On Macs and Scrivener

Well, it’s been spectacularly warm and sunny here—a beautiful Indian Summer—and the page proofs for the mass market paperback edition of Darkling Fields of Arvon are off to Baen. Everything looks good. Meanwhile I’m getting myself familiarized with the Scrivener program—much-acclaimed software devised for writers—novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, academics, the whole range of the tribe of wordsmiths—and created originally for Macs, but now available in a PC-friendly version. It’s a kind of word-processing program designed to help writers organize and facilitate their work. I bought Scrivener soon after I switched to a Mac for the first time early this summer, after my PC laptop bit the dust. I had heard so many good things about Macs, how well-built and reliable they were. It seemed to me it was a good time to make the switch. Besides, I had gotten used to the Mac operating system at the office where I work. So far I’m quite satisfied with my Mac laptop and impressed by the many facets of Scrivener.  I’ve loaded my Hidden Kingdom files into the program. It should enhance my productivity, and Jim’s too, I hope, since he’s on board with Scrivener as well on his PC.

Proofs of Darkling Fields

Yesterday Jim and I received the page proofs for the mass market paperback edition of Darkling Fields of Arvon, as Baen prepares the text for publication at the end of November. It means we’ll be revisiting an old friend over the next few days, combing the book for blemishes we may have overlooked in the trade paperback edition. This scarcely seems possible, when I think back to the care we took over proofreading and revisions in the novel’s earlier incarnation.  At the same time, we’ve learned the hard way that, when you’re wearing an editor’s hat, you should never take a flawless text for granted. It’s a painstaking, often boring, task. Of course, we’ll also be looking at the flow of the text in its new format, making sure the changeover from the trade paperback results in a faithful rendition. Given the quality of the editorial input that Baen provides for its authors, it’s a consoling thought to approach our new text with the belief that we’re not likely to find much amiss.

The digital revolution in publishing ramps up

If you want to get some idea of the magnitude of the changes that are sweeping the world of books and publishing like a tsunami, check out the recent blog post by historical novelist Sarah Woodbury.

In it she talks about the way she’s been able to build astonishing ebook sales on Amazon as a self-published author. Her novels are set in mediaeval Wales, and, if her elegantly designed and informative site are any indication of the quality of her fiction, it’s small wonder that she’s been so phenomenally successful in such a short span of time.  In her post, she links to David Gaughran, author of Let’s Get Digital, an ebook about the sea change that’s occurring in publishing. It’s a riveting, articulate account, and Gaughran graciously offers it as a free download at:  http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/lets-get-digital/

Also, I couldn’t help but take note of the charmingly evocative waterscape featured on the masthead of Woodbury’s site. My first thought when I saw it was: “Hey, this is a perfect rendition of our own Deepmere in the Stoneholding.”