The Flames of Shadam Khoreh ARCs are ready

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After several long nights and early mornings, the copy edits for Flames are all folded in. I still have to go through one final pass before the book is done-done, but that process is going to wait for a few weeks until I have all three stories written for my story collection.

The last two times I did this, I was working from electronic scans of the copy edited pages and “stetting” or accepting changes. I would also mark any changes from the edits, or from my own final pass of the ms, into my master copy of the document as well. This time, though, I was working from a physical printout of the copy edits and marking up the changes directly to the master InDesign file. I also copied any changes into Scrivener, since I’m using that to generate the e-books (EPUBs and MOBIs).

The process wasn’t too painful, actually. The ms was pretty clean, for one. Oh, there were some formatting oddities in the print version that showed up again and again, like quotes after an em-dash showing up backwards from what was in the source file, but for the most part it was an easy run-through. Tons of little errors. A few continuity errors. Generally I would cruise along, covering page after page quickly, but now and again I would halt for minutes on end, trying to resolve something as simple as how someone was looking at someone else. Did they “wear” an expression, or did they “bear” it? The OCD in me can make some of those seemingly simple decisions take a long (looonnnnggg) time.

I’m really excited about the print version. I’ve never used InDesign before this. It took a while to get used to, but after learning some of the basics, I’m getting around really well. Here’s a snapshot of the title page and how it looks in the tool.

InDesign gives you *complete* control over how things are going to look once it’s printed, from margins to graphics to fonts to kerning. It was fun to choose my own fonts, lay things out how I wanted, and so on. Next up for Flames is to send out ARCs to reviewers. That effort is already underway, but it will continue for a few weeks as my publicist, Jaym Gates, and I work to get the book into as many hands as possible. I also need to get print copies of the book as well, as some reviewers prefer them. I’m also going to get a few ARCs for my own purposes. Giveaways, donation to Worldbuilders, etc.

I’m looking forward to taking all of this and applying it to my short story collection, too. There are so many steps to do before these projects are put to bed, but I think they’re going to be a lot of fun. Part of that comes from the feeling of being in control—I’m not a control freak, but it *is* nice to be able to choose how things are going to look in the end—and part of it is simply learning something new.

More updates as I trundle along this process.


  1. Paul Weimer (@princejvstin)

    February 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Ah, didn’t realize Jaym was your publicist. Excellent. :)

  2. Abhinav Jain (@abhinavjain87)

    February 26, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Fantastic news, and thanks for the advance copy!

  3. Daniel Beck

    March 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I have enjoyed the Lays of Anuskaya books. Though sometimes I do swear at the lack of dialog or descriptive holes left in the story, but the yarn itself is very good. I have enjoyed the characters you have used and the action and basic story arc has been well developed but sometimes I have to go back and re-read the entire book, up to the point that is confusing, because of things which have been either very briefly referred to earlier in the story or have not been described at all.

    I am not truly complaining but after reading this genre for 50 years I do see some things that I find a bit difficult as far as the storytelling goes. You have created a good universe and some interesting use of Russian and some cryptic uses of middle eastern cultural styles, but in all I would say it is a good yarn.

    Thanks for your trouble in writing it.

    • Brad

      March 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      Hi Daniel. Thanks for taking the time to send me a note. I appreciate the feedback. This is one of the toughest things in writing, in my estimation, finding the right balance between telling the reader enough without crossing the line and telling them too much. In any case, I’m glad you enjoyed them even if there were some frustrating bits.