On Friday night, I completed the interior design and layout for The Redemption of Erâth: Exile. I uploaded the copy to CreateSpace, and within literally a few minutes, I'd ordered by proof copy. I love how quick and easy this stuff is nowadays!
I was pretty impressed by the tome; although I've spaced the text at 1.5 and given the book ample margins, it clocks in at a whopping 500 pages, which is almost 150 pages more than the first book. I intended it to be a little longer, but I didn't expect quite so much.
Of course, there is an argument that longer is not, by definition, better (although in the case of epic fantasy, it does help). When I published through iUniverse, they were pretty adamant that the book be kept to under 100,000 words, and so I did quite a bit of harsh cutting. Now that I'm publishing myself I'm not under the same restrictions, although I did actually cut quite a bit of fluff from the manuscript anyway.
It's nice, though, to be able to offer the story without compromising on scenes. I hope that you won't find it excessive; my goal is certainly not to introduce unnecessary plot elements, but rather to ensure that every scene that is there is important to the final goal of the story. This, in fact, was something I struggled with, and my editor pointed out—for a large portion of the story the main character, Brandyé, had no goal. I've tried to remedy this in my revisions, and hopefully you'll find it satisfactory.
As it stands, once I receive the proof I'll start the final read-through for last-minute typos and edits, but the major edits are, for all intents and purposes, done. This means it's almost time to start looking for reviewers to send advance reader copies (ARCs) to, and try and get some love! I know certainly that even the less positive reviews of the first book, Consolation, expressed interest in where the series will go, and I hope they enjoy it! If anyone reading this would like a free copy of the book in exchange for an impartial review, please contact me and let me know—I'd love to hear from you!
For now, I'm biding my time waiting for the proof copy to arrive (it's supposed to be here by Wednesday). I can't wait to see my book in the flesh (paper)!