16. DOC Y : Tell us about the next book.

I’m sorry: this is a cheat. I made up the question so that I can tell you about the next book.

I had eighteen stories of about 30 000 words, which is the right length for a book. By reading them through, I narrowed it down to seven. Then:

I like Story 11 (Trouble on Agla 5), but it’s mainly Tony. Bea doesn’t appear till near the end.

The editor thought that a small part of Story 14 (Trouble on the Wanderer) might upset some readers.

Like Trouble on Wotzit 4, Story 24 (Trouble on Unin 1) has a prologue by someone else, not Tony or Bea. I didn’t want to do that again so soon.

Story 35 (Trouble in Arc 89) should follow Story 19 (Trouble on Naxi 17).

That left three.

During February, I worked on Story 19.   Then I noticed that it refers to Tony and Bea becoming Troubleshooters – so it should really follow Story 26 (Trouble on Deedia), which explains that.

Then there were two.

In March, I read their first chapters again, and thought Story 9’s was better than Story 26’s.    So story 9 (Trouble on Oo-Oli 10) will be the next book.   It will introduce you to Chip and Hais.   I’d like you to meet Hais, because she’s Bea’s best friend in the Federation, and helps her with some of the reports.   If everything goes well, the book of Story 9 will be on sale by November.   I hope you like it.

PS: As I was writing this, I had an idea of how to improve the first chapter of Story 26. If it works, you may see that story in 2012.

PPS: Keep watching this answer. I’ll add to it, to tell you what’s happening to Trouble on Oo-Oli 10. At present, I’m tidying it. For a lot of the time, Bea and Tony work separately, so the story jumps back and forward between their reports. They were in the wrong order, so Tony heard what Bea had done before the reader knew about it. I’ve rearranged it, but that’s made some short chapters. I’m fixing these now.


APRIL 2011
I thought Trouble on Oo-Oli 10 was ready to go to the editor, but I took it on holiday, for a final check.  I found over 400 changes I wanted to make! These are now done, and I sent the story to the editor on 21st April.  She said she would take ten weeks, but I’ve begged her to make it faster.  In the meantime, I’ve started searching for printers.

MAY 2011
The editor still has the story, and I haven’t found a printer yet.


JUNE 2011
Trouble on Oo-Oli 10 came back from the editor with over 400 suggestions for  improvements.  I accepted about half of them, and changed the text.  Then, in a final reading, I found another 112 changes to make.
I also found a printer, and the story went to him on Monday (27th June). He’s hinted that the book won’t be too expensive to print.  I hope he’s right.


JULY 2011
I was wrong: I hadn’t found a printer.  The guy never came back to me with a final price.  That sent me off on another search for printers.  I think I have one now: it was finally settled yesterday afternoon (29th July), when I sent a copy of Trouble on Wotzit 4 to him so that he can make Trouble on Oo-Oli 10 to match it.

Match it!  They sent their attempt at the first chapter in early August.  It didn’t match Trouble on Wotzit 4.  I pointed out the mistakes.  Then silence.  I e-mailed them three weeks later, and got a feeble excuse.  I hope the book is under way again, but, if it’s not quick, I’ll be looking for another printer.

The next version – of the whole story – soon appeared.  It was a mess!  Some pages had 29 lines of text, some had 30, and some had 31.  And Chapter 18 had vanished.  I e-mailed the  information, but they seem to have gone to sleep again.

I e-mailed an enquiry, and was told someone was dealing with my ‘concerns’.  I sent a strong e-mail, detailing my concerns, and threatening that, if the next version wasn’t perfect, I’d tell them to give up the project.  The next version  still had Chapter 18 missing but, perhaps to make up for it, Chapter 27 was repeated.  So I’m back where  I was in July, looking for printers, with little chance of seeing the book for Christmas.  Sorry!

Progress!  I’ve found a printer, and almost got the proofs approved.  This printer can’t send out the books to the public, so I now have to arrange that.

I’ve got an ISBN for the book!  It arrived the day the printers went on holiday for Christmas, so I’ll pass it on to them In January, and hope to see a proof – a sample copy of the book.  Once I approve that, the printing can begin.

After a lot more corrections than I expected, Book 9, Trouble on Oo-Oli 10, went to the printer on Tuesday 24th January.
I have also been working on another book, about a boy called Jam.  I can afford to have it printed, so I hope to launch it at the same time as Oo-Oli 10.  I’m presently doing what I hope is its final check before sending it to the printer.  More news next month.