Tag Archives: DragonCon

Episode #26: On the Growing World of the Ministry and eBooks Deconstructed

TSD-what

We’re making eBooks. We’re making print books. We’re gaming. And we’re winning Parsecs! We’re talking about what we’ve learned in creating Ministry Protocol, and we’re going into the details of putting together a great looking eBook. Hang on for this crash course in InDesign, digital publishing, and what to expect when your eBook is ready…for testing.

Also, in light of this unexpected Parsec win, Tee and Pip give shout-outs and thank you’s to everyone keeping tabs on the bumpy year-so-far that has been 2013.

00:00 — Introduction

13:40 — eBooks Deconstructed 
  • The eBooks are done and we are now working on the final details for the print
  • Pip goes through her workflow in making the 99-Penny Dreadfuls (and other works we produce) into ePubs
    • Keep your fonts simple.
    • Formatting. Not a good idea.
    • Short stories are a piece of cake compared to a novel or anthology.
    • Rethinking the workflow
  • The challenges of eBooks and digital reading devices
    • Control is in the readers’ hands, not the publisher.
    • Each ereader handles the source file differently.
  • Tee’s workflow for eBooks and print books
    • First stop — Adobe InDesign, Tee’s weapon of choice.
    • Next stop — Calibre, as InDesign was squirrelly about exporting something to Kindle.
    • What Tee prefers: a file per chapter as opposed to one massive file. Insane? Well….
    • Creating a Book file in InDesign: why it works so well.
    • Tee’s fastest turnaround time: 24 hours (for Pip, actually…)
  • The difference between eBooks and print books — personality.
  • Workflow, Part Two
    • Create two copies of the InDesign files, label one “PRINT” and the other collection “DIGITAL”
    • In the DIGITAL folder, use “Find Font” and remove all instances of “unique” fonts.
    • Times New Roman — the “go to” font for eBooks.
  • Tee’s looking ahead with Weather Child, re-worked by Pip and edited by Tee Tate.
  • Before you release your eBook, test it on as many platforms as possible.
  • And after you do test it, test again! Otherwise, your eBooks can wind up like George R.R. Martin’s…and not in a good way.

35:03 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Hard to believe Pip is a two-time Parsec-winning podcaster…
  • Tee, Pip and the Boom head out to Comics and Gaming of Gainesville, VA.
    • Great place, and kid-friendly!
    • Enjoying some “geek parent” moments…
  • Purchasing some games. One is called Planet Steam. (Anyone know this?)
  • A COOL DISCOVERY — Pacific Rim: Shuffling the Deck
  • What looks like a gimicky card game actually works as a great game of strategy and concentration.
  • Wait — hold on — is Pip REQUESTING a drop-in?!
  • A great game for fans (or giant robots fighting monsters) of the film that doesn’t get too cutthroat.
  • This game has been Boom-Approved.
  • …and while you’re visiting your local bookstore…

44:35 — The Wrap-Up

  • Lamenting about Dragon*Con. There was some people and things we missed.
  • There was also a lot of things we didn’t miss.
  • Big shout out to Mike seals who made it on live Atlanta news shows!
  • What’s coming soon…
  • And Tee’s got some contract work. w00T!
  • Tee’s waiting to hear from Kindle Worlds on his Valiant Comics novellas.
  • Quick shout-out of condolences for the friends and family of Frederick Pohl.
  • Works in progress for both Tee and Pip
  • Another shout-out — this one, a warm fuzzy — to Steampunk India.
  • Thanks, everyone, for keeping us in your hearts this year.
  • And Tee gets cocky…
 
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Episodes

The Shared Desk — Episode #19: Catching Up with Tee & Pip

Mic check. Hello? How does this thing work again?

Yes, we have returned to the mics (finally); and for this show, we are putting segments and subjects on hold to take some time to get you all caught up on what we have been doing since (ouch!) August when we last recorded. This is a catch-up show where you might not learn anything about the writing process but you’ll get a look inside the writer’s lifestyle.

00:00 — Introduction

  • I hope we remember how to do this!
  • Pip mocks the opening drop-in’s.
  • O hai! We’re back!!!
  • Welcome to the Catch-Up episode of The Shared Desk

01:39 — Life Happens…even around Dragon*Con

  • Tee gets laid off again the day Tee & Pip get back from Authors After Dark.
  • The good news: I saw the writing on the wall this time, and now I’m working with the American Public University System.
  • The new job pulls me away a day early from Dragon*Con 2013.
  • It was a neat orientation…what I remember of it…
  • Good times at the W Atlanta and at Dragon*Con.
  • Didn’t think D*C could get any bigger, could you? Guess what…
  • Some lovely perks of staying at the W
  • Could D*C be getting too big?
  • Special props to Doc Quartermain for running a killer Steampunk/Alternative Track!
  • Some stargazing at D*C…and Pip fangrrls again.
  • THE GEM FROM PIP: When do you know you’re done? (And here’s Pip’s answer…at 16:22…)

13:24 — Baltimore Book Festival

  • A terrific experience from SFWA, but not as enriching as our journey there…
  • Some terrific panels and great people to enjoy time with like…
    • Lianna Heiber
    • P.J. Schnyder
    • Rich White
    • Ellen Datlow
  • Getting cozy with the Nissan LEAF
  • Winding down from the day, and we find a new love that is the music of Joe Bonamassa

17:40 — Emerald City Steampunk Expo (Wichita, KS)

  • Pip adds a new state to her “Places I Have Visited”
  • Abney Park and Unwoman — show-stoppers of the ECSE
  • Pip wants to user her Rafflecopter to give away some steampunk music swag!
  • Other cool stuff in Wichita
    • Giant steam engines!
    • Melissa Conroy
    • Our First Ministry Cosplayer!

20:01 — Facebook Pages and Deadlines

  • Pip kicks off a Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page
  • Pip’s Deadlines
    • First edits for Harbinger are off.
    • Pyr Books gets their Kindred & Wings
  • Other cool stuff
    • The Omnibus of The Books of the Order is coming from the Science Fiction Book Club.
    • Pip is pretty stoked about the new K&W cover art.
  • Oh yeah…and we not only turned in the third Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel but signed a new contract!

22:29 — The Future of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Part I)

  • What is going to happen in 2013, either with Ace or with Kickstarter…
  • The Anthology to Be Named
    • Authors are signed on. Well, two are signed on.
    • We have a wish list of writers.
    • Two stories are ready and complete.
    • The question is how, with who, and when.
    • There goes December…
  • The anthology is our bridge between books, depending on the timing of Dawn’s Early Light.
  • How about this? A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences of RPG!!!
    • Produced by Galileo Games
    • Designed by J.R. (MF) Blackwell!
    • Written by P.J. (MF) Schnyder!

27:49 — What Is Tee Working on?

  • The steampunk reboot of MOREVICodename: Darkwater — is now underway.
  • What is different between MOREVI and Codename: Darkwater
    • This is not me pulling a Lucas. This is a whole new universe.
    • My characters are present, Lisa Lee’s characters are not as omnipresent.
    • No elves. Period.
    • Smaller (much smaller) word count, and tighter plotlines.
    • No Defiant.
    • No parallel universe. Working in historical China with some help from Aleen the Peacemaker.
  • The difference between a rewrite and a reboot
  • Taking MOREVI and making it my own.
  • Rafe Rafton…a character born for steampunk.

33:42 — More deadlines and Projects from Pip 

  • Clockwork Fairy Tales is coming in 2013
  • Pip is on the “tail end” of her steampunk novella based on “The Little Mermaid”
  • A new project in the works: The Touchstone Empire.
  • This year, it is Pip’s turn to write the Tales from the Archives Christmas Special.

35:23 — The Future of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences (Part II)

  • Tales from the Archives has jumped the rails…but coming soon….
  • Shame on us…we jump the shark after winning twoParsec Awards!
    • P.C. Haring brings home the gold for “The Seven”
    • Pip Ballantine also scores a win with “The Precarious Child.”
  • The Bookie Awards in Savannah, Georgia give a nomination to The Janus Affair for Best Steampunk of 2012.
  • Then there is Goodreads and we are in the running again for The Janus Affair!
  • Tee makes a prediction as to who will take the Goodreads title for Best Science Fiction of 2012…

40:22 — And Here’s What Happens when Real Life Comes a-Callin’….

  • Tee throws a political gauntlet down as he talks up the new car….
  • The 2013 Nissan LEAF from Sheehey Nissan Manassas.
    • It is an incredibly cool drive…
    • …until someone doesn’t do a head check before bolting out of a parking spot.
  • Want to know what NOT to say at the sight of an accident? It’s in this podcast.
  • Another story that tops Tee’s 24 hours with a new LEAF.
  • Fortunately, our iPod with wheels is in the body shop, and it’s covered. Then Pip gets the car for one week. ONE.

45:10 — The Wrap-Up

  • Congratulations! You are now up to speed with Tee & Pip!
  • Pip now wants to talk about books we haven’t event started.
  • Pip and Tee pursue the Medifast Plan to get back into shape.
    • Pip wants to reward her goal weight with a kickin’ new steampunk ensemble.
    • Tee just wants to fit in his pants again.
  • Tee & Pip promise to return in two weeks! No, seriously….
  • Defying the odds, Tee nails the Creative Commons tag, Pip is stunned! (And so am I!)
RELATED LINKS
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

 

5 Comments

Filed under Episodes