Monday, 13 August 2012

Unexpected Delays

I am the Warden!!

It's just past 6AM on a Monday morning as I start to write today's post and there are two things I'm waiting for: a review of Killshot and an email from Lightning Source accepting my POD files. Both have taken longer than expected, yet not unexpectedly longer than expected, if that makes any sense. In other words, while I was hoping both issues would be resolved and happily promoted by now, it's inevitable for either matter to be more complicated and/or slower than desired.

There's nothing to do about the reviews, such matters are out of my hands. The fact that there are three websites willing to perform a review (including Game Knight Reviews) is very good news considering Killshot's another game in a crowded field from independent publishers like me. Combined with the issues I've been having with the POD (print on demand) files makes it a little more stressful.

My original plan was for all the POD copies for the Kickstarter backers to be in production at this point with an expected delivery time of August's last week. It's now looking like September. It's my first time using a POD printer - being Lightning Source through OneBookShelf, owner of DriveThruRPG - and there's a unique twist to dealing with these kinds of printers: they're all computerized. In my past life (or one of them, at least), I was a printer/press operator. Whenever we received files, we'd run a preflight check on them, perform some checks to ensure what's missing, wrong, or perfect about the file(s) and fix whatever needed to be fixed right away. In many cases, what a computer would consider imperfect, we could manually override as a minor or insignificant glitch. For example, if an image in the interior pages came in at 293 dpi instead of the standardized 300 dpi, that's not a big deal. Skip. Computers don't see if that way.

It's also come to light I'm very inexperienced at creating layout files and I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to every graphic designer out there I cussed out during my press operator days. Perhaps it's not as easy as I insinuated and now I'm learning my lesson the hard way. Not that my files don't work, but it's another matter entirely to get minor details in order (which is complicated by my technology issues address in the last post). As of last week, I've had three POD files rejected and am waiting to hear back on the fourth.

The process has been incredibly eye-opening, just like everything else in this process of building and publishing Killshot. A very welcome process, I might add. While I've dabbled in every step before, it's never been to this level and I'm planning to take it even further. It's like the old saying goes: We learn better from our mistakes. I'd be a fool if I thought these were the only mistakes/problems/hiccups I'll ever encounter and that does not make me a screw-up. It makes me human.