Sunday, 3 July 2011

Early July Update

Half way through the year and not quite knocking down targets in the way we'd hoped, to put it mildly.

On the Sidekick Books front ...

We now have a distributor! Sidekick Books will be handled by Central Books, who're just down the road from us, which means we should be able to get them into more bookshops. The London Review of Books store has already sold out of their copies of Birdbook, and internet orders keep coming through. Also, the launch was a huge success, with a packed room and a jubilant atmosphere, even if I had my mouth set to 'ramble'.

We also have our first team-up pamphlet on the way. Did I mention that before?

On the Fuselit: Contraption front ...

Here are some illustrations that will go in the hard copy only, in special puzzle pages:

Did I tell you about the new printer saga? Here is the new printer saga. The printer we bought with a grant from the Forest Cafe all those years ago has long since decided to lower its quality threshold, meaning that while it's still useful for general printing, it's not up to scratch for printing Fuselit. This is something to do with the drivers. I have spent many hours replacing them with different ones, and once or twice managed to get it to return to printing high quality, sharp text, but then it rebelled and reassigned itself to different drivers. At the moment, it won't even duplex. I sent an email to Lexmark, asking for help, and was advised to go to 'Printer properties' and select 'two-sided printing'. I politely told them that of course I knew how to do this, but it still wasn't duplexing, and they've ignored all my emails since.

So for the last two issues of Fuselit we've taken to printing them at the local repro place. The problem is that the cost of this seems to vary depending on who's manning the tills. Some staff fairly take into account that we bring our own paper and knock a slice off accordingly; other ones want to charge us the full price, which makes Fuselit overly expensive to print. So we've managed to acquire instead our own high quality office printer. The catch is that we had to take one which was 'ghosting' - printing in double-vision. In order to fix this, we needed to pay a lot of money for a repair kit that may or may not fix the problem.

Guess what? The repair kit hasn't arrived yet.

Still we soldier on. Here is a corner of a mock-up we've made, sans cover, demonstrating what the stab-binding plus riveting will look like:

Six months late is our new record. What's more, like Duke Nukem Forever, I worry that progress on future Fuselits will also drag on and on as we try to keep up with newer, sparklier publications put together by more coordinated, better connected, less haggard people! We will do our best to prevent such a perennial slump in productivity ensuring.

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