting you know I haven't forgotten! I actually put some serious work into writing Dead by Dawn awhile back, but it was taking longer than I thought it would, in part due to all of the very interesting, but challenging submissions! If I wanted to just scribble out trash and then toss your cool submissions into the jumble of words, I could knock it out in a day or two, but I'm not like that and I want to make good use of all your creative submissions!

I'll be working on Tour of the Cosmoverse before long. It will be good practice for laying out the much bigger anthology, but the tour book will not be finalized until after the anthology is out of the way. I hope you agree that's for the best! Thanks for your patience!

RE: ISBN’s:
I purchased a 10 pack of ISBN's this week (just one more product whose price has increased since starting the Kickstarter - they are absurdly expensive and I will likely need about 6 just to cover the various iterations of this book alone. I wish I could have afforded to buy the 100 ISBN pack because I have loads more books planned and it only costs double what I paid for only 10! Don’t know how they sleep at night charging such extreme prices – just 1 ISBN costs $125!) I also discovered I’ll have to deal with barcodes but am hoping that I will be allowed to make those, otherwise they are $25 a piece. So, while none of this was pleasant news, it was helpful and is out of our hair for now.

Re: Update on the stories (A breakdown)
2 stories are completely finalized
2 stories are waiting for final editing (both have passed through numerous editing phases)
2 stories are in various stages of completion (behind schedule)
2 stories are just taking off, sort of (Darrin Drader's and my second story-see below for details)

Darrin Drader’s story:
As you know if you read my last update, I had to cut ties with another author who was struggling and brought Darrin Drader on board. Today, I approved an extended story outline and so Darrin is off and running! His story follows a small team of adventurers who attempt to acquire an ancient, powerful weapon, to keep it out of the hands of other groups searching for it, hoping to use it for less than virtuous reasons. There's some really neat things happening in the story and I have no doubt you'll get a kick out of it!

My second story— The Train Less Traveled:
Even before the Kickstarter funded I was expecting this second story to be the last story written for the Kickstarter and the last one in the book, since I am wearing many hats and am tackling a large chunk of the anthology. I've been writing like mad on this story for quite awhile now, but just a couple of days ago, I started over - not another draft, but an entirely new adventure with the train and its crew (mostly little AI bots) and other characters, now much older.

Staring at a blank page for the first time in quite awhile, inspired the name of this update. The thing is, I couldn't be more excited about the first train story I was writing. That story was coming together wonderfully! I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for it and it get it on the market if I can get funding, but it revealed to me something that I've been suspecting for over a week now —it's just too darn complex and epic to chop it up into little bits, shaving off so much that is crucial to its impact, just to squeeze it into the anthology. This isn’t a matter of me not monitoring my word count and just going nuts. My mistake was in not realizing just how much potential the story had – not listening closely enough to it.

See, authors have an unusual situation in that we need to explore our own creativity without limits (only at first mind you, while brainstorming), then more forward formally with an organized and detailed outline to keep us on course. I had that firmly in place. But there's another, more elusive factor at play: the story and characters themselves. As we begin the actual writing process, we have to keep our ears open as our characters will often speak to us (not in an "I need a rubber room" sort of way), but we need to be good listeners too!

When a character cries out to be heard, to reveal an important element in a relationship, or the plot exposes a wrinkle that was always there, hidden at first, but was destined to be explored, such things are often not uncovered until the author dives to the deep end of the pool. Sometimes that means small tweaks here and there (merely writing another draft), but other times it reveals something big, and one domino can topple many others.

I've been struggling for over a week to wrestle the story to the ground, hoping I could make it work, since we don't have room for "something big". I'm not giving up— I'm finally listening! I knew starting over would put me even further behind, but worse than that, I knew what I was doing was writing the story the way it was meant to be written. About a week ago I simultaneously wrote what I knew was right and noted many potential areas to hack away to make it fit, sadly not fluff, but meat—stuff that should not be taken out just to fit into a particular bin size i assigned last year. So, the other day I had to decide if I was going to turn it into a mediocre short story, or do it right (later) as an amazing, long novella or short novel.

I refuse to do anything mediocre, and so it was an easy decision, though a painful one. That original story needs to breath, to be what it was destined to be, and so I started brainstorming another tale about the train and some of its notable characters so I could give you a train story like I promised. That new tale of a train less traveled will appear in Arcane Synthesis. I have written an outline and am nearing completion of an extended outline. I should start writing the short story itself by Thursday night.

To clarify something, the train is an actual character in these stories. It, or he, has a personality, and is an uber-advanced artificial intelligence. The new tale focuses on the AI Super Train and its companions’ search for fulfillment and self-discovery. They find themselves on a fantastic world of magic and little races as they work hard to complete personal goals, and begin to question the value of what they are doing. Amidst all this, one of the characters inadvertently puts into motion something big that threatens all life on the planet, and they must quickly try to figure out if and how to turn things around before it’s too late. Sure to be a fun read!

The new story that takes place 22 years after the events in the original story (on a different world with a wildly different adventure). As for the original, exciting tale which includes a serial killer, and stargates, I'll likely do a Kickstarter on it shortly after this book is out the door to raise funds for cover art, promotion and other expenses. It will need a lot more writing before it’s ready to roll, but it’s looking good, so I have a nice start already. More on that later! All of my attention right now has to be on my new story and helping the other authors finish theirs.

That's it for this update. Have a wonderful rest of the week, folks, and talk with you soon!
Bob
P.s. Not sure if you noticed it or not, but I was nominated on facebook for the 7x7x7 challenge, which reveals 7 lines from my first story, Voices. You can see my excerpt on the QT Games fan page here: https://www.facebook.com/QTGames?ref=stream&fref=nf
If you like it, please . . . um, click LIKE! I don’t win anything; it’s just a little thing someone came up with for exposure and fun, I guess. Speaking of which, if you like any of these updates, there's a "Like" button for that too, and some market watch sites take notice of kickstarters that have Likes. I'm not sure if that translates to a benefit for QT Games, but it couldn't hurt!
P.s.s. Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns, questions or comments either here, on the QT Games Forums or Insiders Forum or via email. Thanks!
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:43 pm

Project Update #19: Progress and a New Editor!

Happy Tuesday, all!

2014 has been a roller coaster ride, but we are still moving forward. I've been making great progress on my latest story. After long hours of hard work, I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this newest tale of The Train Less Traveled. I've written a crazy number of words in a short time on this latest one, and now I'm working on my third draft! I'm very pleased with it overall but will keep plugging away until it shines. :)

I was working recently with Steven Schend and his story is looking really good so far! These stories run through numerous revision phases to ensure you get a great story you can get a real kick out of!

One of the challenging things these authors face is making sure what they write is accurate and compatible with the Cosmoverse Campaign Setting I've been creating and expanding for the past 35 years. That's a big job. It's not like they can just ask a question on Google or pick up a book, since the setting material isn't on the market yet (though I hope that will change one day, Lord willing!) So, I spent some time going over with Darrin Drader this week how some of the technology works in the Cosmoverse.

His story touches on jump drive technology used on starships, and while I have some of that information available online in a special section for playtesters and contributors, I needed to review it to make sure it was complete and ended up expanding the the content so that he can refer to it while writing his story. This kind of thing comes up frequently, and will continue to do so until I can get the setting on the market in some future Kickstarter, likely, if all goes well.

Now for a bit of mixed news, some bad and some good!

My wife, Joan, just recently started a new career as a 7th grade English teacher! A teacher's first year is said to be a huge challenge, and that has proven true in her case as well. She's been working consistently a minimum of 14-15+ hours per day, which as I'm sure you can guess, has been exhausting. When she took the position, we were under the impression that while challenging, she would be able to retain her position as a co-editor, but it has since become very clear that is not possible. As such, I have been scrambling around looking for another great editor. I will continue to be tackling all of the heavy lifting, including developmental editing for the stories.

After approaching several editors, I've finally found one that is both talented and committed to coming on board! Mind you I will be paying for him out of pocket, as Joanie was essentially donating her time out of her love for me. Even the token I was going to give her as a thanks dried up when various Kickstarter expenses increased on me, so if you see her, be sure to thank her for all the help she has been thus far! I could have gone with one of the entry-level editors I know as that would have been much cheaper, but I think this project deserves a great editor. I believe our new copy editor, Phil Athans, will be worth every penny!

Phil is running his own editing company now, but worked for a number of years with TSR and then Wizards of the Coast as an editor and then Senior Managing Editor, tackling novels set within Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. He has also written and edited a number of other novels, anthologies, D&D products and various other cool projects over the years, and we're very pleased to have him on board as our new copy editor!

That's all for today my friends! Just thought you'd want to know. Now, back to writing!

Cheers,
Bob
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Project Update #19 Part 2: Progress and a New Editor!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:14 pm

Project Update #19 Part 2: Progress and a New Editor!

Part 2? Ok, that was surprising!

I just went to post an update tonight and found the last update I wrote you was still sitting on the Kickstarter site waiting for me to hit "Publish". Apparently, I saved it and never submitted it. Yikes. Sorry about that! So, it looks like we're overdue for one. Reviewing "Part 1", I see that some things have changed since then (and some stuff I've been talking with you about on facebook and over at the QT Games Insiders forums since, so maybe some of you know already). But there's been lots of new News too, so I'm rewriting the Update.

2014 has been a maddening roller coaster ride, but we are still making great progress. We lost an author and brought in a new one. We had several financial setbacks but are holding strong, committed to bringing you a great product and quality rewards. We've brought in a new editor too. (Didn't know about the new editor? We "announced" that one in "Part 1". Ahem . . . again, a thousand apologies!)

Ok, what's this about a new editor?
My wife, Joan, became slammed with piles of work and was only able to Copy Edit the first two stories. She was doing great, but then started a new job working about 15 hours per day (way over what she was expecting) and was pretty much exhausted all of the time, so we decide it would be best for her to step down, though I loved working with her.

After approaching several editors, I found one that is both talented and committed. Mind you I will be paying for him out of pocket, as Joanie was essentially donating her time out of her love for me. Even the token I was going to give her as a thanks dried up when various Kickstarter expenses increased on me, so if you see her, be sure to thank her for all the help she has been thus far! Her time is freeing up and she will be stepping in later to do the final proofread.

I could have gone with one of the entry-level editors I know, as that would have been much cheaper, but I think this project deserves a great editor. I believe our new copy editor, Phil Athans, is worth every penny (he just finished editing 2 of the stories this week).

Phil runs his own editing company now, but worked for a number of years with TSR and then Wizards of the Coast as an editor and then Senior Managing Editor, tackling novels set within Ed Greenwood's Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. He has also written and edited a number of other novels, anthologies, D&D products and various other cool projects over the years, and we're very pleased to have him on board as our new copy editor!

Why aren't all these stories done—how hard can it be?
After all the early phases of brainstorming, outlines and storyline approval, the hard part arrives—not just writing a story, but writing a great story. One of the challenging things these authors face is making sure what they write is not just great, but is accurate and compatible with the Cosmoverse Campaign Setting I've been creating and expanding for the past 35 years. That's a big job! It's not like they can just ask a question on Google or pick up a campaign book or novel, since the setting material isn't on the market yet (though I hope that will change one day, Lord willing!) So, we've been spending a lot of time pouring over each story and setting element (political, social, technology, religious, language, elements, etc. This is very time consuming, so I'm very proud of everyone and we're starting to see the end of the tunnel on the book.

Before a story even reaches Phil, it runs by my desk between 6-8 times for full reviews (both Developmental and Copy Editing) plus emailing back and forth to discuss campaign elements, reviewing material, etc. After all of my Developmental and Copy Edits, I hand it off to Phil for another Copy Edit and then I do a final review of his work (and back and forth again a bit with Phil or author as needed). So, we've been working tirelessly to ensure you get fantastic stories!

As you may recall, we also brought in a new author well into the game—Darrin Drader. He started writing well after everyone else and is doing a great job! We're still behind schedule, but should be able to get the ebooks out around the time we promised, if all goes well (I'll keep you in the loop—still don't know quite how long it takes to layout the whole book and then convert an InDesign file to an accurate ebook format—every format has different challenges). But I remain hopeful we'll be very close to our promise date.

8 Stories... where do we stand?
Currently, 4 of the stories have passed through all phases of editing and I will start putting them in the book as I begin laying things out using InDesign (I just renewed our business license and filed a sales tax report - lots of little things you have to do as a company owner even when you aren't making a dime, so I'm not sitting around— I'm currently working on several aspects of the project, including making maps, paying authors, editing, etc.)

Three other stories have finished the numerous passes by my desk and this week I put the stamp of approval on each. I will be handing them off to Phil after checking their formatting.

So, that's 7 stories off my Editor Plate (until I review Phil's work, probably in about a month—I still need to confirm turn around time on that, but approximately a month). Phil, like all of the authors on the project, has been quite slammed, but he just returned 2 stories and will start the rest shortly.

That leaves just one story needing to pass through the final stages of Developmental Editing and initial Copy Editing—yep, Darrin's (I haven't forgotten Dead By Dawn and other remaining rewards—just focusing on the book right now). Once Darrin makes the latest round of changes, we'll probably be just about ready to send his off to our Copy Editor as well. Getting very close!

After I get the ebooks ready, I'll go back in and finish up the other rewards so we can wrap this up and get you the rest of the goodies!

That's all for today my friends! Just thought you'd want to know!

Let's make it an awesome week!

Cheers!
Bob
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:10 am

Project Update #20: Full Steam Ahead!

Things are moving along quickly and smoothly for the most part and we're getting close to finishing the anthology! I know we aren't late yet, and as I've said before, we're still running behind schedule. But considering the major setbacks we've had and explained in previous updates, I couldn't be happier with the progress and am sure you will be very pleased with the goodies!

For those of you who missed the official painting for the cover (or just want another glimpse of it!) — the one you voted on (and our Limited Edition Kickstarter-Only hardcover for those that selected that tier), here's the pic (final painting by Jason Rainville. Art Direction, logos and design by yours truly):
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Many Kickstarters run late (especially first time Kickstarters, but even veterans). Even so, I hoped ours wouldn't, and even padded the date a little. But emergencies are difficult to plan for, of course. Many of the rewards were handed out early and the books are about a month behind schedule from what I can tell (I'll know more as I dig into formatting the book and ebook conversion). Dead By Dawn will be tackled after the anthology and then the freebie I offered (The Shadow Hunter) will come after that and we'll be all done and ready to move on to our next project! So, I think we're doing pretty good all said, but I appreciate your patience, knowing we're going to be a little behind projected release dates on some rewards.

I know I promised you 8 short stories, but I am pleased to announce that instead you are getting 6 novelettes and 2 novellas all under one cover (about 130,000 words)!

We've been putting in tons of hours to get these 8 stories and remaining rewards into your hands as soon as possible without sacrificing quality. I'm very pleased with all the work everyone's been doing. All of the stories have passed through about 6-8 editing phases on my desk alone and are now on Phil Athan's desk, after which I will give them a final look and then I'll need to do the book layout in InDesign, design the back cover and other details. Joan will take care of final proofreading! Still plenty to do, but we're definitely full steam ahead!

I know we didn't reach our amazing art Stretch Goal, but I want this book to be as pretty as possible, so I'm doing some extra black and white maps and illustrations to make it a little prettier and provide some fun reference for those that like maps and such. I figure you wonderful backers deserve it! We wouldn't be here without you, after all!!! Here's a low res version of my first map for Steven Schend's story, Emeraldeaths!
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I think it turned out very nice. I hope you agree! Well, that's all for this update. Now to put the final touches on that map and move on to the next!

Cheers,
Bob
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Bob Whitely
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Re: Updates Here!

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:13 am

Project Update #21: Coming Soon! (Meant to post these last two here before on the Kickstarter site, but forgot. Here they are for your reference!

Time for another action-packed update for our wonderful backers!

Phil is still copy editing the book. I just contacted him and am waiting to hear back to see how close he is to finishing. If all goes well, I'll have the manuscript back soon and then review and do a final edit, then pass it along to Joan for proofreading and get cracking on other aspects of the Kickstarter needing my attention, like laying out the book!

More good news: I'm on the home stretch with the interior art for the project. I know, I didn't promise any interior art, but I want this to be the best book it can be and thought you wouldn't mind a freebie—so lots of free art on me! I have just started the 10th and last of the illustrations and maps for the book. They're all grayscale, as I mentioned previously, since color books cost more and we don't have any extra money to toss around. I like how they turned out and hope you do too. :)

The artwork was challenging as I'm used to doing everything in color, but you can't just paint in color and hope everything converts well to grayscale for printing. That's a recipe for disaster. So, I'm doing it all in grayscale from the start. Even so, I won't know if the images will need any final tweaks until I get a sample book back from the printer, but I think they should require minimal, if any adjustments. We'll see.

I'm actually using 2 printers, so I'll have to pay for sample books from each (CreateSpace and Lightning Source, for distribution through Amazon and DriveThruFiction) to check and make sure the artwork turned out okay, before we do a final print run, since art looks different on different printers. But this won't hold up the ebooks. Oh, I'm also hoping to distribute in the UK via Fantastic Books Publishing (a great bunch of folks who ran a successful Kickstarter shortly before I did and also published another short story by our very own Allen Farr, in their anthology: Tales From the Frontier!)

I shared a map I created for the book in the last update. For this one, I'll share two pictures I made! Since I mentioned Allen Farr, I figured I'd show you the illustration I made for his story, Spectre of War. I think it turned out pretty nifty!
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The next one is from Darrin Drader's story, The Voskree Net, a tale about several groups all searching for an ancient artifact! It's a deadly race across space and includes the exploration of a lost world known only as 1118-1. If you look closely, you'll find it and all the other planets in the book in one of the two star maps I made specifically for this anthology. This pic here was pretty challenging as I had a lot I wanted to squeeze into the image—little snippets from the story that'll make it even more interesting to check out again after reading it.
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That's all for today. If you like this update, I won't complain if you hit the "Like" button, post a comment or even share on Twitter or Facebook so we can start to get others excited about this project too. It's going to be real important to increase the size of our fan base at QT Games if we are to roll out another book following this one, as publishing costs money. I'm sure you're going to love Arcane Synthesis and we've got no shortage of very cool projects planned in the days ahead if we can get funding! I aim to please with more great rewards to come and many great stories and games you won't soon forget!

Let's make it an awesome week and talk with you soon!

Cheers! Bob
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