Just don’t say ‘soon’

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Progress Report

And… cut!

A quick update to keep you all in the loop!

Audio recording of Elite Reclamation has now been completed. Toby Longworth managed to read the entire story in under three days and Chris Jarvis recorded 22 (yes, 22!) hours of audio footage.

His next task is to boil that 22 hours down into the finished audiobook (not counting all the other books to record!). The final version (including Frontier sound effects) should be about 6-7 hours long. A chunky listen for you.

Yesterday evening I was also invited back aboard Lave Radio’s Orange Sidewinder for a second writer’s interview with Chris Forrester. As part of that I am providing them with an additional reading from Elite Reclamation.

Now hang on a minute…

No, not that kind of spoiler…

I said early on, mostly based on requests from you good folks, that I’d not give out any spoilers. Well, I am trying to keep that to an absolute minimum, but marketing is now beginning to pick up (you’ll have doubtless seen the ED article in Edge Magazine) and this is now an opportunity to start raising the profile of my book.

You’ll recall I read part of the Prologue  during LaveCon 2013. That’s what started this whole audiobook side of things for me. As part of the audiobook production, we have chosen a scene from the end of Chapter Two as a teaser for the ‘full works Toby Longworth’ audiobook at some point in the future. That scene is actually what is behind my original trailer for ER, all about my mysterious Imperial heroine.

So, for the Lave Radio teaser that is upcoming I’ve chosen a section from Chapter One. This introduces a couple more minor characters (of whom I’m rather fond) and one of the major characters who you’ll see throughout the book. In additional you will finally find out the name of my heroine, but you’ll have to wait for Chris’ upcoming audio trailer to know any more about what happens to her.

None of these teasers give away any more of the plot that you’ve been able to determine from my updates and the video trailers I’ve posted in the past, so they are pretty much spoiler free. You may wish to avoid them, but there is really no need to do so. I expect (and hope) they’ll excite you but leave you wanting more.

But when will there be more? I’m not going to say the ‘s’ word.

Time is a-ticking…

My kickstarter target was always March 2014. That’s next month. Will the book be ready by then? Technically, yes. In actuality no. Things have rather moved on with the additional of Fantastic Books and the pantheon of Elite titles under their wing. We now have ebooks, paperbacks, hardbacks and audiobooks to create. FBP currently plans to launch these in something of a ‘big bang’, thus they all need to be ready together. We’re not there yet, even though many of the stories are past editorial and Frontier approval.

We always planned to tie up our publicity with Frontier too – it’s part of the writer’s pack pledge award. Their original launch date was also March 2014, that no longer seems likely given that we’re about halfway through the Alpha, with Beta and Gamma phases still to go before retail release. The books may need to sync with the game for maximum effect.

From what I can see, the gamma phase of ED is effectively ‘backers get the game’. I would imagine that our books will come out in a similar timespan. I don’t know when that will be, but I would guess that mid-summer was somewhere on the money. This co-incides rather well with the upcoming LaveCon 2014 and FantastiCon events.

Ambitious? You'd better believe it!

It’s all going to be fantastic, no, really!

Official and Unofficial launch parties are also in the works, but we have no dates at present. Does ‘Launch’ mean Gamma, or retail release? Nobody outside of Frontier knows, if even they know at this point.

I know that’s all a bit vague, and perhaps a little disappointing, but the end product of all of this project work that you’ve generously funding is now considerably bigger, a lot better and wider in scope than we all anticipated even at the end of the original Kickstarters. It’s going to be (literally!) a fantastic collection of material. We’re just going to have to crave your indulgence for a little longer.

The moment I know something, I’ll be posting it up here for you too.


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  1. Great to hear of this project progressing smoothly!

    But I am a bit disappointed to hear the assumption that the book(s) must be released “[in] sync with the game for maximum effect”. To begin with, I am not sure that’s true at all; if the book is good I will advertise it to my friends. If the game is good I will do the same there. It doesn’t matter if they come out simultaneously or some time apart. In fact I am hesitant to “spam”, say, my FB timeline with too much Elite stuff all at the same time.

    But when it comes right down to it, ED and the books are separate, if related projects. As a backer of each (and as a consumer in general, in fact) I expect each of them to deliver in a timely fashion, not arbitrarily meddled with according to someone else’s idea of marketing voodoo.

    My 2c,

    • Nothing is set in stone at this point, I am just speculating. One of the downsides of having a publisher is that the publish date is now out of my hands. It won’t be unnecessarily delayed and if syncing it with the game release doesn’t make sense for a given reason (e.g. ED is significantly delayed due to a major bug) we’ll doubtless take the pragmatic view and forge a new course.

    • ohh another sven m. /wave


  2. Looking forward to listening to your teasers. 🙂

    I can empathise with you over the release date (dates?). You’ve put in hundreds of hours of work and everything inside screams: ‘I want to get this to my readers!’

    Alas, the book is a professional/commercial animal, and so it has to be caged until it’s thoroughly shampooed, brushed and blow dried. Then you have to get the export licenses and get it through quarantine. Good luck with that.

    An aside: I’m currently in mid-edit mode so I apologise for nit-picking, but one of the things I’m sensitised to is word repetition. If you, and the rest of Fantastic Books’ writers, could expand your range of superlatives it would be greatly appreciated. 😉

    • Fantastic comment there, T. James! 😉

  3. And I thought the ‘S’ word was Starmap 🙂

  4. I thought you were going to say Sequel….

    • It is a possibility, though not much more than that at this stage. I want to make sure folks like the initial book before I go any further!

  5. Thanks for the update Drew.

    I must admit to a potential slight disappointment too. I’m fine with getting all the Fantastic books finished in all formats first. However, I suspect you’ll reach that point months before Gamma for ED and possibly 6 months before ED retail.

    If so then I’d like to suggest to your publisher that backers of the books receive them when they’re all ready. By all means delay the public book launch until ED has its launch but I don’t see why book backers can’t have their own ‘gamma’ book release before any official launch / publicity. I think it would be very unfortunate if backers had to wait months, with the finished books in storage somewhere, due to forced synchronisation with ED.

    Hope that doesn’t sound too negative. I intend it to be a constructive suggestion for a way forward.

    • Not at all, Jonathan. The feedback is useful. I don’t have a reliable estimate of how long it’s going to take Chris and the audio team to get all 5 books (and Allen’s fully dramatised) version to a finished state. I’d guess it will be a few months minimum, there’s a lot of work involved there. Could ebooks come before paperbacks, before hardbacks, before audiobooks? Yes they could. Would we consider that? Sure. Dan has a plan. I’ll ping him to come and have a look across here and add his own comments.

  6. Hello all!

    Just dropping in to cool a few heat sinks!

    Yes, the release of the books has been delayed a little due to the E:D Alpha being longer than expected but we certainly won’t be holding out until the retail release, that would be excruciating!

    So, the first release will, in true KS fashion, be to the backers in all the various formats they have pledged for. No dates yet as it’s very important to me to get all the formats out together but the KS backers will get their fingers in the literary pie first, that’s a promise!

    Next comes our retail release which I imagine will be somewhere between the Gamma and the Retail of E:D, thus giving folks plenty of time to read the books and get excited about the places they can visit in the game. Also, this will give all you lovely KS backers time to read through the books that you receive early and leave shiny 5 star reviews of them all over the internet in time for the retail release.

    Bottom line, I love these books and they deserve to be seen as soon as is fair to all involved.

    However, I also love these writers and they deserve to have their work pushed out in a fair and well timed fashion so they are caught in the growing tide of E:D mania and sell a ton of books into the bargain.

    I hope that quells any fears of increased delays and any anxiety about the dreaded ‘s’ word…


    Commander Dan

    • Thanks Dan for the timely response. I appreciate the balance to be struck and I’m happy with book retail before ED retail and backer release before both.

      I just hope Commander Jarvis gets some sleep occasionally …

  7. I’m happy to hear things are progressing, but it’s disappointing that your kickstarter now seems tied to your publisher’s kickstarter. I backed both, but certainly not the latter to delay the former.

  8. thanks for the update drew. as always with you utmost consideration and communication.

    don’t worry too much about the “soon” – it will really only be a short while. and i guess there will be rather a lot to do for yourself once david and dan have done all their magic work ^^

    again, congratulations on delivering a perfect ks project =) (never mind the book)

  9. I want all the books yesterday:-) I’m in serious and I do mean serious need of some Sci Fi literature in the elite Cannon to get my teeth into. My heart felt congratulations to Drew (As I’ve said before the project has been a blast)

    I have no experience of the work involved in getting a book published, but from what I have read and understand I was actually expecting the delays.

    That said it will be an interesting experience to listen to the audio books. Apart from Escape Velocity (not an audio book but audio drama) and the rather enjoyable ‘Forced Entry’ they will be amongst the first:-)

    Read first listen first will be an interesting debate!! My mind is already in knots over that one, but I’m a book worm… It will be all worth it

    • Read first! Let your imagination set the scene before you listen, watch any envisioned alternative. Tony is a very talented guy, but his intonation and character acting may not be how ‘you’ imagine the story.

      • I absolutely agree and had already made my Decision and will enjoy the audio version after and then the film;)

  10. Thanks for the update Drew.

    I think Dan’s comment will be the perfect answer for most. Us eager backers will get something after not too long which will allow us to get excited about gamma and full E:D release.

    Looking forward to it 🙂


  11. Thank you for the update Drew.

    I assume we will never hear the unabridged, unadulterated version of your book which is a shame as far as I am concerned. I didn’t need all the whizzbang special effects of a dramatized version. Fortunately, It is only my eyesight which is poor. I still have a rich imagination.

    I am sure I will still find this presentation enjoyable and look forward to receiving my copy. 🙂

    • Whilst it will have music and some fx, this is an unabridged read (minus the odd ‘he said’ or ‘she said’). It’s not going to be like Escape Velocity.

      Having heard a one minute excerpt from Tony’s recording, I think it’s fair to say it will be absolutely top notch.

      • You cannot see my impressive smile Drew but your reply has come as a huge relief. Thanks!

  12. Hi Drew,
    Did you by any chance got around to meeting Toby while he was recording your book? Must have been an awesome experience hearing him giving his take on your work!

    • Alas, no! But he did tweet to me during the evenings on progress. He seemed to enjoy it!

  13. Since you will now have two short readings out in the wild. Will you be adding these as extras to the end of the audiobook for the backers version?

    • I will see what we can do about that!

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