Copy-edits, Crashes and Covers!

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NB:This update originally appeared on crowdfunding website Kickstarter on 11th July 2013 and was intended for backers of the successful campaign to fund the publication of Finding Arun, my debut novel.

Morning you beautiful backers!

How’s it going? It’s been another good few weeks since I last wrote, so there’s lots to update you on.

First and foremost, a HUGE, BIG FAT, MASSIVE, SUPER DUPER THANK-YOU to all of you that have filled out the recently issued Kickstarter surveys. This has been a great help in getting things organised to deliver your rewards in September.

To the 35 people who are yet to respond (shame on you!) could you please *try* to get your surveys completed by the end of the weekend? It will only take 5 minutes, *promise*.

For this update, the big news is *drumroll* the manuscript is back from the editor! It landed in my inbox on Tuesday and I’m pleased to report that overall the comments are all very positive and only a few minor amendments have been suggested to improve/sharpen what the editor described as a ‘highly impressive novel’ with ‘engaging narrative’. With Gary (my editor) being the only other person to read the manuscript in its entirety (and a professional at that!), I cannot tell you how relieved I am! I will spend the next 2-3 weeks making the changes and then hopefully by the end of July, I will have a near final manuscript. All very exciting!

I say near final, because I think I now have time to do a little beta-reader testing to get a few more perspectives, with a view to making any final tweaks prior to print and publication. Who better to get involved in that, than my very own Kickstarter family? If any of the backers, who don’t know me personally, would like to volunteer to be a beta-reader, please drop me a private message/comment below. You will have 7-10 days to read the book and provide honest feedback about what you did and didn’t enjoy (hopefully more of the former!).

Separately, whilst the manuscript has been away, you might remember that I had lots of other little tasks to be getting on with. A slight spanner was thrown into the works in the form of a car accident a few days after sending it off :-( Someone drove into the back of my car and not only was my car written off (administrative insurance nightmare!), but I’ve been suffering with whiplash for the last few weeks, which initially made it very difficult to sit up and work at my desk (I’m now regretting that ‘being hit by a bus’ comment at bottom of my campaign page about setbacks!). I’m on the mend, slowly but surely, and in the last ten days I’ve been able to plough through a lot of the things that needed doing to stay on track. The highlights are:

  • My website is back up and running with a beautiful new design! I haven’t managed to start blogging properly yet, but be sure to check it out and sign up to receive both posts by e-mail and monthly newsletters.
  • I’ve registered my publishing company – Not By The Book Ltd – and applied for my block of ISBN numbers. This company will be the publisher of record for this and future titles.
  • I’ve secured a venue and agreed a programme for the launch party.
  • I’ve designed and ordered the BAGS OF KARMA merchandise (and it looks pretty damn cool if I do say so myself!)

Finally, I launched the design contest over on 99 designs (a crowd-sourcing website) to prepare both the limited edition and general release versions of the book’s cover and now I need your help. There are less than 24 hours remaining in the first round of the contest and there have been quite a few submissions. You can view them all here and there is a poll of my current favourites just waiting for your vote here. Designs will continue to be added throughout the day and I would love to hear your feedback as this is crucial to get right. What do you think of the images, the fonts, the colours; tell me your thoughts! Please post your comments below, or on my Facebook page or on Twitter using #FindingArun

A handful of designers will be selected to move into the next round tomorrow morning, where they will further develop their designs and by Monday morning next week, we should have two winners with any luck! Any (budding) designers out there, also feel free to submit your own entries if you think you can do better than what you see! The brief and supporting documents are all included on the site.
Right, enough rambling, time to tackle the editor’s comments; wish me luck!Much love,Marisha xxx

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